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


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