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Last reviewed: 4 Sep 2023
Last updated: 07 Jun 2023



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • wing-shaped conjunctival overgrowth onto corneal surface
  • history of chronic UV light exposure
  • ocular irritation, burning, and tearing
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • altered ocular cosmesis
  • blurred vision
  • double vision
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • chronic UV light exposure
  • family history of pterygium
  • chronic ocular irritants
  • human papilloma and Epstein-Barr virus infection
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • slit-lamp examination
  • fluorescein staining
More 1st investigations to order

Treatment algorithm



ocular irritation, burning, or itching: without visual impairment, rapid growth, or cosmesis concerns

visual impairment or rapid enlargement or poor cosmesis


recurrent pterygia



David O'Brart, MBBS, DO, MD, FRCS, FRCOphth
David O'Brart

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Professor of Corneal Science

Kings College

University of London




DB holds a non-commercial research grant with Rayner Ltd. through his NHS Trust for cataract surgery research within the NHS. He has equity in the medical imaging company Sparca Inc. and is on their medical advisory board. DB holds a non-commercial research grant with Johnson and Johnson through his NHS Trust for cataract surgery research within the NHS. He is an author of a number of references cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Carlos E. Diaz, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Ophthalmology

University of Texas Health Science Center

San Antonio



CED is a speaker for Bio-Tissue, the developer of Amniograft amniotic membrane.

Robert E. MacLaren, DPhil, DipEd, FRCOphth, FRCS

Professor of Ophthalmology

Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology

University Of Oxford

John Radcliffe Hospital




REM declares that he has no competing interests.

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