Health

Don’t Ignore That White Spot In The Eye

Parentune Support
3 to 7 years

Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Aug 04, 2022

Dont Ignore That White Spot In The Eye
Reviewed by Expert panel

Some countless diseases and conditions can potentially affect the eyes and vision. While some conditions are incurable, many others are treatable. You can contribute to your eye health by adopting a healthy lifestyle and visiting your eye doctor regularly and whenever your vision changes. One of the most frequently reported eye problems is white spots in the eyes. The eye can get spots of any color. Their coloration ranges from white to brown to red. Many of these spots are harmless because the cause is as simple as an excess of melanin, a pigment in the skin. However, this is not the case with white spots in the eyes. In this article, we will look at the causes of white spots in the eyes to better understand why they should not be ignored. 

Why Do My Eyes Have A White Spot?

For a variety of reasons, white spots can appear on the eyeball. Also, their severity can vary. Some may go unnoticed while others may be excruciatingly painful. The causes range from a simple eye infection to a rare form of eye cancer known as "retinoblastoma”. You should see an optometrist right away if you notice any changes to your eyes or vision, as they will be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with treatment options.

Causes Of White Spot In Eye

The white spot in your eye may have several possible causes. If ignored, many of them could lead to a host of serious consequences. We will elaborate on each of these causes in greater depth below.

1. Corneal ulcer

The cornea is your outermost layer, which is made of a transparent material. It shields your eyes from harmful particles and helps you focus your vision. A corneal ulcer is an open sore on your cornea that is causing you pain and discomfort. As a
direct consequence of it, a white spot will develop on the cornea. In addition to severe eye pain, symptoms include bloodshot, red, and watery eyes, as well as discharge from the eye that may or may not contain pus. Corneal ulcers pose a potential risk to one's vision and are considered a medical emergency.

Causes

  • Viral infections
  • Having a dry eye
  • Fungal infection
  • An inflammatory disorder like psoriasis
  • Eye allergies
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Using contact lenses that have not been sterilized
  • An eye injury

Treatment

You may be prescribed antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal eye drops, depending on the cause of your ulcer.

2. Cataract 

Cataracts develop when protein accumulates in the lens of the eye, clouding it. This prevents light from transmitting clearly.  Cataracts typically progress slowly, but they can eventually impair vision.  White spots are not among the first signs of cataracts, but if you have severe cataracts, your cornea, iris, and pupil may appear milky white. Initial symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, seeing bright colors as faded or yellow, and heightened light sensitivity (lamps, sunlight, and headlights appear too bright).

Causes

  • Age
  • Injury
  • Medical conditions like diabetes
  • Long-term use of steroid medication
  • Genetic
  • Recent eye surgery
  • Excessive alcohol consumption  

An interesting fact: Stress leads to increased production of free radicals and oxidative damage. A cataract is one of the conditions linked to oxidative stress. Thus, prolonged exposure to emotional or psychological stressors may increase the likelihood of developing cataracts.

Treatment

Surgery is the only treatment option for cataracts.

3. Pinguecula and pterygium

The membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the whites of the eyes is known as the conjunctiva. Both pinguecula and pterygium are growths that occur on your conjunctiva. A pinguecula is a collection of conjunctival tissue at the nasal or temporal junction of the sclera and cornea that appears as a whitish-yellow bump or spot. A pinguecula can grow into a Pterygium, a vascularized growth that grows into the cornea and impairs vision.

Causes

  • Being exposed to ultraviolet radiation 
  • Exposure to wind and dust.
  • Dry eyes

Treatment 

If the eye is only mildly irritated, artificial tears can often be used to treat pinguecula and pterygium in their early stages. If a pinguecula or pterygium becomes thickened and painful, if it affects the eye's ability to blink, or if it modifies the cornea curvature, the doctor may recommend removing it surgically. 

4. Corneal dystrophy

Corneal dystrophies are a group of genetically inherited and frequently progressive eye disorders characterized by the accumulation of abnormal material in the transparent outer layer of the eye (cornea). Some of them can result in spots on the cornea that appear cloudy, opaque, or gelatinous-like. Some people with corneal dystrophies may not experience any symptoms (asymptomatic), while others may experience severe vision loss as a result. 

Causes

  • Tends to run in families

Treatment

Patients with corneal dystrophies may be treated with eye drops, ointments, and lasers, as well as with corneal transplantation in more severe cases.

5. Retinoblastoma

A rare form of eye cancer that begins on the retina is called retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma affects one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral). A common complication of this disease is the loss of vision, which can be prevented in about 90% of cases by seeking medical attention right away. It is the primary symptom of retinoblastoma to see a white color in the pupil of the eye when you shine a light into it. (In healthy eyes, it appears red due to the blood vessels at the back of the eye.) Other symptoms include eye pain, redness in the white portion of the eye, bleeding in the anterior segment of the eye, and a pupil that does not contract when exposed to bright light.

Causes

  • Nerve cells in the retina develop genetic mutations.

Treatment

Treatment options include intravitreal chemotherapy, thermotherapy, cryotherapy, external beam radiation, and surgery.

6. Coats disease

The retina is located in the back of the eye, and by means of the optic nerve, light and color are sensed by the retina. A rare condition that affects the retina is called Coats disease. As a result of Coats disease, the retinal blood vessels do not develop
normally. A white mass can be seen in the pupil, especially when it is exposed to light. Coats disease usually affects only one eye. In rare instances, however, it can affect both eyes. Over time, Coats disease may result in retinal detachment and severe vision impairment. 

Causes

  • The reason for this condition cannot be determined yet. Most experts agree that the condition that causes Coats disease is not hereditary or genetic in nature. 

Treatment

Treatment varies by severity. Cryotherapy, laser photocoagulation, external drainage of subretinal fluid, scleral buckling, and pars plana vitrectomy may be used alone or in combination.

Conclusion

You now have a better idea as to why white spots on the eye should not be avoided. Even minor eye problems can have long-term effects on vision. Detecting and treating eye issues early is the most effective way to maintain healthy vision throughout one'a lifetime. Most blindness and visual impairments are preventable. It is always recommended to seek medical advice if a white spot appears on the eye, regardless of whether it is uncomfortable or not.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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