Our optometrists offer comprehensive eye tests and a great range of glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses. Visique optometrists - 100% kiwi owned, providing high quality, professional eyecare service

What is Pterygium?

A pterygium is a pinkish, triangular-shaped tissue growth on the cornea.

Some pterygia grow slowly throughout a person's life, while others stop growing after a certain point. A pterygium rarely grows so big that it begins to cover the pupil of the eye.


Pterygia are more common in sunny climates and in people between 20 and 40 years of age. No one knows what causes pterygia but people with pterygia have usually spent a significant amount of time outdoors.

Treatment and Prevention

Because a pterygium is visible, many people want to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. However, it is usually not too noticeable unless irritated by dust or air pollutants.

Protective glasses, sunglasses and/or hats with brims are recommended when sunlight is strong. Your Visique optometrist can advise on suitable UV protection for preventing or minimising pterygia and can also refer you to an ophthalmologist if necessary.