Spyros Papaspyropoulos via Flickr

Spyros Papaspyropoulos via Flickr

Nothing works to get you noticed like having red eyes. People will constantly quiz you about it, doing their best to bring it to your attention. Probably not the type of attention you had in mind.

This unwanted attention pushes people affected by red eyes to use Visine to “get the red out”. Not the best idea in my opinion. I equate it to sweeping the dirt under the carpet rather than in a dust pan. We should aim to treat the cause of the red eye instead.

There are probably a 100 reasons for a red eye (that was an exaggeration by the way) but one that I confront pretty regularly is from a condition called Pterygium (pronounced terygium).

It’s a fleshy growth from either the side of the eye that causes redness in the eye. Pterygium are usually painless but on rare occasion could cause some discomfort in the affected eye.

You are more likely to get a pterygium if you have any bit of pigment in your skin. Sun exposure over long periods of time is the primary cause of this fleshy growth in the eye.


Wear your sunglasses often.



If you insist, the fleshy growth can be shaved off surgically but there is a pretty good chance that it will grow back at a faster rate.

About the author


Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.

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