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Facebook saves girl's sight?

My wife forwarded me a Facebbok post she received the other day telling the story of a young girl, Rylee,who's vision was saved because of a photo her mother posted on Facebook to show off the girls new hairdo.  In that photo  Rylee's pupils had been illuminated by the flash of the camera and one pupil was white instead of red.  A concerned friend let the mother know that this could be a sign of an eye problem and the mother wisely took her daughter in to be evaluated.  Rylee was diagnosed with Coats Disease which can cause blindness.  Luckily Rylee was caught early so she can receive the best treatment possible and save as much of her eye sight as possible.

 

This is not the first time that this has happened. I can recall another instance when a photo posted on Facebook prompted a child's parents to seek eye care in Australia.  In this case the child upon getting an eye exam was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that can be fatal if not caught early.  I am grateful that the technology of today made this photo available so somebody could alert the parents to the threat to this child's vision and health.  As a health care professionalI I do have one piece of advice however, do not trust your health or the health of your children to Facebook!  Long before Facebook was developed there was another invention that is even more sensitive to threats to your childs vision and health than Facebook.  It is call your eye doctor!  While not as sexy as Facebook it is a heck of alot more effective.

 

It is a weekly occurence in our office that we uncover a vision or medical issue that our patient was unaware of.  Most of the time these issues are visualChorodial Melanoma in nature and by solving them we improve the quality of their lives.  Occasionally these issues pose a threat to thier vision or health so that by addressing them we protect sight and life.  One of the most rewarding experiences of my carrer occured when a 43 year old man who had never worn glasses and was seeing fine came in for an eye exam.  The photos of the back of the eye, which we take as part of every eye exam, revealed a deadly type of cancer called Chorodial Melanoma. If this man would have waited until he noticed vision problems to come see me a wife would have been deprived of her husband and four children would have been robbed of their father way to soon. I always get asked how often should I or my kids come in.  Every time we find one of these problems it reinforces to me the importance of yearly eye exams.  It's not always a life we save.  Most of the time it is just a life improved like last weeks 8 year old girl who now does better in school or this weeks 15 year old boy who can now land his 25 foot table top jumps on his bike.  Wait maybe I did save another life there!  So keep up with your friends on Facebook but leave your eye care to the professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

  

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