Surfers Eye Pterygium

By Aye Eye Doc / February 9, 2018
Surfer Eye Pterygium

Today lets talk about  Surfers i, Surfers eye or Pterygium as it is common in Southern California.
What’s common between farmers, surfers and golfers? This is not a trick question nor a funny one liner.They are all exposed to increased amounts of UV radiation. This UV radiation emanating form the sun can interact with the outer coverings of the white part of the eye . It causes atrophy and In the initial stages this manifests itself as yellowish white discoloration.  Later on wing shaped leash of red blood vessels. replaces these early changes. The leash of  vessels can become relentless even growing on the Cornea. the early stages are called pingecula. Once cornea is invaded it becomes the familiar surfers eye or medically termed as Pterygium.

What causes Surfers Eye Pterygium

so what exactly happens? let’s look at that. The UV light from the sun is usually prevented from reaching the earth by electromagnetic shield in space.  A small amount does does penetrate through.  An average person only receives small amount because outdoor activities are limited. When we were living in the forest trees shielded us from direct sunlight but in farmers and modern-day surfers or golfers who are out for prolonged period of time improving the game or their style they imbibe a lot more of this radiation. UV rays release free radicals which lead to degeneration in the fibers making up the covering of the white part of the eye. As you may realize this area is exposed and not covered by the lids except when we sleep. It is the are which gets hit and where we see the pterygium. Unfortunately that also makes it visible to your friends and family and not so friendly people will see and comment about it specially if you’re in the movie industry. The cameras going to pick that up and make you appear like drunk. Do you want to know a little bit scientific terms?

Elastotic hyaloid degeneration of the subconjunctival tissue. On biopsy it appears blue with specific stain. As we were just discussing it can become progressive that means it can start marching onto the cornea and it can even grow across the cornea leading to blindness. Sometimes there can be two pterygii in the same eye. One on the side of the nose one on the side of the ear and they go across and meet in the middle. Other times some tumors might develop they can be calcification deposits or fatty deposit in the tissues.

Lasik eye surgery can cause problems with surfers eye pterygium. The flap can cut the pterygium leading to bleeding. The pterygium can get angry and grow under the flap.

Prevention of Surfers Eye Pterygium

stay tuned ye surfers for this upcoming article.

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About the author

Aye Eye Doc

Aye Eye Doc is the pen name of Rajesh Khanna MD. He is a Board certified Ophthalmologist practicing in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village of Los Angeles County. Dr. Khanna specializes in Cornea surgery like LASIK, DSEK, DMEK, Laser cornea transplant and Pterygium. He is a pioneer in Presbyopic implants to reverse ageing eyes. He is an expert in small incision cataract and glaucoma procedures.He is also a best selling author.

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