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Help! How Do I Get Rid of a Pterygium?

A pterygium is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on your conjunctiva δΈ€ the clear tissue that lines your eyelids and covers the white parts of your eyes. They’re not cancerous, but pterygia can cause discomfort and affect vision if they grow too close to the cornea.

Here at Maryland Eye Care Center in Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland, our providers are experts in diagnosing and treating pterygia. If you’re concerned about any eye growth or changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

In the meantime, here’s how to get rid of pterygia and prevent them in the future.

How to get rid of a pterygium

A pterygium is a fleshy growth that contains blood vessels, so it can look unsettling if it spreads into your cornea. In addition to their appearance, pterygia can cause discomfort or a sensation of grittiness in your eye.

The good news is these fleshy growths are treatable with eye drops (with or without steroids) or, in severe cases, surgery.

Eye drops 

Use lubricating eye drops or artificial tears to alleviate dryness and irritation associated with a pterygium. These can help soothe your eyes and prevent further irritation.

In some cases, your Maryland Eye Care Center provider may prescribe eye drops containing corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and control the growth of the pterygium.


If the pterygium causes significant discomfort or vision problems or doesn't respond to other treatments, surgical removal may be an option. Our team carefully removes the pterygium and may use a tissue graft from another part of the eye to cover the affected area.

How to prevent future pterygia

Even though pterygia can be treated, prevention is the best strategy. You can reduce your risk of developing a pterygium by:

Applying topical medication

Some topical medications, such as mitomycin C, may be used during or after surgery to help prevent the recurrence of the pterygium.

Protecting your eyes from environmental irritants

Nicknamed “surfer’s eye,” pterygia may form due to dust, wind, and ultraviolet radiation. Protect your eyes from irritants such as these by wearing sunglasses with UV protection; they help reduce exposure to harmful rays that may encourage pterygium growth.

Keeping your routine eye exams

Schedule regular eye exams with an eye care professional here at Maryland Eye Care Center to monitor the growth of the pterygium and address any changes in your vision.

Not sure if you’re dealing with a pterygium?

You might suspect you have a pterygium if you notice redness, irritation, a feeling of a foreign body in your eye, dryness, and, in some cases, changes in vision. You might even see the growth on your conjunctiva.

To diagnose a pterygium, your provider conducts a comprehensive examination, including a visual acuity test, slit-lamp examination using a specialized microscope, eye surface staining with dye, measurement of your pterygium's size, and a discussion of your symptoms.

Once a pterygium is confirmed, your provider reviews your treatment plan with you, and you can get started. To get rid of a pterygium, call one of our convenient locations today or request an appointment online.

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