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eye problem causing reflection in toddler photos?

speckledeggspeckledegg Registered User Posts: 366 Member
edited November 2008 in Parent Cafe
I'm hoping to chalk this up to a complete overreaction on my part... my sister just sent me Halloween pictures of her two-year-old son. In almost every shot, one of his eyes is reflecting red (red-eye, on the same side) even if no one else in the picture has red-eye. I recall hearing about a mom noticing a hazy white reflection in photos of her daughter's eye that turned out to be eye cancer, and just googled it, and I am satisfied that it is not the same thing.

However, I'm wondering if my nephew might have a certain odd curve to his retina to make it catch the light so consistently. Maybe it should be checked out. Or maybe it's nothing at all. Has anyone been down this road? Thank you.
Post edited by speckledegg on

Replies to: eye problem causing reflection in toddler photos?

  • aibarraibarr Registered User Posts: 4,249 Senior Member
    The hazy white reflection is one thing and can mean cataracts or something like it, but red eye is another, and from what I've read, probably doesn't warrant any concern. It's odd that it's only *one* eye, but it kind of sounds like this is only one photo session, and it may have been that one eye was just acting weird that one day. It may be that one eye has less pigment than the other. Kids are particularly prone to red eye, so it may just be that.

    Maybe mention it to your sister that it's weird how one eye is going red and let her make the call? She can mention it to the doctor if she has concerns, but red eye is almost always not anything to worry about.
  • TreetopleafTreetopleaf Registered User Posts: 2,721 Senior Member
    The child's eyes probably are not teaming - working together - and the mom should definitely get his eyes checked. If caught early enough, he can get some therapy to get the eyes to team again. Otherwise the window of opportunity is lost, because the brain pathways become fixed. Good luck!
  • my-3-sonsmy-3-sons Registered User Posts: 2,796 Senior Member
    Kids are more prone to red eye, but if one eye reflects red, both eyes should reflect red. Since it sounds like this showed up in more than one photo, I would urge your sister to get this checked out. At a minimum, I think a phone call to the pediatrician is in order. Ask her to check it out to appease old Auntie Speckledegg. Hopefully, it's nothing, but toddlers can't always tell us when something is wrong. Good luck.
  • speckledeggspeckledegg Registered User Posts: 366 Member
    Thanks, everyone. I discussed it with my sister tonight. She is going to get him checked out.
  • OaksMomOaksMom Registered User Posts: 615 Member
    speckledegg...in this age of HMO's that don't necessarily send out patients for referrals (ie; the pediatrician to an opthamologist) I would urge your sister to see an opthamologist if she doesn't get an adequate answer from pediatrician. Personal experience leads me to believe the eye should be checked out promptly. Hope it all turns out to be nothing for your nephew.
  • allie'smomallie'smom Registered User Posts: 252 Junior Member
    When D was little (she is 19 1/2 now), we noticed that in almost every photo of her, whether a candid or a studio shot, her right eye looked a little "odd". Sometimes it was red-eye, but usually it appeared that she was squinting in that one eye. Never thought much about it - just thought that was how her eyes looked when she smiled. It was really not that noticeable to anyone but us. She started wearing glasses in middle school, again - not a big deal as both of us wear glasses/contacts and then she switched to contacts for HS.

    Then she started driver's ed and had a really difficult time, especially with her peripheral vision. She took extra road lessons and went for her road test at 16 1/2 and failed. I used to say "didn't you see that car coming up on your right?" and she honestly didn't. OK - we just thought that she wasn't ready to drive - LOL! She started her senior year (still not driving) and in March of that year, went for her regular 2-year eye exam with her optometrist. Well, she failed the part of the test that they check peripheral vision and her doctor diagnosed her with a corneal condition called "keratoconus", which is a degenerative disease of the cornea which causes it to bulge out and become misshapen. This condition usually first manifests in late teens - early 20's - no known cure other than a corneal transplant. Yikes!

    So, being that we are only 1 hour from Boston, we quickly got her an appointment with an ophthalmologist at Mass Eye and Ear who specializes in this disease. Over the past (almost) two years, she has been fitted with specially made hard contact lenses which has corrected her vision to as good as it will get. No more soft, disposable (inexpensive) lenses, her glasses won't correct the vision as well as the hard lenses, but luckily, our insurance will pay for 1 pair per year. That first summer was horrible - the lenses popped out all of the time, she lost several (takes about 2 weeks to get new ones made) and we made many trips up to Boston. The week before she left for college (200 miles away), the doctor declared the fit to be correct and off she went. Last year, there were a few times where she lost or cracked a lens and she had to wait a few weeks to get a replacement, but thankfully, she has now adjusted very well and actually has gotten to the point where she has a spare set in case one is lost or cracks.

    But, I often wonder if the "funny" eye we noticed back then was the beginning of this long odyssey?? Prognosis is a possible corneal transplant down the line, but right now, the eye is stable and the lenses are working. She also has the disease in her left eye, but not noticeable unless they actually take the mapping pictures of it. We are so fortunate to be in a position to take her to Mass Eye. As far as the driving - well she started driving again this past summer, took more road lessons, and failed the road test twice! But, at least we knew it was more a case of being a nervous driver rather than a vision-impaired driver. She is determined to try again over winter break! I don't know if this was something they could have diagnosed when she was younger, but if I could do it differently - I would have taken her to have it looked at by a specialist.

    I would suggest having the little one checked out - if for nothing else than piece of mind. Good luck!
  • drbdrb Registered User Posts: 1,383 Senior Member
    Good pick-up. My nephew had a unilateral cataract (origin unknown - congenital? viral?) and had a long, difficult, but ultimately successful course getting it corrected - not the cataract (easy) but the lazy eye that was the consequence of having decreased vision during early neurodevelopment. In retrospect, it can be seen in pictures that the eye with the cataract did not reflect light (i.e., no red-eye).
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