A Pterygium is a fleshy overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is the thin clear membrane on the surface of the eye. About one in every 100 Australians develops a Pterygium.


In most cases, a Pterygium grows from the inner (nearest the nose) corner of the eye. It may sometimes grow from the outer corner or on both sides of the eye at the same time. One or both eyes may be affected. The condition is not cancerous and does not invade the inside of the eye or spread to any other part of the face or body.

Symptoms of a Pterygium

A Pterygium is usually painless, though it can cause irritation to the eye at any stage. The tissue is often triangular, pink and fleshy. Fine blood vessels may be visible.

If symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • inflammation, including bloodshot whites of the eye on the side with the pterygium
  • itching and burning sensations on the eye surface
  • mild eye pain
  • problems with vision if the pterygium grows across the cornea.

If untreated, a pterygium may grow across the cornea (the transparent ‘window’ that covers the pupil and iris) affecting vision and becoming more obvious. In this situation, surgical treatment may be required.

Should you require removal of a Pterygium, depending on the size and complexity this can be performed in our North Lakes Eye Centre or in the Moreton Day Hospital.

You will usually have been referred to us by an Optometrist, General Practitioner or other Specialist. To make an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists please click on the I’m a Patient link or call us on 07 3283 3488 to discuss the steps and cost for further diagnosis and pathway to treatment.

The Doctors of Moreton Eye Group can perform this surgery in the Moreton Day Hospital (MDH). Our close working relationship with this state of the art facility means that your surgical experience will be seamless from clinic to hospital, ensuring the best medical outcome for your procedure. For more information on the Moreton Day Hospital and this surgery, please see the website or call the friendly staff on 07 3487 1111 to discuss costs. For smaller Pterygiums, they can sometimes be performed in our North Lakes Eye Centre.

For more information, please see the following resources: