The key difference between pterygium and pseudopterygium is that pterygium is a condition that causes fleshy overgrowth of the conjunctiva in the eye, while pseudopterygium is a condition that causes adhesion of the conjunctiva to the peripheral cornea.
Pterygium and pseudopterygium are two different ocular surface disorders. However, they are different eye diseases with different aetiologies. Pterygium is a degenerative condition that is common in adults, whereas pseudopterygium is an inflammatory condition that can occur at any age.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye)
3. What is Pseudopterygium
4. Similarities – Pterygium and Pseudopterygium
5. Pterygium vs. Pseudopterygium in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Pterygium vs. Pseudopterygium
What is Pterygium?
Pterygium is also known as a surfer’s eye. It results in a raised, fleshy, triangular-shaped growth on the conjunctiva of the eye. Pterygium is caused by long-term exposure to UV radiation. Other than that, eye irritation from hot and dry weather, wind, and dust can also result in pterygium. Pterygium can happen to people who spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun. This condition is more commonly seen in older adults. The symptoms of this condition may include
- a slightly raised pink growth on the eye,
- red, swollen, or irritated eye,
- dry, itchy or burning eyes,
- feeling of having sand in the eye,
- teary eyes,
- growths that increase in size and spread to other regions,
- an unpleasant appearance of the eye due to the size of the growth,
- and blurred vision or double vision.
Pterygium can be diagnosed through slit lamp examination, visual acuity test, and corneal topography. Furthermore, treatment options for pterygium may include over-the-counter eye ointments or lubricating drops/artificial tears or decongestant drops, steroid eye drops or eye ointments to reduce pain, redness, itching and swelling, and surgery.
What is Pseudopterygium?
Pseudopterygium is a non-progressive conjunctival adhesion to the peripheral cornea. Chemical burns, marginal corneal ulcers, cicatrizing conjunctivitis, trauma, and surgery can cause this condition. Moreover, the symptoms of this condition may include adhesions between the scarred conjunctiva and the cornea, sclera, and red eye.
Pseudopterygium can be easily distinguished from other conditions, such as pterygium, by Bowman’s probe test. Furthermore, treatment options for pseudopterygium may include lysis of the adhesions, excision of the scarred conjunctival tissue, and coverage of the defect through a free conjunctival graft.
What are the Similarities Between Pterygium and Pseudopterygium?
- Pterygium and pseudopterygium are two different ocular surface disorders.
- Pseudopterygium is also known as cicatricial pterygium.
- Both conditions can be diagnosed through regular eye examinations.
- They can be treated through surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Pterygium and Pseudopterygium?
Pterygium is a condition that causes fleshy overgrowth of the conjunctiva in the eye, while pseudopterygium is a condition that causes adhesion of the conjunctiva to the peripheral cornea. Thus, this is the key difference between pterygium and pseudopterygium. Furthermore, pterygium is more common in adults, whereas pseudopterygium can occur at any age.
The infographic below presents the differences between pterygium and pseudopterygium in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Pterygium vs. Pseudopterygium
Ocular surface disorders cause damage to the surface layers of the eye, such as conjunctiva and cornea. Pterygium and pseudopterygium are two different ocular surface disorders. Pterygium is an ocular surface lesion occurring in the limbal conjunctiva with progressive involvement of the cornea. It is mainly due to exposure to UV radiation. Pseudopterygium is the conjunctival adhesion to the peripheral cornea that results from peripheral corneal ulcers and ocular surface inflammation, such as cicatrizing conjunctivitis, chemical burns, or chronic mechanical irritation. So, this summarizes the difference between pterygium and pseudopterygium.
1.“Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.” WebMD.
2. “Pseudopterygium.” Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. University of Iowa.