Monday, August 01, 2011

Photography- White Spots in Eyes

I take a lot of pictures and every time a picture shows white spots in a child's eyes, I worry about Retinoblastoma, a childhood eye cancer that kills or blinds.

I did not know about this illness until I came across a website titled Daisy's Eye Cancer Fund,, that discusses various diseases which will show up as 'white eye' in a picture. As well as Retinoblastoma, the site list Coats Disease, Cataracts, Severe Refractive Error, and Ocular Albinism. The white spots could, however, be a perfectly normal reaction when the light bounces off the optic disc at the back of the eye. Only an eye exam will determine if the white spots are signs of an underlying condition.

Recently I took pictures at my grandson's school with a large group of children on the stage. I can't say if it was due to the lighting, my photography technique, or sheer chance, but a number of the children showed white spots in their eyes. It really made me stop and think about how important it is to have a child's eyes checked regularly.

The website Daisy's Eye Cancer Fund gives instructions on how to take pictures to check for white spots in a child's eyes and stresses how important it is to check regularly. It is hard to believe that something so simple as being aware and taking pictures with an inexpensive digital camera could prevent blindness or death, but these simple test can help spot a developing condition. If white spots show up, it is best to take the child for an eye exam and share your concerns with the doctor.