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“Combating Pterygia: Effective Strategies for Prevention and Treatment”

Comprehensive Guide to Pterygia: Prevention and Treatment Strategies at Best Practice Eye Care, Golden Beach

Learn how to prevent and treat Pterygia with advice from Dr Michael Karpa in Golden Beach, Sunshine Coast. 

Pterygia, sometimes known as “surfer’s eye”, affects many Australians. This is particularly true for sunny areas such as the Sunshine Coast and Queensland as a whole. 

At Best Practice Eyecare, we provide comprehensive information about pterygia. This includes its causes and symptoms and the latest prevention and treatment methods.

11 team Dr Michael Karpa Ophthalmologist Best Practice Eyecare Sunshine Coast

Understanding Pterygia

A pterygium is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering the white part of your eye. This benign growth can extend to the cornea and potentially affect vision if it grows across the cornea. A pterygium is often linked to too much UV light, dust, and wind, although the exact cause is unknown. 

Pterygia are a significant concern in Australia, often due to our love for the outdoors, resulting in exposure to intense UV radiation. Whilst a pterygium is benign, an ophthalmologist must properly evaluate it to ensure it is not sinister. Cancers on the front of the eye are not uncommon.

Have you ever wondered where the name came from? Think “pterodactyl”: a flying dinosaur. “Pterygos” is Greek for wing. As the pterygium grows across the cornea, it forms the shape of a wing – as you can see in our photo. 

Symptoms to Watch For

Early diagnosis of a pterygium is crucial. Symptoms include a noticeable growth on the white of the eye, redness, irritation, and, in advanced cases, blurred vision. It’s essential to consult an ophthalmologist if these symptoms are present, especially if you spend significant time outdoors.

 If you are concerned, see your GP or optometrist for a referral to Dr Karpa for review and to discuss the need for surgery. 

Best Practice Eye Care: Your Partner in Pterygium Management

At Best Practice Eyecare in Golden Beach, we specialise in diagnosing and managing all eye disorders, including pterygia. Our skilled ophthalmologist uses the latest diagnostic tools to evaluate conditions and provide tailored treatment plans.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some effective strategies:


  • Wear Protective Eyewear: Sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays are essential, especially in sunny environments.
  • Use Hats: Broad-brimmed hats can significantly reduce UV exposure to the eyes and eyelids.
  • Avoid Dust and Wind: When in dusty or windy conditions, wearing protective goggles can help.
  • Regular Eye Exams: Routine check-ups with an optometrist can catch early signs of a pterygium.

When to Seek Treatment

Treatment for a pterygium is recommended when it threatens to impair vision, induces astigmatism, or causes persistent discomfort. At Best Practice Eyecare, we advise patients to seek consultation at the earliest signs of growth or discomfort so it can be effectively monitored.

Treatment Options at Best Practice Eye Care

Our treatment approach at Best Practice Eyecare is patient-centric and evidence-based. 

Options include:


  • Surgical Removal: Reserved for advanced cases; surgery involves removing the growth. We employ the latest surgical techniques, including tissue grafts, to reduce recurrence.
  • Post-Surgical Care: Ensuring proper healing and minimising the chances of recurrence are crucial parts of post-operative care.

The Role of the Ophthalmologist

A key player in combating pterygia is the ophthalmologist. 

Our team offers complete eye care, including prevention, treatment, and aftercare. We keep up with the latest advancements at Best Practice Eyecare, giving our patients the best and safest treatment options.

Living with Pterygium on the Sunshine Coast

Living in a place like the Sunshine Coast, with its abundant sunshine, means taking extra precautions. We educate our community on the importance of protective eyewear and regular eye exams.

It’s never too early to start your kids on the path of eye protection with sunglasses and hats. 

Innovations in Pterygium Treatment

The field of ophthalmology is continually evolving, as are the treatments for pterygia. We keep up with the latest advancements at Best Practice Eyecare

We inform patients about their condition, treatment suggestions, and how they can participate in their eye health. This helps them make the best and safest treatment choices.

The Importance of Patient Education

An informed patient is an empowered patient. We teach patients about their condition, why we recommend treatment, and how they can participate in their eye health. 

Your Vision, Our Commitment

Your vision is our primary concern at Best Practice Eyecare in Golden Beach, Sunshine Coast.

Love your eyes. Get them checked.

Best Practice Eyecare Ophthalmologists

Based on the Sunshine Coast, we provide ophthalmologist, eye care and surgical services of the highest standard. We treat and manage a wide range of eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and more.

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