A hemangioma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor caused by irregular blood vessel formation. Hemangiomas can appear anywhere on the body, but the face and neck are the most common sites. Hemangiomas may be present at birth, but they are more common in the first six months of life.
Hemangiomas are divided into two types:
Capillary hemangiomas are found in the skin’s outer layers. Strawberry birthmarks are a popular nickname for them.
Cavernous hemangiomas are found in the skin’s deeper layers or around the eyes.
Capillary hemangiomas may appear on the eyelids, the eye surface, or the eye socket. When this happens, the hemangioma can obstruct the eye’s normal growth. It may also result in vision issues such as amblyopia and glaucoma.
Over time, hemangiomas will fade away. Half of the hemangiomas vanish by the age of five, and 90% (9 out of 10) vanish by the age of nine.
Capillary hemangiomas are caused by a variety of factors that are unknown. Certain proteins in the placenta during pregnancy may be involved, according to some studies.
Who is susceptible to hemangiomas?
Caucasian babies are more likely to have hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are three times more common in female babies than in male babies and are also more common in premature babies.
Symptoms of Hemangioma
Hemangiomas of the capillaries commonly occur during the first six months of life. They may appear as raised red to reddish-purple lesions on the skin. Big, raised lesions with noticeable blood vessels are also possible. Parents usually note a mark on their child’s skin that increases in size and color.
Hemangiomas involving the eye can result in severe vision problems. If they grow too big and uncontrolled, they can cause amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” which causes vision problems. Glaucoma may develop if a hemangioma affects the eye itself. Hemangiomas can compress the optic nerve in the eye socket. This can result in optic nerve atrophy, which can result in vision loss.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hemangiomas
Hemangiomas may be diagnosed by the ophthalmologist based on their appearance. In most cases, additional testing is not needed.
The position, size, and magnitude of the hemangioma determine how it is handled. It also depends on whether or not it causes vision issues. Hemangiomas do not always need therapy. Hemangiomas near the eye, on the other hand, should be closely monitored to ensure that they do not cause vision issues.
There are several treatment options available if a hemangioma is causing vision issues.
Hemangiomas are often treated with steroid drugs. The steroids function by causing the hemangioma’s blood vessels to constrict. Steroids may be taken orally, injected into the tumor, or added directly to the tumor’s surface.
The following are some of the possible steroid side effects:
● delayed development
With close supervision, these side effects are rare.
Laser treatment. A laser may often stop the growth of superficial hemangiomas, reduce their size, or lighten their color.
Surgical procedures. Surgery is usually reserved for hemangiomas that are tiny and well-defined under the skin’s surface. The majority of hemangiomas in the eye socket do not need treatment. Treatment is required if they develop to the point that they are pushing on the optic nerve or displacing the eye.