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What is a pterygeum?

A pterygeum is a membrane that grows visibly on the surface of the eye, usually from the nasal side. It can interfere with vision if it grows over the cornea (in front of the coloured iris).


What causes a pterygeum?

Pterygeums are usually caused by ultraviolet light exposure (sunlight) and wind in dry conditions. It can be prevented to a large extent by wearing sunglasses, but it may also be genetic.

How is a pterygeum treated?

A pterygeum can only be treated by an operation in which it is removed from the surface of the eye with microscopic surgical techniques. The procedure is painless and can be performed under local or general anaesthesia, or conscious sedation.

Can a pterygeum reoccur?

Yes, if the eye is still exposed to ultraviolet light or dry conditions, the pterygeum may grow again over the surface of the eye. With modern surgical techniques, the recurrence rate is very low.


More than half a century's worth of combined practice, professionalism, and utmost dedication to their fields of expertise assure patients that they're in the hands of experienced ophthalmologists.



The George Surgical Centre, established in 2012, is a world-class day hospital dedicated to modern Eye Surgery. Other procedures such as Cosmetic Surgery, is also performed here. Easy access via George Airport enables service delivery to patients from other areas outside the Southern Cape.



Garden Route Eye Clinic is equipped to perform specialist eye treatment and advanced eye surgery. We utilise only the latest methods and modern equipment to ensure that our patients receive the best possible eye treatment.


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