Pterygium (pronounced tur-IJ-ee-um) is a common eye condition that affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Because it often affects surfers, it is also known as surfer’s eye. It can affect anyone, though, even children who don’t wear sunglasses outside.
People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye. The growth usually forms on the side closest to the nose and grows toward the center of the eye.
Pterygium is usually not a serious condition. It can, though, 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.