Brown spots in the eyes, also known as eye freckles, are small brown spots that appear throughout the eye. While eye freckles are usually harmless, their appearance can be startling as they appear as brown spots in the eye’s otherwise white sclera or within the colored iris of the eye. Are these brown spots in the eyes something to worry about?
What Causes Brown Spots on the White of Eyes?
The medical community knows these brown spots in the eyes as a conjunctival nevus. The conjunctival nevus is a benign, non-cancerous growth that appears as a brown spot on the white of the eye, making up more than half of all conjunctival lesions and more common in children. However, they can also appear on the eye’s iris and are common, with nearly 6 in 10 people having one. The appearance of a conjunctival nevus can be alarming to people who are unaware of their existence.
Although these brown spots in the eyes are not cancerous, they can irritate the eye’s surface. They can also be bothersome to people who have sensitive eyes. If you notice a brown spot in your eye, you should consult your eye doctor to determine the cause and whether the spot is benign.
Most Common Causes of Eye Freckles
Conjunctival nevus is the most common cause of brown spots in the eye (eye freckles). Conjunctival melanoma is a non-cancerous growth composed of multiple nevi or nevi clusters that appear as brown spots in the eye’s conjunctiva and iris.
Eye freckles are a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. Common causes of eye freckles are:
- A genetic predisposition
- Sun exposure
- Certain diseases
Brown spots in the eye should never be taken lightly. In rare cases, these nevi can become conjunctival melanoma. These nevi begin as simple, painless brown or pink spots – with no other symptoms present. While these brown spots are nothing to worry about in most cases, they can develop into a rare, but potentially deadly ocular malignancy.
Symptoms of Conjunctival Nevus
The appearance of a single or multiple brown spots in the eye is usually the only symptom of conjunctival nevus. In some rare cases, these nevi may leak fluid or be accompanied by abnormal blood vessel growth.
Should you notice that the spots begin to change in appearance (size or color), then you should reach out to your eye doctor to have them looked at.
How are Brown Spots in the Eye Diagnosed?
Since most brown spots in the eye are asymptomatic, people will not know they have them until they have a physical examination. During a routine eye examination, your eye doctor will look at your eyes and look for any signs of a problem. They may also examine your eyes with a special camera designed to detect abnormalities in the eye.
Once a nevus has been spotted, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to do either a fluorescein eye stain test or biopsy. A fluorescent eye stain test is used to help detect injuries and abnormalities within the eye. It is the gold standard in detecting nevi, but a biopsy is required for a definitive diagnosis.
A biopsy can be done to determine whether the nevus is benign or malignant. A biopsy is a small piece of tissue that is removed from the area of concern. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to determine the cause of the brown spot in the eye.
How Do You Get Rid of Brown Spots in Your Eyes?
If the nevus is benign, then you’re eye doctor will likely suggest you leave it alone – especially if it’s not giving you any trouble with your vision or you’re not experiencing any pain. While most patients will be left with a spot(s) on their eye permanently, some brown spots may dissipate on their own.
Should the spots grow in size or become painful, it is time to have your eye doctor remove them. Removal is usually done with a laser, although there are other surgical methods available.
Brown spots in the eye can also be removed using a topical medication applied to the area. The medication is applied over the spots for a few weeks before they begin to disappear. The medication is then removed, and the spots will likely disappear on their own.
Now, if the nevus is found to be malignant, then your eye doctor will likely recommend removing it immediately. Again, this can be done with a simple surgical procedure or with laser therapy.
How to Remove Brown Spots in Eyes Naturally: Is It Even Possible?
Although removing brown spots in the eye is not difficult, it is not always necessary, and while there are some sources out there indicating that you can remove brown spots in the eyes naturally, there is no evidence for this.
While some anecdotal stories suggest that this is possible, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that you can get rid of brown spots in the eye naturally through the use or consumption of natural remedies.
The only safe methods of removing brown spots in the eye are through medical intervention and should never be attempted on your own. If you do, you run the risk of potentially damaging your eyes, which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Should You Worry About Brown Spots In Your Eyes?
While brown spots in the eye can be startling, they are not an immediate cause for concern. If the spots are causing you physical discomfort or you believe they impede your vision, you should consult your eye doctor. Only through a physical examination can your eye doctor determine the cause of the spots and whether or not they are benign.
Regular examinations are crucial to maintaining your eye health. Since you see yourself in the mirror regularly, it may result in you overlooking small changes to the appearance of your eyes. Instead of taking a “let’s see” approach to your eye health, make sure you are seeing your eye doctor, at minimum, once a year.