Pterygium

A pterygium is a growth of fleshy or whitish tissue on the surface of the eye. It may cause irritation and discomfort; this may be aggravated by wind, air conditioning or smoke. A pterygium may interfere with contact lens wear. Large pterygia can affect eyesight.

Typically a pterygium starts growing near the inside of the eye, on the side of the nose. Less commonly pterygia grow on the outside, on the side of the ear. One or both eyes may be affected.

Pterygium
 
Typically a pterygium starts growing near the inside of the eye, on the side of the nose. Less commonly pterygia grow on the outside, on the side of the ear. One or both eyes may be affected.

A pingueculum is similar to a pterygium. It is a soft yellowish mass which is confined to the white of the eye.
 
Pterygium
 
Pterygia are most commonly seen in people who live in tropical climates and those who spend a lot of time in the sun.
 
Cancerous growths on the surface of the eye are uncommon but do occur and may mimic a pterygium.