Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ways to Prevent a Pterygium by Kathryn Dawson

First of all it is important to answer the question, what is a pterygium? This is quite a rare condition that not a huge number of people have generally heard of. A pterygium is a raised bit of tissue that develops and grows over the cornea. It looks like a yellowish bump on the white of the eye. It is much more common in hot or tropical climates where eyes are subjected to greater exposure to the sun, although it can also develop from exposure to UV light from tanning beds. Although the condition is not very serious, it can cause redness of the eyes and irritation. Sometimes vision can be impaired although this is only in the more serious of cases.

Treating the condition begins usually with a course of eye drops. Artificial tear drops can also be used which will may help rid the eye of the problem. If the pterygium begins to move and start to enter the cornea then action will need to be taken in the form of a quick and simple surgical procedure. Surgery is perfectly suited to treat this procedure. Taking just a few minutes, the eye can be free from the irritation and problems caused by this condition. There is a very short recovery period, usually a patient will be back at work the following day and the chances of problems arising or infections developing are rare.

The best way to prevent a pterygium occurring at all is to always make sure you wear sun glasses when out and about. Sunglasses are in fact a legitimate medical aid. UV light is extremely damaging to both the eyes and the skin, so covering both up is very important. Sunglasses and a hat is the ideal summer get up - the hat protects your skin which keeps cancer and wrinkles at bay, and the sunglasses protect the eyes well. Make sure you use glasses that have a good UVA and UVB protection promise however, as some cheap varieties do not provide adequate protection against the harmful rays. It is not the light that harms the eyes, it is the UV rays that become absorbed by the eye. The skin around the eye is particularly susceptible to skin cancer too as it is very thin and contains a high volume of blood vessels.

Many sunglasses do carry labels claiming they absorb 100% of UV rays, but this is not always actually true. Cheap sunglasses are generally cheap because they do not have the correct lenses that are needed to provide the protection against UV. It is also imperative that adequate eye protection is worn if you are using a sun bed. The intense amount of UV rays emitted by a sun bed can be extremely damaging to the eyes so eye goggles must be worn at all times.

Good eye care is important throughout your life. Although a pterygium may not be as serious as other eye problems, it does indicate your eyes have been damaged. This may mean that eye problems in the future are more likely. To prevent this happening to you, invest in a good quality pair of sunglasses from the optician if necessary and eat plenty of fruits and green vegetables for good overall eye health. Developing a pterygium doesn't necessary mean eye cataracts will develop or even that eye treatments will be needed, but it is best to avoid taking this risk. An optician will be able to advise you on the right type of sunglasses to buy. Bear in mind that cheap sunglasses found on the street are unlikely to provide the UV protection your eyes need for good health, and your eyes and sight are too important to put at risk.