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Eye Health Awareness: Color Change With Photo Flash Warnings

Mind, Body & Soul

Eye Health Awareness: Color Change With Photo Flash Warnings

Is it true that a picture is worth a thousand words? How about a thousand and one? Have you ever noticed red pupils in a photo taken at night? Spooky, huh? That’s because pupils dilate and contract according to how bright or dim your surroundings are. At night the pupils dilate, and if a photo is taken with a  flash on, when the eyes are looking straight into the camera, the flash catches the blood vessels that sustain the retinas of our eyes. Unless both eyes don’t reflect the same way, a red pupil reflex is actually a healthy one.

On the other hand, a white or yellow pupil reflex during a photo flash can carry a more serious message.


Yellow pupils: The yellow reflex in the eyes can be a sign of Coat’s Disease, when the blood vessels leading to the retina start leaking. This can cause retinal detachment, and an early warning can prevent the nasty from happening.


White pupils: Firstly white pupils might be anything more than, the result of the flash catching an unobstructed view of the optic nerve. This usually happens when the person is looking to the side, when the camara flashes. It can also mean that the red eye reduction in your camera is turned on. Now, white and yellow pupil reflex are very similar,  don’t jump to conclusions before checking first with an ophthalmologist.


Other reasons for the white pupil reflex, however, are more serious. It can be the sign of cataracts, cancer, or retinoblastoma. (Which is another type of rare cancer that occurs on the immature cells of the retina in young children). It is curable 95% of the time if detected early enough for treatment.


So, is a picture really worth one thousand words?  How about one thousand words and an early warning system against illness?

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Jina was born in a small town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she had a fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that eventually caused her to go blind. Currently she lives in the middle east with her mother and three kids.

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