ZocdocAnswersEye Pigmentation - Are there similar causes for pigementation the whites of one's eye and in the retina?

Question

Eye Pigmentation - Are there similar causes for pigementation the whites of one's eye and in the retina?

I have a strange pigmentation that I've been noticing in the white of my eye. I've read a lot online about how pigment on the retina is such a serious problem - but is the same true of the white of your eye? Or can I wait and see if this problem takes care of itself?

Answer

There is absolutely no relationship between pigment changes in the retina and pigment changes in the whites of they eye. Furthermore, anything that affects the retina can have serious effects on vision, as this is the part of the eye which is processes the visual information coming in. On the other hand, the white of the eye is not involved in this, so pigment changes there are likely of no consequence. The most common cause of pigment changes in the eye is a freckle or mole, a collection of pigmented cells that can occur in the covering over the eye just like anywhere on the body. These are almost always benign, but they can rarely be the start of a melanoma, and so they should be examined by a physician. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular eye condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your eye doctor is recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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