Pterygium- Growth of Conjunctiva


Pterygium is a growth of the conjunctiva (mucus membrane covering the white part of th eye).  The growth is generally benign and is generally thought to be caused by sunlight, low humidity and dust accumulation.  It commonly looks like a triangular overgerowth of the cornea of the eye.  This condition is different than conjunctivitis.  


Generally in western medicine the only cure is surgery.  Surgery is only used in severe conditions where it covers the pupil obstructing ones vision or acute pain develops.  Using things like eye drops often decrease the  discomfort associated with this condition. 


In conditions where it is not severe herbal formulas can help decrease the progression of this disorder and in theory offer a cure for pterygium.  


Below are a couple of example formulas to treat pterygium.   


Heart Heat Accumulation

Acute or chronic condition of pterygium where the eyes are red, itchy and accompanied with a burning type sensation.  There may be excessive tearing with thick tears.  There is a red face, difficult sleep, yellow urination and possible palpitations. 

Herbal Formula: Dao Chi San or Xie Xin Tang


Damp Heat Accumulation:

This type of ptergium has excessive amounts of discharge from th eye which is yellow and crusts at the corners of the eye.  The eyes will have a warm or burning discomfort along with a red and swollen face, mild fever, body aches and possible loose stool.  

Herbal Formula:  Gan Lu Xiao Du Yin


For long term use or chronic conditions where there is dryness of the eye and easily irritated a formula like Qi Ju Di Huang Wan may be of use.


Preventing Pterygium:

Because the cause is thought to be exposure to sun light, dryness and debris (such as sand or dust) limiting the exposure to these things should benefit.  Keeping the eye clean, moist and decreasing sunlight exposure is key.   

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