A pterygium is an abnormal wedge-shaped growth on the cornea of the eye. This elevated growth is the result of an abnormal process in which the conjunctiva grows into the cornea. It is not a cancer. The exact reason pterygia occur is not completely understood. However, long-term exposure to ultraviolet sunlight and chronic irritation from dry conditions seems to contribute to their development. Pterygia are more common in people who live in tropical environments.
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