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Should I Worry About a Freckle in My Eye?

So, you were diagnosed with an eye freckle… what’s next?

Any time you receive a diagnosis from your doctor, it can feel scary. Luckily, there are some conditions, like eye freckles, that do not necessarily create cause for concern when properly treated.

What is an eye freckle?

A choroidal nevus is shown on the sclera.

Photo © American Academy of Ophthalmology

An eye freckle, also known as a choroidal nevus, is a dark, benign spot or lesion that appears on the choroid, which is a layer of blood vessels and connective tissue in the eye. The choroid is located between the retina and the sclera, which is the white outer part of the eye.

Choroidal nevi can vary in size, shape, and color, and may be detected during a routine eye exam. They are typically harmless and do not require treatment, although they may be monitored by an eye doctor for any changes over time. In rare cases, a choroidal nevus can develop into a cancerous tumor called a choroidal melanoma, so it’s important to have regular eye exams to monitor any changes in the eye.

Are eye freckles dangerous?

Most eye freckles, also known as choroidal nevi, are not dangerous and do not require treatment. They are typically benign, or non-cancerous, and may be present in up to 10% of the general population. However, in rare cases, a choroidal nevus can develop into a cancerous tumor called a choroidal melanoma.

It is not necessarily the case that having an eye freckle, also known as a choroidal nevus, will lead to glaucoma. However, individuals with choroidal nevi may have a slightly increased risk of developing glaucoma compared to those without nevi. This is because choroidal nevi can cause changes in the eye’s anatomy and blood flow, which can increase the risk of glaucoma. However, many people with eye freckles never develop glaucoma, and the vast majority of choroidal nevi are benign and do not require treatment.

How can I take care of my eyes now that I know about this?

It’s important to have regular eye exams with your eye doctor to monitor any changes in the eye, including the appearance or growth of a choroidal nevus. Our team can provide ongoing monitoring and treatment of eye freckles and other conditions to make sure your eyes stay healthy for years to come!