A pterygium is a wing-shaped fibrovascular connective tissue that grows from conjunctiva (a clear membrane that covers the white of the eye and the inner eyelids) over the cornea. Sometimes referred to as a “Texas cataract” it is seen in individuals who spend time outdoors such as farmers, fishermen, and skiers. It is felt that exposure to sun, wind, and ultraviolet light promotes the growth of this tissue. Conservative treatment includes artificial tears and wearing sunglasses. If vision is affected, the tissue can be surgically removed.
Keratitis is a nonspecific term meaning inflammation of the cornea.
- Dry eye syndrome
- Contact lens problems
- Inadequate eyelid closure
- Infections by bacteria or viruses
- Systemic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Herpes zoster (shingles) and the related herpes simplex virus
Treatment of keratitis depends on the cause but usually involves antibiotic and/or steroid eye drops. Occasionally systemic treatment with oral medication is required as well.