Does the term ocular melanoma ring a bell? You may remember hearing about it associated with Auburn University. It was a hot topic last year as researchers tried to figure out if almost 40 people diagnosed with this rare cancer who attended Auburn University in the 1980s and 1990s were linked.
What is Ocular Melanoma?
Ocular Melanoma is a cancer that develops in the eye from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. These tumors can form in the conjunctiva (the layer over the white part of your eye), the iris (what you think of as your “eye color”), the choroid (behind the retina in the back of your eye), or the ciliary body (connects the iris and choroid). It is unknown what causes these cancers, but they’re more common in people with fair skin and light eyes.
What are the Symptoms of Ocular Melanoma?
Ocular melanoma usually doesn’t cause any symptoms, and many people don’t know they have it when they are diagnosed. Conunctival or Iris Melanomas can sometimes be seen in the mirror as a dark spot on the front of the eye. Some other possible symptoms are distorted or missing parts of your vision and/or seeing flashes of light.
How is Ocular Melanoma Diagnosed?
Most ocular melanomas are in parts of the eye that can’t be seen without special equipment. So how do you know if you have it? Many are found by optometrists in routine eye exams, so get your eyes checked yearly!
Check out the testimonial video at https://www.facebook.com/rcityeyecare/ regarding ocular melanoma. If you have concerns or questions please contact your optometrist. If you need a local optometrist, we invite you to join the R City Family!