Sclera is a white part of your eye and it acts as a protection to the cornea. Sclera usually has a white color with a blue hue. If your skin is dark, sclera may also be a little bit darker and it is absolutely normal. However, a brown spot on the sclera is an abnormality, which may be caused by various factors.
If the brown spot on eye worries you, read on an see what the most common causes of it are, how you can deal with it on your own and what kind of treatment you can expect from your doctor.
Causes of Brown Spot on Eye
A brown spot on eye is rarely a serious medical disorder, however, it might be an esthetic problem for some people as in some cases a brown spot on eye is easily noticeable. Before you find out how you can get rid of it, have a look at the most common causes of a brown spot on sclera.
1. Benign Conjunctival Nevus
For sure you have heard that a nevus may appear on your skin at any point of your life. Apparently, a nevus may also develop on your eye, however, most commonly it happens in the first ten years of life. In most cases the discoloration on your eye is only a benign change, which is usually just a cosmetic problem.
However, it is always recommended to consult a new nevus with your doctor. In rare cases a nevus on your eye which looks like a brown spot is a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as cancer. It is especially important to diagnose it if a brown spot appeared on your eye when you are already an adult.
2. PAM (Primary Acquired Melanosis)
Primary acquired melanosis is a condition which usually happens to middle-aged and elderly people with white skin. In most cases it is a kind of flat, unilateral, conjunctival pigmentation. Interestingly, you can have PAM for long years and do not develop any changes in the color of sclera. However, there are also cases when a brown spot on eye which formed due to primary acquired melanosis is malign.
Also, you need to be aware that often something which is just an innocent spot may become malign over time. Therefore, every sudden change in pigmentation of your skin or eye should be consulted with a professional known as an ophthalmologist.
3. Certain Medicines
A brown spot on eye may also develop as a side effect of certain medications. For example, some eye drops contain an ingredient known as epinephrine, which may darken your conjunctiva. Additionally, if you use photographic or industrial silver, some conjunctival discoloration may happen to you as well.
What’s more, if you deal with some hormonal changes or you suffer from an endocrine disease, the melanin production may be disturbed, which can result in a gradual darkening of your conjunctiva. Thus, while trying to detect the culprit of your brown spot on eye, always inform your doctor about all the medicines you have been taking recently.
4. Foreign Object
A brown spot on either of your eyes may be simply a foreign object which somehow got into you eye. A tiny piece of wood, metal, dust, or an insect may accidentally get under your eyelid or stick to the surface of your sclera. It is especially probable if you work as laborer, a fitter, carpenter, etc. People who work with their hands are simply at a higher risk of getting some foreign object into their eye. It also happens quite commonly among children who often touch their eyes with their dirty hands.
Nevertheless, when a foreign object is responsible for a brown spot in your eye, you will probably feel discomfort, itching, or pain in the affected eye or it may be swollen. Never try to remove the object from your eye on your own as you can only permanently damage it. Just go to a doctor who will remove it quickly and painlessly.
5. PDS (Pigment Dispersion Syndrome)
It sometimes happens that your iris produces too much pigment. If it accumulates in the back of your iris, the condition known as pigment dispersion syndrome may develop. The condition itself is not serious, but sometimes the excess pigment may clog the drainage mechanism of your eye, which may lead to the problems with the eye pressure.
Unfortunately, when the pressure in your eye is too high, it may damage so called optic nerve and cause a serious eye disorder known as glaucoma, which requires a surgical treatment. If left untreated, it may lead to the permanent sight loss.
6. Other Causes
More serious causes of a brown spot in your eye include cancer. For example, cancer may develop within the nerves of your sclera. A brown spot in eye may also be the consequence of chronic eye inflammation or chemical irritation.