Your eye doctor has told you that you have a “freckle” in the back of your eye, called a choroidal nevus. What does this mean and how does this affect you in the future?
Many of us have freckles on various parts of our body. A freckle is a collection of pigmented cells. Your primary care doctor or dermatologist monitors the size and shape of these pigmented spots during your regularly scheduled visits. During many routine ocular exams, these freckles can be found in the back of the eye. When a freckle is located in the back of the eye, it is called a choroidal nevus. Because it is impossible to monitor a choroidal nevus without an ocular exam, if your doctor does find a freckle in the back of your eye, you may be advised to return for scheduled follow up visits to monitor for changes in the nevus. It is also possible to get a nevus or freckle on different parts of the eye. For example, you can have an iris nevus, which is a freckle on the colored portion of your eye. These should all be monitored regularly for any signs of changes. If at any time your doctor is suspicious of change, you may be referred to a retinal specialist for further evaluation.
A choroidal nevus usually has no apparent symptoms for the patient. You can also have a nevus in different parts of the eye, as well. Only your eye doctor can properly diagnose and monitor your freckle. Although most choroidal nevi are harmless, there is a small percentage that progress to choroidal melanoma or cancer within the eye. This means that although rare, if your doctor diagnoses you with a freckle inside your eye, make sure that you return for your scheduled follow up visits!