Most patients have no symptoms from the pterygium except that they may be aware that there is a small piece of reddish tissue growing over the coloured part of the eye from the white of the eye.
In some patients, this pterygium may become red and inflamed in irritating circumstances, such as smoke-filled rooms, airconditioning, lack of sleep, sunlight etc.
In a very small percentage of patients, the pterygium may actually interfere and reduce vision by pulling on the cornea (crystal window of the eye) and deforming it (astigmatism), or by actually coming so close to the line of vision that it interferes with vision.
In an extremely small number of patients, the pterygium may actually prevent the eye from moving fully in all directions, particularly in the direction towards the ear.
It is frequently a cosmetic blemish.