What is pterygium?

Pterygium, also known as “surfer’s eye,” is a common eye condition characterized by a fleshy growth that extends onto the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It typically appears as a triangular-shaped, pinkish or yellowish growth that may gradually progress over time. Pterygium is often associated with excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, dry and dusty environments, and chronic eye irritation. Although it is generally harmless, pterygium can cause discomfort, redness, blurred vision, and a foreign body sensation in the affected eye. In severe cases, it may interfere with vision if it grows close to the visual axis. To get care from a board certified oculoplastic surgeon, request a consultation at our practice in Lake Mary.


Photo of a pterygium on a person's eye

What are the signs and symptoms of pterygium?

One of the most common symptoms is persistent redness and irritation of the affected eye. Individuals with pterygium may experience a gritty or sandy sensation, as if there is something in the eye. They may also have increased tearing or watery eyes, as the growth can disrupt the normal tear film. In some cases, pterygium can cause blurred vision, especially if it grows towards the central part of the cornea.

As the condition progresses, the pterygium may become more visible, appearing as a raised, pinkish or yellowish growth on the white part of the eye. In some individuals, pterygium may cause a noticeable change in the shape or appearance of the eye. It’s important to seek medical attention if any of these signs and symptoms occur, as early intervention can prevent further complications and preserve visual health.

How can Florida Eyelid and Cosmetic Surgery help?

At Florida Eyelid and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Warner (our board certified oculoplastic surgeon) can help if you are a candidate for surgical treatments. During surgery to treat pterygium, patients can expect a relatively straightforward and minimally invasive procedure. The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, meaning patients remain awake but do not feel pain in the treated area.

Dr. Warner will carefully remove the pterygium, which involves excising the abnormal growth from the surface of the eye. This may be done using surgical instruments or laser technology. After the removal, Dr. Warner will typically graft a small piece of healthy tissue onto the affected area to help prevent the pterygium from recurring. The graft may come from the patient’s own conjunctiva (autograft) or from a tissue bank (allograft). The procedure generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Schedule pterygium treatments in Orlando

In order to find out if you are a candidate for surgical treatments, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Warner at our practice in Orlando. There, he can go over the procedure with you and answer any questions that you have. Our goal is to get you feeling like yourself again. Call 407-863-8700 or fill out the form below to request your consultation today.

Middle aged woman with streaks of grey hair


A Consultation

At Florida Eyelid and Cosmetic Surgery in Orlando, Dr. Warner provides the best in oculoplastic and cosmetic care. It all starts with a consultation, where Dr. Warner can assess your goals and answer any questions that you have. Please fill out the form below or give us a call at (407) 863-8700 to get started.