Glowing Eyes in Holiday Photos

Posted on 2016-12-08

What a Glowing White Pupil Means for your Child’s Vision

More photos are likely to be discovered with “The Glow” during the holidays than any other time of year. Every year, parents discover a glow in holiday photos and use these photos to save the sight and lives of their children.

Bryan Shaw, inventor of the CRADLE app that detects “The Glow” on your mobile phone, says that the holiday season is the most likely time for glowing eyes in photos to be discovered. He says this is because Leukocoria, or “The Glow,” shows up best with a dark background.   This means that holiday photos taken outside in the snow or in front of the tree frequently exhibit glowing eyes.

What is “The Glow?”

“The Glow” is a gold or white pupil that often looks like a cat’s eye. What may look like a glowing eye in your child’s photo could indicate 16 different eye diseases, including Retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma, the most common form of eye cancer in children, is treatable if caught early enough. “The Glow” can also indicate several other eye conditions, such as Coats’ Disease, amblyopia, strabismus, refractive error and more.

 Holiday Stories from Know The Glow®

Know The Glow® has received stories and photos from dozens of families whose children exhibited “The Glow” in holiday photos. Landon, who was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease, first displayed a white pupil in a photo taken by his mother in front of their Christmas tree. This photo led Landon’s family to seek treatment and ultimately save his sight.

How to Spot “The Glow”

To review your child’s photos for “The Glow,” take the following steps:

  • Look through uncorrected images that are taken with your child looking directly at the camera.
  • Make sure the flash on your camera was used, and look for a white or yellow pupil.
  • If you do see a glow in the eye, be aware.
  • If an eye glow occurs in multiple photos, take your child to get medical treatment.

 Taking flash photos is an easy way to detect vision problems in children this holiday season and all year round.