The Glow

 

 

Explanation of The Glow

  • What is The Glow?

    The Glow, medically known as leukocoria, is an abnormal reflection from the retina of the eye, and appears as a white, opaque, or yellow spot in the pupil of the eye in photos taken with flash. The Glow can indicate at least 20 different eye diseases and conditions.

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    The Glow cannot be diagnosed without the aid of an optical device used by eye specialists such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, That said, sometimes The Glow appears as a white, opaque or yellow spot in the pupil of the eye in photos taken with flash. This should not be confused with the common red eye (red circle in the center of eyes) seen in some flash photography.

    KTG | Coats' Disease

    Most childhood eye diseases are preventable, treatable, or curable if caught early—up to 80 percent of the time. It is important to Know the Glow and take action.

  • How common is The Glow?

    One in 80 children will present with The Glow before the age of five. According to the American Optometric Association, vision disorders are the most prevalent condition in childhood. At least 10 percent of children are at risk for undetected vision problems.

     

    The good news is that most eye diseases (approximately 80 percent) are preventable, treatable or curable if detected early. The best method for identifying eye-related conditions and maintaining eye health is for all children to receive periodic comprehensive eye exams by an eye specialist, starting at 6 months of age. We recommend making sure your child receives a red reflex test as part of the comprehensive eye exam. Red reflex testing is vital for early detection of vision—and potentially life-threatening—abnormalities.*

    *American Academy of Pediatrics (2008), Volume 122(6).

The Glow in Photos

  • How do I check for The Glow in photos?
    • Check your photos or take new photos of your child. 
      • Because The Glow may not always show up, review or look back at family photos, especially where your child is looking at the camera.
      • Make sure to take or use photos where the flash is turned on and the red eye reduction featured is turned off. 
    • Look for The Glow, a white, opaque, or yellow spot in the pupil of one or both eyes. If you see The Glow once, be alert, but if you see it twice in the same eye, be active.
    • Ask an eye specialist—an optometrist or ophthalmologist—for a comprehensive eye exam, including a red reflex test. If you do have photos of your child showing The Glow, bring them with you to your appointment.
    • Please help us spread the word, especially to parents of young children.

    Because no child should go blind from a preventable eye disease.

  • I’ve seen The Glow in multiple photos and I'm very worried…should I panic?

    No.  The most important step you can take is to promptly schedule an appointment with your child’s optometrist or pediatric ophthalmologist. Make sure your child receives a red reflex test as part of the comprehensive eye exam.

    Remember, if caught early, nearly 80 percent of all childhood blindness is preventable, treatable, or curable. Taking quick action for your child is the best thing you can do.

  • I see The Glow in my child's photos. What should I do next?

    Parents or family members are often the first to notice a white, opaque or yellow spot in the pupil of their child’s eye in photos taken with flash.

    If you see The Glow once, be alert. If you see it twice and in the same eye, be active. Promptly schedule an appointment with a optometrist or ophthalmologist.   Make sure your child receives a red reflex test as part of the comprehensive eye exam. It may also be helpful to bring copies of the photos showing The Glow.

    The red reflex test allows the eye specialist to test for the presence of glow-related diseases and conditions. This test is not difficult for the specialist to perform, and is not painful for the child.

    The Glow may indicate at least 20 different eye diseases or conditions, 80 percent of which are preventable, treatable or curable if detected early.

  • My child exhibits The Glow but doesn’t seem to be complaining about any eye issues. Should I still be concerned?

    Yes.  There are no pain receptors within the eye. Glow-related eye conditions are serious and can be life threatening. Many develop slowly and without other symptoms. It is always best to seek professional medical care if you see The Glow in more than one photograph.

Diagnosing "The Glow"