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An Eye Condition to Watch Out For

September 15, 2017

An Eye Condition to Watch Out For

If you spend a lot of time on the water or out in the sun, beware of Pterygium. This eye condition can grow on the white of your eye and spread onto the cornea leaving permanent damage. How do we know if we have it? How can we prevent it. There are preventative measures you can take to protect your eyes from this condition.

Pterygium: What Is "Surfer's Eye"?

A pterygium (tuh-RIJ-ee-uhm) is an elevated, wedged-shaped bump on the eyeball that starts on the white of the eye (sclera) and can invade the cornea. If you have more than one of these eye growths, the plural form of the word is pterygia (tuh-RIJ-ee-ah).

Though it's commonly called "surfer's eye," you don't have to be a surfer or ever see the ocean to get a pterygium. But being in bright sunlight for long hours — especially when you are on water, which reflects the sun's harmful UV rays — increases your risk.

Pterygia are benign (non-cancerous) growths, but they can permanently disfigure the eye. They also can cause discomfort and blurry vision.

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