What are these brown spots in my eyes?
You may have noticed these brown spots in your own eye while looking in the mirror or in someone else’s eye when you’re making close eye contact with them. It’s probably best not to comment to another person about any eye spots you notice, but if you’re looking at your own reflection, it’s normal to ask what’s going on with these brown spots and why.
Brown Spots on Your Eyes
Your first thought is probably, “Are these brown spots dangerous?” Really the answer could be yes or no. There are many reasons for discoloration on the sclera or the white part of your eyeball or within the iris, the colored part of your eye.
These spots are slight discolorations due to pigmentation in the eye and are referred to as “choroidal nevus.” The easiest thing to compare them to would be freckles, because they are caused by the same substance, melanin. Eye freckles can range from light gray to black and vary in size and shape as you grow and age. They typically show up around the same time as skin freckles, usually during the first decade of life.
It’s important to keep track of any changes in the size and color of your eye spot. Many things can darken the spot including sunlight, medications or hormonal changes such as pregnancy. Once they occur, they don’t fade or disappear and cannot be removed, unless there is a medical reason to do so. These spots are typically benign and won’t cause any type of vision impairment or pain. Troublesome spots or eye spots that transform into a malignant mass and be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. To lessen the frequency at which they occur, you can limit the amount of sun exposure your eyes endure by wearing a great pair of full coverage sunglasses.
If you develop any type of eye spot, please visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist so they can assess the situation. Remember that eye spots can happen to anyone, but show up more frequently in those of African descent and are also more common on those who naturally freckle a great deal in the sun.