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White Glow in Corner of Eye: What Can it Be?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Eye Eye Problem Eye Disease White Pupil


My son is 7 months old and I have noticed from birth a white illuminous glow in the corner of his right eye. At first I thought it was light reflection but after many experiments (in and out of light) I have come to the conclusion it is not. Obviously I am not a doctor but at the moment we are living in France and I am having problems translating this to the docters here, please help?

(C.R, 11 May 2009)


It is very difficult to give you advice on what might be wrong with your son’s eye – only a qualified doctor who can do a physical examination is able to do that. However, it is very important that you persist in getting your son seen by a specialist. If language is a problem, is it possible to ask for a translator? Do you have any friends who could act as a translator for you?

If can be difficult enough to explain to a doctor or a team of doctors what you have observed in your own language but you need to make sure that your observations are taken note of.It is impossible for your son to have an actual light in his eye, as there is no way that the eye can produce light. The light that you are seeing is some type of reflection. This may be nothing to worry about, it may be caused by a cataract, or there could be something more serious going on. Only a proper examination by an eye specialist can tell you which possibility is most likely.

It is reassuring that you see the white glow, which must be a reflection, at the corner of the eye. If a baby or child is photographed and the pupil, which is normally black, appears bright white, this is often a sign that something inside the eye is seriously wrong. A white pupil can be a sign of retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer that can affect small children.

If you are not able to set up an appointment with your doctor in France with a translator, is it possible to arrange for your son to be examined by an eye specialist in the UK? It is common for request for treatment to be made between different European Union countries and if you are originally from the UK, there may be a way to do this. The important thing is not to delay. If there is a serious problem it needs to be detected sooner rather than later. If there is nothing to worry about, you need to know that quickly, so that you don’t have to spend more time feeling anxious and worried over nothing.

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