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A farmer came to the eye doctor saying that his eye had been red for a long time. His eyes were neither painful, nor watering nor sticky. So, what was his problem?

This problem is seen very commonly in tropics, and with exposure to bright sunlight.

Farmers, construction workers frequently encounter Pterygium. (This terribly difficult looking word is pronounced as Te-ri-gium, with a silent P). Pterygium means 'Wings'.

It is a wing-like tissue extension growing from the conjunctiva, towards the cornea.

What will it lead to?

Usually it grows very slowly, and does not cause any harm.

Sometimes, it may cause astigmatism.

Rarely, it may grow rapidly, and  require Surgical removal of the Pterygium. This is usually, mainly for cosmetic reasons. The  surgery involved is of minor nature.

Nowadays Argon Laser is used to treat Pterygium.

Will it grow back?

Pterygia are notorious for recurrence. 

Procedures to prevent recurrence -

Use of beta radiations to the area after surgery.

Mitomycin eyedrops may prevent recurrence.




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