Got An Eye Freckle?
While many people have or have had freckles, most have never heard of an eye freckle. An eye freckle is in many ways like a skin freckle in that it is a discolored spot, in this case a spot on the iris of the eye.
You'll Probably Never See Your Own Freckle - An eye freckle is usually to small to be seen with the naked eye, and if you never visit and ophthalmologist, you'll probably never know if you have one or not. The ophthalmologist will know, as he or she will be able to observe them in the course of an eye examination. Note that we are talking about ophthalmologists here, eye doctors who examine your eyes, and not optometrists who fit you for glasses. An optometrist may or may not notice if you have an eye freckle, but an ophthalmologist most certainly will.
Can an eye freckle be harmful? The answer is it can, but rarely is. The eye freckle is a change in pigmentation, but like a freckle on your skin, it can happen that this mere speck of discolored pigmentation could grow in size and in some cases become malignant. Once an eye freckle is discovered, your ophthalmologist will take a look at it every time you go in for an eye examination, which should be done annually if there are any signs of trouble.
In most cases, nothing is going to occur, and you can peacefully coexist with your eye freckle throughout the rest of your life. Depending however, upon just where the freckle is located, should it increase in size, your vision could be affected. An increase in size of the freckle does not necessarily indicate a malignancy, but the situation should certainly be closely watched. If the freckle starts giving you vision problems it should be removed, as the condition will get worse and not better. Removal of an eye freckle is normally accomplished by laser surgery, and is generally effective, although since the iris is involved, a small loss of vision could occur. A small loss of vision is a small price to pay to avoid the consequences of letting the freckle continue to grow, with malignancy always a possibility.
Cells Cluster But No One Knows Why - Exactly what causes an eye freckle is not known. The choroid, a membrane supporting the retina of the eye, is full of pigment cells, making your eyes blue, brown, hazel, or whatever color you have. For some unknown reason, some of these pigment cells will cluster together in an abnormal manner, forming a freckle. This freckle has a name. It's called a choroidal nevi. These are much more common than one might think, given the fact that most people have never heard of them, much less being completely unaware of their presence. Few people are born with them. Eye freckles tend to form, if they do at all, about the same time other freckles come along, although there does not seem to be any relationship between eye freckles and skin freckles. By the time a person reaches adulthood, he or she will quite possibly have developed one or more eye freckles, but will never now it unless an ophthalmologist points it out.
Not Just Another Thing To Worry About – An eye freckle is not just one more thing to worry about. You really shouldn't worry about them at all, and if you do go in for periodic eye exams you can have peace of mind in knowing that the eye doctor will be watching the situation and should be prepared to take action should the need ever arise. And it probably won't.