Pterygiums are triangular overgrowths of the membrane covering the white of the eye called the conjunctiva. This conjunctiva normally only covers the white of the eye but when it grows and invades onto the clear cornea of the eye, we call this a pterygium. It is strongly associated with exposure to UV radiation and hot, dry climates. It is not a cancer and is thus not dangerous but all growths should be checked out to make sure it is not. If the pterygium does grow into the central cornea then the vision can be disturbed and surgical removal may need to be considered. The best protection against pterygiums is prevention by wearing sunglasses whenever outdoors as well as a brimmed hat.

retinal detachments

Most commonly caused by trauma, retinal detachments can lead to irreversible vision loss if not detected and treated early. The retina can be compared to the ‘film in a camera’ and once it is detached from the eye the tissue quickly dies and vision can not be restored once this occurs. High amounts of myopia (short-sightedness) can also increase the risk of retinal detachment and so any person with a moderate to high amount of myopia should be routinely examined for weaknesses in the retina. The most common signs of a retinal detachment are flashing lights and black spots or floaters in your vision. If you are witnessing any of these signs than you need to have your eyes checked as a matter of urgency.