Ocular melanoma is a malignant cancer that can possibly multiply (propagate) to other parts of the body, most frequently to the pancreas. People with intraocular melanoma often have few or no symptoms. During several instances, an eye specialist finds the tumor during a routine eye assessment. The most widespread warning sign is a painless loss of vision.
Eye melanoma symptoms typically depend on the exact location, size of the tumor within the eye, and if the tumor is causing secondary effects to the retina. In many instances, the symptoms remain clinically silent.
What Are The First Symptoms Of Ocular Melanoma?
Ocular melanoma in its initial phases may not produce any warning signs. Since most cancers grow in the portion of the eye you cannot notice, you might not realize that you have a malignancy. In fact, individuals with choroidal or ciliary body cancer don’t show any symptoms at all.
However, when the tumor starts to develop it can cause floating black spots, light flashes, or loss of eyesight. It occasionally modifies the structure of your pupil (the opening in the center of your eye).1 Some of the common symptoms experienced in patients with ocular melanoma include:
Having Trouble Seeing- Small eye melanomas can cause some vision loss if they occur in critical parts of the eye. You may have a problem spotting the objects from the center of your vision and/or on the periphery.
Watery Eyes- When you are affected with this condition, your tear ducts become blocked, your eye may tear up, hurts and looks red and turns sensitive to light.
Blurred Or Distorted Vision – Symptoms of a primary ocular melanoma tumor typically include blurred vision that may be diagnosed during a routine eye test by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
A Growing Dark Spot On The Iris – A brown spot on the eye is an abnormal brown growth on the eye, usually on the conjunctiva or iris. When this happens, patients may notice headaches or cloudy vision after exercise.
In very rare cases, it can leak fluid and lead to flashing lights or vision loss. If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, seek immediate medical attention.2,3
How Do You Test For Ocular Melanoma?
Early identification, analysis, and therapy of ocular melanoma are most important for a great outcome. Ophthalmologists often observe a malignancy during a regular eye assessment because the cancers generally are bleaker than the area over them or leakage liquid.
They will make use of ophthalmoscopy to investigate the interior of the iris, involving the retina, the optic nerve, and the lens. This procedure can be direct or indirect.4
Indirect Ophthalmoscopy- This examination is conducted to inspect the fundus or back of the eye. The eye specialist investigates the choroidal polyp growth by researching indirect ophthalmoscope pictures of hard black grounds implanted in the suprachoroidal space of human eyes.
Direct Ophthalmoscopy- This provides a good but limited visualization of the back of the eye. This procedure can screen for eye diseases and conditions that can affect blood vessels.
Gonioscopy Lens – This is a special type of lens held to a patient’s eye for a gonioscopy exam. It assesses the sign of elevated pressure in the eye or increased episcleral pressure. Gonioscopy is often suggested for patients who have pigmentary dispersion syndrome, narrow anterior chamber, ocular hypertension, and eye trauma.5,6
In rare cases, when these tests don’t give a definite answer, your doctor might suggest for ocular melanoma biopsy (take some tissue from your eye to get a closer look under a microscope.)
- Eye melanoma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eye-melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372371
- Ocular Melanoma Symptoms – American Academy of Ophthalmology https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/ocular-melanoma-symptoms
- Eye Cancer: Ocular Melanoma Symptoms, Treatment and Risks https://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/ocular-melanoma#1
- Tests for Eye Cancer – American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/cancer/eye-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/tests.html
- Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging https://www.cancer.org/cancer/eye-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging.html
- Ocular Melanoma Screening & Diagnosis https://cancer.osu.edu/cancer-specialties/cancer-care-and-treatment/ocular-melanoma/screening-and-diagnosis