Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's a Pterygium?

About 2 months ago I noticed a red bump growing on the surface of my eye. I quickly did what any other 20 something year old would do,  I went to the internet. After many google searches I narrowed it down to a pterygium.

According to WebMD " A Pterygium (pronounced tur-IJ-ee-um) is a common eye condition that affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors. People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye. It usually forms on the side closest to the nose."

 This had to be it. I was born in Southern California and moved to sunny Florida to go to college. Then after 7 years of spending summers on a boat or floating down a river, I moved back to Southern California. I am an avid runner, who's favorite time to run is the middle of the day (I know, not the best but, I stay well hydrated). I love to hike! I love to go to the beach or go to the pool and just layout. I just love to be outside in the sun! The one thing that I don't like is a good old pair of sunglasses. I am the girl that can't keep a pair for longer then a week. I am not comfortable driving with them or wearing them while I run.   

After another round of google searches, I found 2 specialist that remove them. I decided that I would go  to both to see what each of them had to say. After my initial consultations I knew I found my doctor! Both doctors confirmed that I had a pterygium in my left eye. They both explained to me how they can grow, but one doctor stood out. Of course it was the more expensive one, but I only have 2 eyes and I felt it was worth the  money. He said that with his technique that there was a less than 1% chance of it growing back. 

The procedure took place this past Wednesday, I was put completely to sleep by an anesthesiologist and it took about 1 hour total. The doctor would remove the pterygium and place a graft from a piece of my eye that you can't see when I open it. He put amnionic membrane tissue on it  and I was good to go. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the procedure.  

My Joe stayed by my side

This is me trying to be a pirate
Today, my eye is a little bit sore and I can see perfectly. It is very red and it will be red for about a month. I am very lucky that I caught it early and found a specialist that is well known for removing them. 

Moral of the story, wear your sunglasses. You only have 2 eyes and it can happen to you. 

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