Look closely in the mirror, particularly at your eyes. Have you noticed any speck on the colored part? Yes?

Don't panic, most of these eye freckles are harmless.

There are actually two different types of these dark clusters, which occur inside your eye.

First type is called nevus. Yellow or brown spots are made of pigmented cells melanocytes (they give natural color to your skin and eyes).

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Due to unknown reasons melanocytes can get misplaced, leading to formation of the conjunctival, iris or choroidal nevi.

The second type is called iris freckles. They usually appear superficially at the colored part of the eye, not affecting its shape.

Nevi are commonly formed before person's birth, while iris freckles begin in older adults.

Dr.Christoph Schwab, MD, Austrian ophtalmologist at the Medical University of Graz, found a link between long-term sun exposure and appearance of the eye freckles.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Recent research was conducted in Austria and published in the Journal Investigative Ophtalmology & Visual Science. About 600 pool swimmers were asked to fill the questionnaire and to answer the questions about lifetime exposure to sunlight, sun-protective methods and number of sunburns.

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The results show a correlation between eye freckles occurence and number of sunburns. It was also found that individuals with dark eyes and those, who protect themselves from sun rays properly, are less likely to have pigmented spots in the eyes.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

In addition to this, development of iris freckles becomes increased with age.

It's interesting that freckles happen more frequently in the lower and outer zones of the eyes. The reason is maybe that the nose and eyebrow hide inner and upper areas from the sunlight.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Consequently iris freckles can indicate chronic sun exposure, associated with higher risks of certain eye problems like cataract and macular degeneration.

Once your doctor detect freckles in your eye, he or she would examine it and recommend regular checkups in order to catch any changes in these formations, which can occur with time.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

In rare cases iris freckles can transform into melanoma (aggressive type of skin cancer).

Consult with medical professional, if you've found any new patches in your eye.

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