Nevus of Ota: What You Should Know

Nevus of Ota: What You Should Know

What Is Nevus Of Ota?

Nevus of Ota (NOVUS OF ORTHO) is a common name for a group of conditions that are characterized by abnormal growth or development in one or both eyes. These conditions may affect any part of the body, but they most commonly affect the eye. They include:

1. Glaucoma

2. Cataracts

3. Diplopia (double vision)

4. Otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear)

The term “nevi” comes from the Latin word for eye, and refers to a group of diseases that cause abnormal growth or development in one or both eyes. There are several types of nevi, each with its own symptoms and signs.

Some forms of nevi are relatively harmless; others may lead to blindness.

Glaucoma is the most common type of nevi, affecting approximately 10 million Americans and 15 percent of all men over age 65. Glaucoma causes damage to blood vessels in the eye, causing them to become inflamed and harden into hardened plugs called cataracts.

When these plugs block light from entering the eye, patients develop double vision because their normal field of view becomes obstructed. Glaucoma usually affects people over 40 and is painless and without warning. It is common among patients with dark skin, African heritage, and a family history of glaucoma.

Cataracts are cloudy patches that develop in the lens of the eye and obscure vision. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in the United States.

There is no cure, but there are surgical procedures to remove the lens of the eye and replace it with an artificial lens.

Diplopia affects 3 percent of the adult population. It occurs when the vision in one eye is stronger than the other, causing double vision.

Most often, the condition can be treated with surgery or medication.

There are several types of otitis media, or middle ear infection. Acute otitis media is a common childhood illness that results in a high fever and irritability.

Chronic otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear that develops slowly and causes plugged ears, hearing loss, and other symptoms.

What are nevi of ota?

Nevi of ota (NOEs) are tumors that arise from the skin cells in the choroid, the vascular layer just beneath the retina. They are also called choroidal nevi. NOEs are the most common benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the eye.

It is not uncommon to find more than one NOE within the eye. In fact, multiple NOEs occur in nearly half of all patients with this condition.

Although NOEs often appear during childhood, they can develop at any age. They are found slightly more often in males than females.

There is a strong genetic link associated with multiple nevi of ota. Up to 50 percent of patients with NOEs have a relative with this condition.

This indicates there is a genetic component to developing multiple NOEs.

What are the symptoms of nevi of ota?

Patients typically do not experience any symptoms until the tumor grows large enough to create vision problems or cause discomfort. Vision problems resulting from a NOE include blurriness, double vision, light sensitivity, and loss of peripheral vision.

How are nevi of ota diagnosed?

A doctor bases the diagnosis of a NOE based on the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and an eye exam. During the eye exam, the doctor will shine a light into the patient’s eyes to determine if there are any abnormalities. If the doctor suspects a NOE, s/he may order an ultrasound or a computed tomography (CT) scan of the eye.

How are nevi of ota treated?

Treatment for nevi of ota depends on the size and location of the tumor(s). The doctor will perform a detailed physical examination to assess the extent of the condition. Treatment options include observation, laser therapy, surgical removal of the tumor(s), radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.

What is the prognosis for patients with nevi of ota?

The prognosis for patients with NOEs is excellent. Although some tumors can grow to be quite large before they are detected, they rarely spread to other parts of the body. The most common complication of NOEs is vision loss. Regular medical and eye examinations can decrease the chances of this complication.

Can nevi of ota be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent multiple nevi of ota without a family history of the condition. Since patients with multiple NOEs have a greater risk of developing other types of cancer, doctors will often recommend periodic screening for these patients. These tests include colonoscopies, mammograms, and prostate exams.

Sources & references used in this article:

Treatment of nevus of Ota with the Q-switched ruby laser by S Watanabe, H Takahashi – New England Journal of Medicine, 1994 – Mass Medical Soc

Treatment of melanocytic nevi by H Suzuki, RR Anderson – Dermatologic therapy, 2005 – Wiley Online Library

Nevus of Ota with rare palatal involvement: A case report with emphasis on differential diagnosis by G Sharma, A Nagpal – Case reports in dentistry, 2011 –

Lifetime prevalence of uveal melanoma in white patients with oculo (dermal) melanocytosis by AD Singh, P De Potter, BA Fijal, CL Shields, JA Shields… – Ophthalmology, 1998 – Elsevier

Melanoma arising in blue nevus by G Massi, PE LeBoit – Histological Diagnosis of Nevi and Melanoma, 2014 – Springer

Sturge-Weber syndrome: management of glaucoma with combined trabeculotomy-trabeculectomy by HC Agarwal, S Sandramouli… – … Surgery, Lasers & …, 1993 –