Relief for Human Suffering Foundation


Pterygium: A Silent Threat to Vision in Developing Countries!

Pterygium is a largely unknown but widespread eye condition that silently impacts the lives of many in developing countries, with a particular prevalence in Africa. Characterized by the growth of a pinkish, triangular tissue over the white part of the eye, pterygium can cause discomfort, blurred vision, and, if left untreated, even blindness. 

The Global Perspective
While exact global statistics are not readily available, research indicates that pterygium is more common in regions with intense exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, such as sunny climates with global incidence estimated to be up to 53%. Developing countries, with their often harsh environmental conditions and limited access to eye care, bear a significant burden.

The African Challenge
Africa, with its vast expanse and diverse ecosystems, is no stranger to the challenges posed by pterygium. The continent’s warm and sunny climate, coupled with limited access to eye care services, makes it a hotspot for this condition. In our work across Africa, we’ve observed that for every 10 cataract cases we encounter, approximately 2 individuals also suffer from pterygium incidence estimated at up to 39%.

Raising Awareness and Making a Difference
Awareness is the first step toward addressing the issue of pterygium in developing countries. By shedding light on this condition, we can encourage early detection and timely treatment. Your support can make a significant impact in providing access to quality eye care and preventing needless visual impairments.

Reference: Kassie Alemayehu, Yezinash Addis et al, Prevalence and Associated Factors of Pterygium Among Adult living in Kolla Diba Town, Northwest Ethiopia