Q. The inside corner of my eyes are frequently red and irritated, and I think I see a growth on the surface; should I be concerned?

A. The most common issue in this scenario is a growth on the eye that is called a pterygium. This growth starts on the conjunctiva (white of the eye) but often progresses centrally onto the cornea and can affect vision. The factors that worsen this progression are genetics, and exposure to too much sun and dryness. These are all factors that are rampant in our state of Arizona. Wearing sunglasses and using frequent artificial tears can help prevent progression, but once these growths have progressed, they need to be removed with a minor surgical procedure.

Our advanced treatment techniques involve removal and repair utilizing hi-tech genetically engineered tissue applied with gentle tissue glue instead of stitches. You are able to return to reasonably normal activities on the first day or two after the procedure. Eye drops are necessary for 1 – 2 months after the procedure to help prevent the possibility of recurrence. Management of these issues at earlier stages will help significantly at preventing progression that can lead to a serious blurring of vision. In order to prevent recurrence in the long term, it is important to get in the habit of protecting your eyes from the sun; a hat and sunglasses when out in the sun should be part of your daily routine.