About Retinoblastoma
Clues To Look For
Red Eye Photos
What To Do
The Ophthalmoscope
Joey's Journey
Joey's Stories
Contact Us


What is a red eye picture?

Notice in this picture that the left eye is reflecting a red dot and the right is reflecting a white dot. The left eye is how both eyes should look.


We have always been led to believe that red eye photos are bad pictures.
In fact, they can save a child's vision or life.

*We take red eye pictures in dim light.

*Our pupil dilates in the dark, therefore our retina is exposed to the light.

*The retina is supposed to reflect light RED!

*A red eye picture is a picture of the retina and means that your retina has reflected the light properly.

*If you do not get a red reflection, something could be blocking the retina from the light.

*It could be a tumor, cataract, Coats' disease, Glaucoma or various other eye disorders.

*Always look at your red eye pictures and make sure the eyes have reflected red.

*Any one, any age can have a tumor or cataract and the picture could save their vision...with children from birth to five it could also save their life!

*Red Eye Pictures are a very important clue with children. Because of the amount of pictures we take of our children, there is a good chance we will photograph the eye disease if they have one.

The way to detect is with an ophthalmoscope in a darkened room.

Photos are just a clue to watch for in-between exams. However, they are a very important clue with children.

Can a white dot picture be nothing?
Yes, sometimes we photograph the optic nerve and it will reflect exactly like an eye disease. With children from birth to five years of age we want to rule out retinoblastoma immediately and pray that it is nothing. Always follow up if you get a strange photo.

All of the pictures to the right would have saved Joey's life!

The white reflection in his right eye was the tumor blocking the retina from reflecting red.


Dark eyed children sometimes do not have a red reflex in pictures. The darker the pupil, the harder it is toget the red reflection. The pupil still dilates in dim lighting and the eye disease will still reflect white. This is shown in the adjacent picture



Do both eyes reflecting red mean you have healthy eyes?

NO. Both eyes reflecting red indicates you did not photograph an eye disease; not that you do not have one.