A pterygium is a growth of tissue on the conjunctiva (the clear layer that covers the eye). This growth is usually on the side of the nose, extending from the corner of the eye, towards the cornea. It can look quite alarming, but it’s usually harmless. In rare cases, it can grow to cover your pupil, resulting in poor vision.

Pterygium is caused by prolonged exposure to UV light (sun), and irritants such as dust and wind.

The symptoms include dryness, feeling like there’s something in your eye, burning, and redness (especially when it’s dusty outside).

Pterygium can be surgically removed by an ophthalmologist, however, prevention will always be better than cure. Always wear sun protection when outside (spectacles or sunglasses), and treat any dry eye symptoms (artificial tears, ointments).

If you already have a pterygium, to keep it small and prevent it from becoming more red and irritated, reduce your exposure to sun and dust, and keep your eyes moist.