Category: Pterygium

The Effects of Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation on the Eyes

What words come to mind when you think of a bright and sunny holiday destination such as California? Beach, white sand, water? Surfing, sun, sunburn, awkwardly-located tan lines? How about Pterygium?

Pterygia, or its singular form, pterygium, is a benign overgrowth of conjunctival tissue on the eye and has a worldwide prevalence of about 10.2%1. The first part of the word, ptery, is derived from the Greek meaning “wing” (think of the winged pterodactyl), as the typical shape of a pterygium is a triangle. The conjunctiva is a membrane that sits over the whites of the eye, and if it grows over the cornea, the clear bubble over the coloured part of the eye, we get what we call a pterygium. Its little cousin, a pingueculum, is also an overgrowth of conjunctival tissue that presents as a little white or off-white yellowish bump on the sclera but doesn’t encroach onto the cornea.

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My Guilty Pleasure: Being a Heretic

I had a weird consultation this week.  The case wasn’t weird but the dynamics were.  A young person came in for a Pterygium surgery evaluation.  He was in his early 20s and was a great candidate for surgery with a significant growth that was plaguing him.  He had gone down to Big University eye hospital in Los Angeles the last few years and every time he went in he was told to wait for surgery as his case was high risk.  Then he comes to visit little old me in Ventura County and I turned his world upside down when I said he would do great.

He was accompanied by a relative who was clearly stressed out that I would dare contradict the so-called ‘best of the best’ at Big U.  The fact that I saw no good reason to make this silently tortured young man wait blew this persons mind.  In fact, they were so flustered I was waiting for this person’s head to explode during the visit!  They simply refused to believe that better options were available.

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Research & Publications

Pterygium Removal Surgery Results Using the Femtosecond Laser

Pterygia (singular pterygium) are triangular, wing-shaped overgrowths of fibrovascular tissue on the front surface of the …

Blood Tests May Be Able to Detect Eye Cancer

Is that a freckle or eye cancer? Good question. Here’s another question – did you know that you can get both freckles …

Can Cataracts Be Prevented?

The mention of cataracts can cause a bit of a heart palpitation for some people, particularly older ones who have family …