Pterygium is a condition which is characterized by a growth of fleshy pink tissue on the sclera of the eye and affects individuals who spend a large portion of their time outdoors. The lesion is also referred to as surfer’s eye and affects the medial aspect of the eye (i.e. the side close to the nose).
The lesion is usually non cancerous and grows gradually throughout life. Occasionally it may stop growing and in rare cases, may continue to grow and cover the pupil of the eye, thereby interfering with vision. While the condition in most cases is not serious, it is often associated with annoying sensation of a foreign body in the eye.
What Are The Causes Of Pterygium?
The etiology of the condition is not clearly understood, however experts believe that there are some risk factors that can lead to the onset of this condition which include,
- Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, which is common among individuals who spend most of their time outdoors.
- Dry eye which can be associated with poor lacrymation or other inherent conditions.
- Excessive exposure to wind and dust resulting in damage to the sclera.
Epidemiological data suggests that the condition is more common among individuals living around the equator and affects individuals between the ages of 20 to 40 years. The condition is more frequently observed in males compared to females.
Signs And Symptoms Of Pterygium
In most of the cases, the condition is not associated with any symptoms, other than the appearance of the fleshy pink lesion. As the pterygium grows in size it can lead to redness and inflammation of the surrounding tissue. In relatively rare cases, the lesion can grow and press on the cornea, resulting in astigmatism.
Some of the other more common symptoms associated with the condition include,
- Sensation of a foreign body along with burning in the eyes.
- Itching and gritty sensation in the eye.
- Blurring of vision can be observed in advanced stages like astigmatism.
How To Treat Pterygium Naturally?
The treatment regimen for the condition often depends upon the severity of the symptoms and the pace of progression of the lesion. While consulting an ophthalmologist is essential, there are certain home remedies that can be helpful in the management of the condition,
- Protecting the eye at all times is essential. Especially wear genuine sun protective sunglasses, especially when you are expected to be outdoors. Also regularly lubricate the eye by washing the eye with lukewarm water. Avoid exposure to dirt or wind, as both these can damage the sclera.
- Your doctor may prescribe specific eye drops that are useful to deal with this condition. These eye-drops not only help lubricate the eye, they also contribute towards production and drainage of tears.
- There are certain homeopathic drugs that can act as vasoconstrictors and thereby help reduce the growth of the pterygium. Some of these drugs include Sepia, Pulsatialla and Arsenic Alb. These drugs should be taken as directed by a homeopathic physician.
- Add a table spoon of turmeric in a bowl of water. Use this mixture to rinse your eyes at least twice a day. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory agent and thereby helps reduce the symptoms like redness, itching, burning, etc.
Surgical treatment may be required in cases where conservative treatments have failed or the condition can hamper the individual’s eyesight. A typical surgery may take about 30 to 45 minutes and the individual can return to work, within a few days.