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Can you Develop Melanoma in Your Eye?

Eye melanoma which is also called ocular melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment. Pigment is the substance that gives color to your skin, hair and eyes. Just as you can develop melanoma on your skin, you can also develop it inside your eye or on your conjunctiva.

According to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, Ocular melanoma is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults. It is diagnosed in about 2,000 adults every year in the United States and occurs most often in lightly pigmented individuals with a median age of 55 years. However, it can occur in all races and at any age.

Signs of intraocular melanoma include:
-Blurred vision or other vision problems
-Floaters and/or flashes of light.
-A dark spot on the iris.
-A change in the size or shape of the pupil.

Certain factors increase your risk for developing melanoma:
-Exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight over long periods of time may cause a melanoma
on the surface of the eye.
-Having light-colored eyes (blue or green eyes).
-Having certain inherited skin conditions, such as dysplastic nevus syndrome, which cause abnormal
moles.
-Abnormal skin pigmentation involving the eyelids.
-Increased pigmentation on the uvea.
-Having a mole in the eye and/or on the eye’s surface.

If you would like a full comprehensive eye exam call Griffin Eye Center at 843-449-6414 or toll free 888-570-5789. Our Ophthalmologists, Neil Griffin, M.D., Reuben Tipton, M.D., and doctor Shawn D. Thomas are committed to providing world class technology and the most advanced vision diagnostics and surgical technologies. For more information visit GRIFFINEYECENTER.COM.