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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Do Not Ignore White Eye in Photos of Your Kids

This weekend whilst at Butlins, I took hundreds of photos of my children.  Nothing new there, I'll never tire of looking at my children's images captured forever, freezing our memories and those special moments.  Looking at the pictures on my laptop I kept noticing that one of Freddy's eyes didn't look quite right.  While everyone else on the photo had red-eye from the flash, one of Fred's eyes was reflecting white light.  Somewhere in the depths of my brain, I recalled an article about a child whose eyes showed a similar effect in photographs.  It turned out that she had cancer of the retina.  With Retinoblastoma, the pupil appears white as the flash makes the cancerous cells visible.  After much Googling and a little panicking I phoned an optician and explained what I had seen in the photos and they made an appointment for him.

Waiting and wondering is a bad combination.  All the 'what-ifs' run through your head.

Today, we headed off for his appointment.  Giving an uncooperative 2 year old an extensive eye test was not easy, but with some gentle coaxing Fred began to get into the swing of it.  To look at his retina, drops needed to be used to dilate his pupil. They sting and affect their sight, but Freddy coped really well.  Having huge pupils actually made him look so cute, it almost broke my heart!

After lots of checks inside both of his eyes, the optician found no abnormalities that would give a sinister diagnosis. I was so relieved.  However, it was discovered that Freddy's eyes were not working as a pair and there is a discrepancy between his left and right eyes.  His left eye works slower than his right, so when a photo is taken using the flash, his left eye lags behind causing the anomalous effect of one red and one white eye.  He is being referred to a Paediatric Ophthalmologist for the next three years in order to monitor his condition and keep an eye on his sight.

Freddy's paternal grandad is registered blind so I'll never take my children's sight for granted.  Although it has been a sickeningly worrying time, I'm glad the photos lead us to this point where Freddy will now be under an expert to check his vision.  We are so lucky that this was the only problem.  If you ever see White Eye reflection in photos of your children, seek medical advice. Retinoblastoma generally affects children under the age of five.  90% of cases can be fully cured if caught early, so if you ever see a cat's eye effect in any of your children's photos, act quickly.

white eye

white eye in photos

12 comments:

  1. Great article, I had read that before as well about the white in the eye, also my little boy has a turn in both eyes and has been under the hospital for a little while and although his vision is good it can get worse if left and he will probably need eye muscle surgery to stop them turning out like they do now and again, usually he controls them well though but good to be aware! Lisa x

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  2. A friend of mines little boy has retinoblastoma and it was diagnosed when hi mum was vigulent after seeing white in photos he is oing well at the moment. There is also like with Freddy other less hard hitting things which can cause the same effect, but it is always important to get your childrens eyes tested if you notice anything at all in photos... i made a poster for my friend when her son was first diagnosed.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=47200101056&set=a.478934416056.267556.665736056&type=3&theater

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  3. Eyes are so important, MadDad had a eye condition which is why the boys have been tested from 6 months and Mini has wore spec since just over a year old. Mini's eyes do the same in photo's too.

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  4. I can't believe how quickly you noticed and reacted. Well done you for being so vigilant. this is a great reminder that we should all watch out for our children's eyes in photos. Thank you.

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  5. Glad to hear all is well with the gorgeous Freddy. I had read this too and its so important to get these messages out to parents, believe me I'd never take my childrens health for granted again. Love and christmas blessings to you all. x

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  6. Brandish McCutlass14 December 2011 at 20:48

    Worth getting these things checked out. Glad to hear that it was nothing serious.

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  7. I did not know about this, thank you for bringing it to my attention. Eyesight is something we should never take for granted and I am so pleased Freddys is ok. My oldest wears glasses like Freddy his eyes aren't at the same level, one is working harder than the other and he is wearing patches for a few hours to boost them. x

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  8. Well spotted there Wendy. I read about this too some years ago & I took Hanna as she

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  9. Great post, and such an important thing to be aware of. Bud has had a few opthalmologist's appointments as I wanted to be sure that he hadn't inherited the squint that I had to have corrected as a child. You really cannot be too careful on the issue of sight, it is such an important thing.

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  10. I never knew that. Glad my little Freds is ok and that those awful drops weren't too much of a trauma xx

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  11. I thank God that you took the white spot in Freddy's eye seriously and took him to get it sorted. I am very proud of the way you always fully help and support your family if anything is untoward - they couldn't have a better Mum.

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  12. It's something that's being picked up less often now we all have digital cameras, as it relies on people being aware, and writing posts like this. When film cameras were the norm, developers were trained to look for white eye and draw attention to it.

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