The reasons patients from Aliso Viejo and surrounding areas may need pterygium surgery

Ideally, our eyes have a precise shape, balance in fluids, and other essentials for clear vision. Eyes are also susceptible to the various elements we regularly encounter. For some, genetics plays a role in the development of certain eye problems. In other instances, there are other factors that cause conditions to occur.

Pterygium is a condition in which abnormal tissue growth affects the white part of the eye, the conjunctiva and sclera, and the cornea. These growths are commonly seen in those who live in sunny, inviting places such as Southern California, where ample time is spent outdoors. The exposure to the sun, or, rather, UV rays, seems to have a cumulative effect on the eyes, prompting the overgrowth of tissue.

UV rays have a similar impact on the eyes as they do the skin. Just as wrinkles and a leather-like texture can develop on sun-damaged skin, the conjunctiva of the eye can become thick, rough, and filled with blood vessels after excessive exposure. People who work outdoors, such as landscapers, as well as those who regularly engage in outdoor activities such as sports, surfing, boating, and skiing, may be at an increased risk for pterygium.

The importance of treating pterygium lies in quality of life. As the conjunctiva becomes thick and rough, the surface of the eye develops an uneven texture that can be not only irritating, but a threat to optimal vision. If not treated, this condition can lead to vision loss.

Protecting vision with appropriate pterygium treatment

Understanding that UV damage is a primary instigator of pterygium allows you to take measures to protect your eyes from this progressive condition. Optimal eye protection consists of appropriate sunglasses with UV protection. Most importantly, the label on sunglasses should state “100% UV Protection.” Wearing a wide brimmed hat can add a level of protection as well.

Dr. George Salib of The Orange CountyEye Institute helps patients from Aliso Viejo and surrounding areas restore clear vision with pterygium surgery when necessary. This procedure, which removes the overgrowth of tissue, typically takes only a few minutes to complete. To ensure comfort and peace of mind, sedation may be administered before treatment begins. Prior to removing tissue, the eye is numbed with an effective topical solution.

During pterygium surgery, abnormal tissue is removed and replaced with a tissue graft. Because the eye is numbed before the procedure, no discomfort should be felt. After the completion of treatment, you will be driven home by a friend or family member, where your eye will quickly heal. Within a few days, normal activities can be resumed.


(949) 441-5444

Dr. Salib provides quality eye care in the Aliso Viejo area. Contact us for your appointment at The Orange CountyEye Institute.


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