Surfers Eye - Pterygium

Pterygiums - Surfers Eye

 Pterygiums also referred to as "Surfers Eye" can cause a host of problems.  From the stoner jokes, to the "what happened to your eye" or "Your eye is bleeding."  These are just a few of the social comments surfers go through.  Some even call it "Kook Eye."  

Pterygium's can cause annoying symptoms such as the feeling of having a foreign body in the eye. Sometimes the growth becomes red and irritated and requires medical treatment.

Symptoms of Pterygium

Sometimes, a pterygium causes no symptoms other than its appearance. An enlarging pterygium, however, may cause redness and inflammation.  

A pterygium can progressively grow onto the cornea (the clear, outer layer of the eye). This can distort the shape of the cornea, causing a condition called an astigmatism. The result can be blurred vision

In Kurtis's case his pterygium started off as a pinguecula and in five years time it became a large pterygium.  Spreading from the white of his eye, across the iris and eventually onto the pupil.  This led to a costly surgery and left him feeling like he had an eye lash in his eye for the next year.  He also mentioned he lost some vision in his eye.  

Corky Carroll a professional surfer also claims the same minor loss of vision after his surgery.  At last count Corky has had 4 pterygium surgeries.  Yes, if left unprotected they can grow back.

Symptoms of pterygium may include:

  • Burning
  • Gritty feeling
  • Itching
  • Sensation of a foreign body in the eye
  • Blurred vision

Causes of Pterygium

Most experts believe that significant risk factors include:

  • Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light - Surfing, kiteboarding, kite surfing and SUP surfers experience this every session.
  • Dry Eye
  • Irritants such as dust , surface spray and wind. 

Bottom line is see your eye doctor on a regular basis and protect your eyes in and out of the water.  Kurtis Surf Goggles were created with all aspects of surfing in mind.  They are 100%UV, polarized to avoid the glare, flexible for impact safety and they float.  They also come with a leash system so you don't need to chase after them in the impact zone.