March 06, 2012,
A.G. asks from Clinton, MA on March 01, 2011
Daughter Has Dark Spot on Her Eye Iris, What Is It?
my 3 yr old has this dark spot on one of her iris' (the outer ring of the colored part of her eye going out onto the sclera, the white part).. it isnt huge or anything but i can see it... i have never seen anyone else with a spot on that part of their eye and i am a little concerned but her next well child check up isnt until august.. i dont want to seem like a pain and call the md if it is nothing, but i am concerned, is it cancer?? it has been there for a few months now. if anyone can give me any thoughts i would appreciate it! thanks
C.M. answers from Dallas on March 02, 2011
R.J. answers from Seattle on March 02, 2011
Honey, make a doctor's appt.
It's probably nothing, but it's worth getting seen ((although they'll probably just refer you to a pediatric opthamologist (TOTALLY different from an optometrist, btw. Opthamologists are MDs with extra training just like OBs, Cardiac, Neurology, etc.) because an opthamologist has the equip/ experience to look at it and diagnose it)). ANY MD who thinks you're a pain for noticing something abnormal and bringing your child in to be looked at is an idiot. TRUST me, it will at least be *interesting*, because it's out of the ordinary. They're used to many parents bringing in a child 3 days in a row over a cold with a lowgrade fever and no other symptoms that they can't do anything about. And during cold/flu season ANYTHING that isn't flu-like-symptoms is a relief to find on the schedule.
Word to the wise: NEVER say the C word in a doctor's office unless you want the brushoff. Cancer is very difficult to diagnose just from "looking" at something (even lumps need biopsies). Just say you've noticed something strange about your daughter's eye an would like it checked out.
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R.N. answers from Grand Rapids on May 09, 2011
Definatly get it checked out by an eye doctor. My 6 year old niece went today after her doctor refered her to an eye doctor and other than the spot her eye is fine she has perfect vision, but they are concerned it is eaither a mole or cancer so she is going to a specialist to have it removed. It is your childs health I say don't worry about how insignificant others might think it is. If it is nothing, great, but you never know. Good Luck!
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K.C. answers from Los Angeles on March 01, 2011
I have a spot on my eye as well - half on the iris, half on the sclera. I've been told by two eye doctors that it is a "penguecula." Mine is more of a yellow color than a dark spot, so I'm not sure if your daughter's is the same. It is kind of like a permanent sunburn - damage caused by UV rays. Here is what Wikipedia says about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinguecula
I wouldn't wait until August to have her seen, just to be on the safe side and for your own peace of mind. I highly doubt it is cancer or anything to worry about, but I always think it is better to be safe.
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L.G. answers from Eugene on March 02, 2011
Look up Bernard Jensen's work. He has a diagnositic chart for all markings in the eye. Where they occur is most important for diagnosis of any illness or weakness of an organ. He also tells how to correct the problem.
Cut out the worry over cancer this is not what a dark spot means.
M.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 02, 2011
My son has that. It is basically a freckle on the eye-don't remember the real name for them. When his pediatric eye doctor saw it (the regular ped never mentioned a thing about it ever) he advised us to get some special pictures of his eye taken. This way he would have a benchmark for what they looked like. He then said to come back every year or so to check on them. There is the smallest chance they could become cancerous like any other freckle so you have to keep your eye on it. My son's has never changed thankfully and probably will not. Go to a pediatric eye doctor though. Your regular ped will probably blow it off. He should go to an eye doc anyway by 3 yo.
C.M. answers from Dallas on March 02, 2011
I have one of these on my right eye. It's been there all of my life and never been a problem. (I have terrible vision, but that's not indicative of this spot.) My optometrist has never had cause for concern and many people say it makes me unique. =) I wouldn't stress.
A.C. answers from Cincinnati on March 01, 2011
I have a black spot on my iris. I asked the doc about it once & he said it was like a freckle or birth mark on your eye. It's completely painless and doesn't affect my vision at all. I kinda like it. :)
A.V. answers from Washington DC on March 01, 2011
My stepson has a dark spot in one eye. It's never been a problem or indicated anything was wrong. If you are concerned, find a pediatric optometrist to check her out.
T.S. answers from Sacramento on March 01, 2011
My son (5) has the same thing... actually he has a couple of spots on one eye and one in the other.. and one is pretty far from the iris. The optometrist told me that it's perfectly normal and not as uncommon as you might think.
The way he explained it, basically a couple of pigmented cells just kind of get in the wrong spot... no big deal. It's the same as a freckle on your skin or whatever.
You can ask if you're concerned, but unless you have reasons to be concerned about her vision, i wouldn't worry.
B.V. answers from Alexandria on April 10, 2011
i am 15 years old and i have this same spot in my eye it doesnt bother me but its there and its a small spot but noticeable i do not know what it is and i would like to know also if this can effect my health in any way i have google'd it and i cannot find any answers i have not asked my eye doctor because i'm not sure if he knows what exactly this spot is if you find out anything A. please email me at ____@____.com
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 02, 2011
Lots of people have irregular pigmentation on their irises, so it's most likely nothing. BUT, I had a husky with blue eyes and I noticed a discoloration on her iris and it was a sign of internal bleeding. I'm not trying to scare you but not sure form your post if this suddenly appeared or has always been there. I would call & get it looked at--just to be sure. Good luck!
M.B. answers from Lewiston on March 02, 2011
I have an aunt who has a spot on each of her irises, it sounds like the one you're describing. She's had them her whole life. That doesn't mean you should ask your dr. If a quick phone call or visit would ease your mind it's worth it.
S.B. answers from Seattle on March 06, 2012
Look up heterochromia. Wikipedia actually has some neat pictures. Usually it refers to having one eye a different color than others, but it can also just mean that one eye has a spot of color (like a freckle). A lot of different factors go into eye coloring, most of it completely harmless but still a good idea to ask a Dr.
R.M. answers from Cumberland on March 02, 2011
Take her to a pediatric opthamologist-he will know what it is-and you will feel better, too!
B.I. answers from Providence on October 18, 2011
all i know is it is harmless... and its a genetic spot... its really cool though it could identify a childs parents... have you and your daughters father (i use lack of the term husband or partner for i don't know your situation) check both your eyes for the same spot... it could be in a different place but it definately is genetic... i know this because i am also a carrier of the gene... i have it in my lower left quadrant of my right eye.... its is completely harmless and goes unnoticed... i didn't realize it till i was 18 and i'm 21 now...
Kathryn Hodges, MD writes:
Freckles on the iris (the colored part of your eye) typically appear after age six. The majority of adults have iris freckles although many may be too small to be seen with the naked eye.
The technical term for a freckle is a nevus (plural, nevi). Iris nevi vary in shape, size and color, and are typically benign for a lifetime. However, researchers believe that some iris nevi (less than 5%) are melanomas (cancerous tumors).
Iris melanomas are typically slow to develop and rarely metastasize beyond the iris. Just as a dermatologist will monitor skin nevi for changes, your eye doctor will monitor an iris nevus for changes in size or presentation. This monitoring is typically documented in writing, although some doctors may take a series of photos for more suspicious nevi. Because iris melanomas pose so little risk, doctors will monitor 75% to 90% of changing iris nevi without any intervention.
An ophthalmologist will typically intervene if the nevus grows to at least three millimeters, spreads to the edge of the iris or pupil, or causes secondary cataracts or glaucoma. The surgeon will usually remove the nevus, although radioactive plaque therapy is possible for aggressive tumors.
Less than 1% of all iris nevi require medical intervention, so an iris freckle should not cause much concern. However, iris nevi are just one more reason why regular, dilated eye exams are important.
Kathryn Hodges, MD