The Symptoms of Ocular Tumors
Tumors can develop anywhere in the body, including the eyes. Sometimes these tumors are benign and cause no problems to vision or general health. In other cases, these tumors can be malignant and lead to vision loss or death. At Retina Associates, we offer a wide range of services to diagnose and treat retinal conditions, including ocular tumors.
Being aware of the symptoms of ocular tumors is a good way to know when to seek treatment. If you notice ocular tumor symptoms, it's important to contact Retina Associates, serving the Kansas City, MO area, to undergo a thorough eye exam. Now let's take a moment to consider some common symptoms of ocular tumors.
Symptoms of Ocular Tumors
There are different types of ocular tumors. Some are benign, while others may be malignant. Because there are different types of ocular tumors, symptoms can vary or may not be present until the tumor becomes more severe. In other cases, there may never be any symptoms. With that said, let's take a closer look at the symptoms of some common types of ocular tumors.
Ocular Melanoma Symptoms
Also called choroidal melanoma, ocular melanoma is a malignant cancer that develops as a result of uncontrolled cell growth within the eye. If left untreated, ocular melanoma can spread to other organs and become fatal.
Some symptoms of ocular melanoma include:
- Blurry vision
- Blind spots
- Light flashes
- Floating black spots
- Loss of eyesight
- Change in pupil shape
Retinoblastoma is a cancer that forms in the retina and most commonly affects children under the age of five. Retinoblastoma is easily treated provided that it's caught soon enough, but can be fatal if left untreated.
One of the first symptoms parents may notice when retinoblastoma is present is the pupil appearing white when a flash is used to take a photograph or a light is shined on the eye. Other symptoms of retinoblastoma may include:
- Eye redness
- Eye swelling
- Strabismus, a condition in which the eyes do not look in the same direction at the same time
Choroidal Nevus Symptoms
A choroidal nevus is a mass that develops on the conjunctiva, the mucus membrane that covers the surface of the eye. Sometimes called an eye freckle, a choroidal nevus may remain benign or develop into melanoma.
Benign choroidal nevi often present no symptoms. In rare occasions, a choroidal nevus may leak fluid or be joined to a neovascularization, or an abnormal growth of blood vessels. This may lead to such symptoms as:
- Flashing lights
- Loss of vision
General Ocular Tumor Symptoms
Ocular tumors may also develop as a result of cancers from other parts of the body spreading to the eyes. Some cancers that may affect the eyes include breast cancer, bowel cancer, and lung cancer.
Some general symptoms of other ocular tumors to be aware of include:
- Blurry or distorted vision
- Blind spots
- Decreased peripheral vision
- Complete vision loss
- Eye pain
- Red eye
- White pupils
Seek Treatment for Ocular Tumors
Depending on the type of ocular tumor, treatment may include radiation therapy, laser treatment to target the tumor, or surgery to remove the tumor or the whole eye. Benign ocular tumors may simply need to be regularly monitored to ensure they pose no threat to vision or life.
If you notice any of the signs of an ocular tumor, you are encouraged to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians today.