Eye melanoma is a rare form of cancer and hence doesn’t have any widely accepted screening tests. Screening tests help in detecting diseases, like cancer in people that have no outwardly symptom. There are a few types of eye cancers that your ophthalmologist or eye doctor may be able to detect early.
Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan, provides advanced eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding communities.
How is Eye Melanoma Detected?
Yearly eye exams are recommended by many doctors for those at risk of contracting eye melanoma. This includes people with BAP1 cancer syndrome or dysplastic nevus syndrome. Routine eye exam can usually detect the presence of melanoma of the eye. The doctor may notice a dark spot while looking through the pupil into the eye. This dark spot can be early melanoma.
Most doctors believe that eye melanoma begins as a benign mole or nevus. This nevus can be described as a non-cancerous tumor comprising of pigment cells. You should get routine checks from your ophthalmologist if such a benign tumor has been found in the eye. The same holds true for people finding a dark spot on their iris or the colored part of the eye.
Eye Cancer Symptoms
Most people with melanoma of the eye don’t show symptoms unless the tumor starts spreading or the cancer becomes more advanced. Few signs and symptoms you should watch out for include:
- Sudden loss of vision
- Blurry vision
- Squiggles or spots drifting in the line of vision called floaters
- Light flashes
- Visual field loss
- Change in the shape or size of the pupil
- Growing dark spot on the iris
- Bulging of the eye
- Change in eyeball position or the way it moves within the socket
There are several causes of developing dark spots in the eye. For instance, with age, floaters become quite common in the eye. However, it is recommended that you visit a doctor right away if you notice any dark spots or other symptoms. This way your cancer can be treated early, and your eye and vision can be saved.
If you allow your eye melanoma to spread, it may involve removal of certain parts of the eye. This will require a reconstructive surgery from an experienced oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon. Pain in the case of eye melanoma is rare unless the tumor spreads to the outside portion of the eye.
Preventing Eye Melanoma
There is a direct link between melanomas of the skin and sunlight. There are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of eye melanoma. For starters, you can limit exposure to intense sunlight. The American Cancer Society recommends wearing UV-protected wrap-around sunglasses.
Sunglasses with 99% to 100% UVA and UVB absorption offer the best protection against eye melanoma. These glasses can also help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer around the eyes. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for safe and proven eye care treatments.
Contact Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics and Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan Today to Schedule an Appointment
Offices in Dallas, Plano and Austin, Texas.