A tumor inside your eye is caused by the abnormal growth and multiplication of cells that form a mass inside the eye. Ocular tumors are not always malignant – they can also be benign (not life-threatening). Ocular tumors can be detected during routine eye exams and should be monitored closely and treated, when necessary, by a retina specialist.
Common Types of Ocular Tumors
- Choroidal melanoma: the most common type of malignant ocular tumor that affects the pigment-producing cells in the choroid of the eye
- Choroidal osteoma: this is a benign tumor that commonly affects females that is comprised of bony tissue
- Choroidal hemangioma: another type of benign tumor that grows on the blood vessel layer of the retina and can leak fluid
- Metastatic: cancer cells that have spread from where they initially formed in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, breasts, prostate, etc., and the cancer cells will be the same type as the primary tumor
- Malignant uveal melanoma: the melanin-producing cells in your eyes develop melanoma commonly in the middle layer of the eye (uvea) that contains the iris (colored area), choroid (blood vessels and connective tissue) and ciliary (are that secretes liquid into the eye)
Symptoms of Ocular Tumors
Certain types of ocular tumors such as choroidal melanoma have no symptoms. However, you may experience certain symptoms with other types of ocular tumors such as:
- Loss of vision
- Visual distortion
- Flashes of light
- Iris discoloration
- Pupil shape distortion
- Brown spot on the outside of the eye
Risk Factors for Ocular Tumors
The risk factors vary depending on the type of tumor. For example, ocular melanoma is more prevalent in people with light colored eyes and skin color, those with excess exposure to UV light, aging and certain skin disorders. Genetic mutations also play a factor in the formation of ocular tumors. Moles in the eye may increase your risk of ocular tumors.
Treatment for Ocular Tumors
Ocular tumors can be treated through radiation and chemotherapy as well as through photodynamic therapy. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to perform enucleation (removal of the eye) if radiation therapy will be too aggressive.
To learn more about diagnosis and treatments for tumors of the eye in Renton, WA, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Call (425) 228-6262 or click here.