Clinical Services


What is Pterygium?

Pterygium, sometimes called surfer’s eye, is a benign legion that starts in the clear, thin tissue of the eye. This noncancerous growth covers the white part of the eye, called the sclera, and extends onto the cornea. It is often slightly raised and contains visible blood vessels. Pterygium may occur in one or both eyes.

Causes of Pterygium

Pterygium is thought to be caused by prolonged exposure ultraviolet light. It is more likely to occur among men ages 20 to 40 who live in warm climates and spend considerable time outdoors in sunny or windy environments. Sunlight, dust, and wind are all potential causes. Inflammation and dryness may also be factors. 

Symptoms of Pterygium

The main symptom is a pink, fleshy growth on the clear tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the eyeball. It often forms on the side closest to the nose and grows toward the pupil. Pterygium can cause irritation, burning, itching, and redness. Your eye may feel gritty or like it has something in it. It can cause blurry or double vision, as well as a general decline in vision.

Diagnosis of Pterygium

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and conduct a slit-lamp exam. In some cases, the lesion will need to be examined and tested.

Treatment of Pterygium

Pterygium does not always require treatment. Both over-the-counter and prescription eye drops might help reduce pain, redness, itching, and swelling. If it reduces vision or causes persistent irritation, you may wish to discuss surgical options with your Cizik Eye Clinic doctor. Surgery is usually only considered when other treatment options have failed and your eyesight is at risk.

During surgery, your doctor may graft healthy tissue into your eye or may use a medication to help prevent scar tissue from forming. Recovery typically only takes a few days, but the growth could return in the first year, so your doctors will want to monitor you closely.

What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic

The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.

People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.

Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.

Contact Us

At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.