What Is Melanoma?

Choroidal eye melanoma is the most common primary malignant intraocular tumor in adults. It is composed of melanocytes and arises from the blood-vessel layer (choroid) beneath the retina. Most patients are asymptomatic. Untreated, the melanoma can metastasize to other parts of the body (i.e. liver).  Such spread can be fatal.  Early detection and treatment is vital.

Ocular melanoma symptoms can include

  • Asymptomatic
  • Distorted vision
  • Floaters


Treatment will depend on the extent of the disease: external beam radiation therapy; iodine plaque therapy; removal of the eye (enucleation).

Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment is when the retina peels away from the underlying tissue.  The retina is a light sensitive layer of tissue that sends visual images to the brain.  Detachment of this tissue can lead to severe vision loss.  There are a variety of causes for a detachment.  Quite often there are tears that occur because of aging.  The vitreous gel may also shrink and pull on the retina causing a tear or hole. Nearsightedness, previous intraocular surgery, previous retinal detachment in your other eye and family history of retinal detachment all increase the risk of a detachment.

Detached Retina Symptoms Can Include

  • Sudden flashes of light
  • Floaters
  • Sensation of a dark shadow or curtain covering the visual field
  • Vision loss


Treatment depends on the severity of the disease.  Your ophthalmologist will discuss the different treatment options with you: laser surgery, cryotherapy, scleral buckle placement, vitrectomy.

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