Lions Eye Institute to trial medication option for Surfer’s Eye

Stock image.
Stock image.

NEDLANDS’ Lions Eye Institute (LEI) researchers will test whether eye drops could one day replace surgery as a treatment option for people with pterygium of the eye.

Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a fleshy growth on the surface of the eye caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors including exposure to sun, dust or wind.

The growth can be treated through surgery.

But the LEI clinical trials team, led by ophthalmologist Dr Jean-Louis deSousa, will test whether eye drops can reduce eye redness associated with the condition.

Dr deSousa said Australia had one of the highest rates of pterygia in the world, with 1.1 per cent of Australians affected, rising to 12 per cent in men over the age of 60.

“We need Western Australians with pterygium to participate in this important trial,” she said.

“We will be testing the potential of a medication called AG-86893, which is a reformulation of an existing drug called nintedanib, to reduce eye redness associated with pterygium with short term use as well as reducing new blood vessel growth and fibrosis that may contribute to the growth of pterygium with longer-term use.”

LEI will recruit trial participants until March 31.

For more information call 6382 0582.