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October 1960

The Effects of Pterygium Surgery on Refraction and Corneal Curvature

Author Affiliations

Vancouver, Wash.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(4):553-557. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010555012

The symptoms associated with pterygium formation are multiple. These complaints may range from burning of the eyes to decreased vision and eye strain. Yet many individuals have no complaint at all except for the fear of "a cataract growing over their eye" and the cosmetic disfigurement of a pterygium. Textbooks on refraction1,2 state that diseases of the cornea and tumors of the lids may change the corneal curvature and astigmatism. Pterygium is not specifically mentioned in these books. Few studies have been carried out to determine what changes in the corneal curvature and refraction are produced from pterygium.3-6,8 Amsler7 has demonstrated by using the Placido disc that the curvature of the cornea is altered before the pterygium actually invades the optical zone of the cornea. Pavisic8 measured the corneal curvatures in 64 cases of pterygium before and after surgery. In 70% of these cases, the removal