BMJ Case Reports 2014; doi:10.1136/bcr-2014-203896

A radical treatment for surfer's eye

Editor's Choice
  1. Thomas Gordon Campbell1,2
  1. 1School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Gordon Campbell, thomasgordoncampbell{at}
  • Accepted 4 March 2014
  • Published 26 March 2014


In the world of surfing, a pterygium—a band of fibrous tissue that extends from the conjunctival surface on to the cornea—is common enough have acquired the moniker ‘surfer's eye’. Pterygia can encroach on the visual axis or cause a foreign body sensation in the eye, at which stage surgical removal of the pterygium and coverage of the area with a conjunctival auto-graft is recommended.

Waimea Bay in Hawai'i is the undisputed epicentre of big wave surfing. Waves at ‘The Bay’ can exceed 15 m in height and …

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