Uveal Melanoma Corneal
Infections (Keratitis)

Corneal inflammation (keratitis) and uveal melanoma are two of the most common afflictions of the eye. The cornea, or dome-shaped layer at the front of the eye, may be damaged by trauma, such as a poke in the eye or damaged contact lens. Poor contact lens hygiene can result in inflammation, or keratitis. Infection is often a result of keratitis, although dry eyes and underlying medical disease can also inflame the cornea. Eye pain and redness, excess tears, difficulty opening the eye, blurred vision, and light sensitivity can be signs of keratitis.
Uveal melanoma is the most common form of eye cancer, and is often found during regular eye exams; however, symptoms are sometimes hard to detect. Risk factors linked to the development of this form of eye cancer include the following:

  • Fair skin and light-colored eyes (blue or green)
  • Certain inherited conditions, such as dysplastic nevus syndrome (a condition characterized by the presence of multiple irregularly shaped moles)
  • Over exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (such as tanning beds) over extended periods of time
  • Older age

Mild to moderate cases of keratitis can usually be treated without loss to vision. Depending on the cause of the inflammation, corneal infection can be treated with eye drops or oral medication. Severe cases of keratitis, or those that do not respond to treatment may require corneal transplantation.

Regular eye exams are recommended to maintain vision and general health of the eye. By looking through the pupil at the back of the eye, doctors may be able to see a dark spot that could be an early melanoma. Those at elevated risk for eye cancer should make sure to schedule yearly eye exams, even if no symptoms are present.