A nevus is a common growth, similar to a mole on your skin, and sometimes referred to as an “eye freckle”. The same type of cells that produce pigment in skin, hair, and eyes causes a nevus; these are known as melanocytes and happen naturally.
Like a mole, a nevus will be slightly pigmented, adding a small dark spot on the eye, and is usually harmless (benign).
A nevus can form in the front of the eye, around the iris, or beneath the retina in the back of the eye, which is known as a choroidal nevus.
Additionally, a choroidal nevus also poses the risk of developing into a malignant melanoma, eye cancer. It’s recommended that you schedule regular eye exams with your retina specialist in order to monitor and document signs of growth.
Symptoms of Choroidal Nevus
A choroidal nevus is usually asymptomatic – there are no noticeable symptoms.
Causes of Choroidal Nevus
A nevus develops naturally from birth and continues to develop until between the ages of 25 and 50.
On average, Caucasians are more likely to develop a nevus.
Diagnosing Choroidal Nevus
A choroidal nevus can be detected during a dilated eye exam.
Additional testing including the use of an ultrasound of the eye, an angiogram of the inside of the eye, or specialized photography may be needed to document the size of the nevus. Your retinal specialist will schedule a follow up examination to determine if it has changed or is staying the same.
Once diagnosed with a choroidal nevus, it is important that you schedule a regular eye exam at least once every year, even if no symptoms of vision loss are present. This will ensure that your retina specialist can identify the formation of abnormal blood vessels, leaking fluids, or additional growth.
Treatment of Choroidal Nevus
A benign choroidal nevus does not require any treatment.
If you have a choroidal nevus, schedule an eye exam at least once a year in order to monitor any signs of growth.