A choroidal nevus is a flat, benign, pigmented area that appears in the back of the eye. Often, this is referred to as an “eye freckle.” Eye freckles are found in a small percentage of the population (approximately 1 in 10 people).
Causes of Choroidal Nevus
A choroidal nevus is made up of cells called melanocytes which produce melanin, the pigment that colors our hair, skin, and eyes. Most of the time, melanocytes are spread evenly throughout the body. Sometimes, however, they cluster together to form a choroidal nevus, which is found under the retina in a layer of tissue called the choroid.
Are there any dangers for choroidal nevus?
Most choroidal nevi are harmless; however, there is a small risk for it to become cancer (i.e. choroidal melanoma, see below). Statistically, 1 in 500 choroidal nevi will undergo transformation into a malignancy within a 10-year time frame. Clinical findings such as orange color, leakage of fluid underneath the retina, and growth in size could be early signs that the nevus is transforming into a melanoma. As such, a choroidal nevus needs to be monitored regularly and carefully by an ophthalmologist.
Choroidal Nevus Treatment Options
Most nevi do not need to be treated, as they do not typically affect your vision or lead to any health problems. The only reason that you may need treatment is if your ophthalmologist suspects it might be a choroidal melanoma. Thus, a detailed evaluation by a trained ocular oncologist is crucial.
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