Journal List > Yonsei Med J > v.18(2) > 1028068

Kwon and Choi: A Study of Pterygium on Cheju Island


Pterygium is said to be a common disease in many countries. The etiology of pterygium has given rise to much discussion; anatomic, neoplastic inflammatory and degenerative theories have been proposed but its geographical incidence makes it almost necessary to assume that environmental irritation must have something to do with its development. It is generally thought that the pterygium is provoked by irritating substances entering the eye. This may be true, but what that substance is remains obscure.
It is a condition found chiefly in the sunny, hot, dusty regions of the world ,mostly between the latitudes of 37° north and south of the equator. The incidence a1so varies with the amount of exposure to these climatic conditions. It is thus most common in workers out-of-doors and therefore more among men than women (at least 2 to 1) except in localities where the exposure of the two sexes is equal.
Cheju Island is located approximate1y between 33° and 33° 30' north latitudes. The climatic conditions of this island are characterized by sunny, high temperature, high winds and humid areas.
We have observed that the inhabitants of the north coast of Cheju Island are frequent1y affected with pterygia. The 112 cases of clinical pterygia among 969 adult out-patients at the eye clinic of Lazarus Hospital in Cheju City from August 1, 1976 to April 30, 1977 were evaluated statistically. The incidence of pterygium evaluated in Lazarus Eye Clinic was remarkably high (11.56%) as compared with other reports.

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