Pterygium is a relatively common ocular surface disease. The clinical aspects and the treatment options have been studied since many years ago, but many uncertainties still exist. The core pathologic pathway and the role of heredity in the development of pterygium are still attractive fields for the researchers. The role of pterygium in corneal irregularities, in addition to the refractive properties of pterygium removal, has been increasingly recognized through numerous studies. The association between pterygium and ocular surface neoplasia is challenging the traditional beliefs regarding the safe profile of the disease. The need for a comprehensive clinical classification system has encouraged homogenization of trials and prediction of the recurrence rate of the pterygium following surgical removal. Evolving surgical methods have been associated with some complications, whose diagnosis and management are necessary for ophthalmic surgeons. According to the review, the main risk factor of pterygium progression remains to be the ultraviolet exposure. A major part of the clinical evaluation should consist of differentiating between typical and atypical pterygia, where the latter may be associated with the risk of ocular surface neoplasia. The effect of pterygium on astigmatism and the aberrations of the cornea may evoke the need for an early removal with a purpose of reducing secondary refractive error. Among the surgical methods, conjunctival or conjunctival-limbal autografting seems to be the first choice for ophthalmic surgeons because the recurrence rate following the procedure has been reported to be lower, compared with other procedures. The use of adjuvant options is supported in the literature, where intraoperative and postoperative mitomycin C has been the adjuvant treatment of choice. The efficacy and safety of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents and cyclosporine have been postulated; however, their exact role in the treatment of the pterygium requires further studies.
© The Author(s), 2021.