Eye melanoma

Melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Your eyes also have melanin-producing cells and can develop melanoma. Eye melanoma is also called ocular melanoma.

Most eye melanomas form in the part of the eye you can't see when looking in a mirror. This makes eye melanoma difficult to detect. In addition, eye melanoma typically doesn't cause early signs or symptoms.

Treatment is available for eye melanomas. Treatments for some small eye melanomas may not interfere with your vision. However, treatment for large eye melanomas typically causes some vision loss.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Eye melanoma may not cause signs and symptoms. When they do occur, signs and symptoms of eye melanoma can include:

  • A growing dark spot on the iris
  • A sensation of flashing lights
  • A change in the shape of the dark circle (pupil) at the center of your eye
  • Poor or blurry vision in one eye
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Sensation of flashes and specs of dust in your vision (floaters)

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. Sudden changes in your vision signal an emergency, so seek immediate care in those situations.

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