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Hello! My husband was diagnosed with ocular pterygium. He has something like a membrane covering his eye from the nose side to the retina. I am maybe not good at explaining it but those who have seen it know what I mean. His doctor didn’t tell him much yet, but he scheduled him another appointment in 3 days. I cannot wait that much to find out if it is something that threatens his sight or even the eye itself. Does someone know what are the possible complications of ocular pterygium?

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Hi! I am a student of medicine and my field of intrest is most of all the human eye and vision. We have recently studied about the ocular pterygium and as far as I remember there are two types: the active one which is very “aggressive”, spreads very quickly and usualy reoccurs even after being surgicaly removed, and the passive one which grows very slowly and almost never reoccurs once it is removed. The complications are: distortion or reduction of central vision, redness and irritation, chronic scarring of the conjunctiva and the cornea. It can also contribute to diplopia. Usually though it is only cosmetic problem and does not interfire with normal vision.
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Hi! The student is right in all but one. Usually the operation is needed as to prevent the pterygium to interfere with the vision. Some complications might occur after operation too. There can be some infection or corneal scarring but also some rare complications such as perforation of the globe, vitreous hemorrhage, or retinal detachment. Yet, the visual and cosmetic prognosis following the surgical removal of pterygia is good. The procedures are well tolerated by patients, and, aside from some discomfort in the first few postoperative days, most patients are able to go back to their normal life within 48 hours of their surgery. But wait until you consult your doctor and see if the operation is needed at all.
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