How to Diagnose and Treat Ocular Tumors

Ocular tumors are tumors inside the eye. Like other types of cancer, these tumors are collections of cells that grow and multiply abnormally. They can be benign or malignant. Eye tumors typically develop in the middle layer of your eye, which includes the iris, choroid layer and ciliary body.

Let’s learn more about how an ocular tumor, otherwise known as eye melanoma, is diagnosed and treated.

How to Tell if You Might Have an Ocular Tumor

Eye tumors may not cause signs and symptoms. This is why it’s important to schedule regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist. If symptoms do occur, they typically present themselves in the following manner:

  • Flashes or specks of dust in your vision
  • Growing dark spot on the iris
  • Change in shape of the pupil
  • Poor or blurry vision in one eye
  • Loss of side vision

If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Even if it’s not an ocular tumor, these are signs that something is wrong with your vision.

Diagnostic Tests for Eye Tumors

Your eye doctor may recommend a series of tests to diagnose an eye tumor. These include:

  • Eye exam. A routine eye exam will look for enlarged blood vessels that can indicate a tumor inside the eye.
  • Eye ultrasound. An eye ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your eye.
  • Angiogram. During an angiogram, a colored dye is injected into a vein in your arm, then travels to the blood vessels in the eye. A camera then takes pictures.
  • Optical coherence tomography. This imaging test takes pictures of the uveal tract and retina.
  • Biopsy. To determine if the tumor contains cancerous cells, your doctor may take a sample of eye tissue to have tested in the laboratory.

Your eye doctor may also order additional tests to make sure the cancer has not spread to other parts of your body.

How to Treat Eye Melanoma

Your treatment will depend on the location and size of your ocular tumor. Some tumors don’t require any immediate treatment. Instead, your eye doctor will watch it for signs of growth. If the tumor does grow, they’ll recommend a course of treatment. Your options may include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Laser treatment
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Cold treatments
  • Surgery to remove the tumor

Get Treatment for an Ocular Tumor

If you suspect that you may have eye melanoma, schedule an appointment with Empire Retina Consultants. Our retina specialists will do thorough testing and provide you with an accurate diagnosis. While it is scary to have an eye tumor, an early diagnosis can preserve your vision – and perhaps even save your life.