Sunlight streaming down from heaven surprisingly has many components. In the correct range, it provides the catalyst to make vitamin D, warms our bodies, and lets a person get a tan.
Too much exposure can cause a burn, but for our eyes, the part a person does not see may cause issues as well. Known as ultraviolet light, it can trigger a condition known as pterygiums.
Ultraviolet light unseen streams down to the earth in three forms. UVA, UVB, and UVC.
Because of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, UVC does not reach the earth’s surface. UVA and UVB do reach the earth’s surface and the eyes.
Estimates vary but about ten percent of sunlight lists as UV. Recommendations have become to shield eyes with hats, visors, and sunglasses from the sun. Sunburned eyes cause inflammation of the cornea, increasing the chance of cataracts, and in some people grow a pterygium.
There’s a pterygium in my eye
One morning a person wakes up and finds a pinkish winged fleshy tissue extending out from the corner of the eye. It does not hurt but slowly creeps toward the iris.
At some point, a person realizes it will not stop creeping. The whole tissue lies across the surface of the cornea. How could someone ever separate the pink fleshy pterygium from the translucent cornea?
Houston LASIK can
At the Houston clinic lies the femtosecond laser with its infrared light beam at the wavelength of 1053 nanometers. Its razor-sharp pulsating light beam so finely honed by the pressing of the mathematics of measurement into the machine can slice painlessly between the pterygium and the translucent corneal membrane.
It uses laser-assisted conjunctival autograft preparation (CAG) for the surgery. It allows the Tenon capsule tissue to become missed, which is a fascial sheath that covers the eyeball.
Results rank better if no Tenon capsule tissue gets touched, and so femtosecond lasers have the precision to accomplish that. Pterygium does sometimes form again.
Fortunately, the CAG allows repeated surgeries no matter how many times pterygium decides to visit. The good doctors can show you the equipment. They will gladly explain just what precision means, and how safe laser eye surgery has become.
After pterygium surgery
Considered a minimally invasive surgery, it only takes around a half-hour to perform it. Light sedation gets a person ready for the surgical procedure.
Once the pterygium becomes removed, fibrin glue will secure a conjunctiva tissue graft in place. In some cases, due to other conditions, the doctor may simply leave the surgical area as is to heal of its own natural ability.
Upon awakening, the doctor may recommend an eye patch or padding. A reminder not to rub the eyes will be given.
Home care instructions will include how to clean around the eye, some antibiotics, and follow-up visits. Healing depends upon the individual and can be as quick as a couple of weeks or as long as a couple of months.
Laser eye surgery, like any operation, does come with some risk, but in most cases, the outcome is satisfying to the patient and the surgeon. If the pterygium comes back, the femtosecond laser will be waiting to excise it away again.
Houston Lasik leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS, and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston Lasik, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478