Ocular melanoma occurs when the DNA of healthy eye cells develop errors that cause the cells to multiply out of control. The mutated cells collect in the eye and form a melanoma.

Blue eyeCertain factors may increase your risk for developing melanoma. These include:

  • Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time;
  • Having light-colored eyes (blue or green eyes);
  • Older age;
  • Caucasian descent;
  • Having certain inherited skin conditions, such as dysplastic nevus syndrome, that cause abnormal moles; and
  • Having abnormal skin pigmentation involving the eyelids and increased pigmentation on the uvea.

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