Leukocoria, also known as “the glow,” is an abnormal reflection from the retina of the eye. It appears as a white, yellow or opaque spot in the pupil of the eye, which is evident in photographs taken with flash. It can indicate a wide range of eye diseases and conditions, including Coats’ Disease. AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care, your local provider of prescription contact lenses and eyeglasses, takes a closer look at this rare disorder.
A Non-Hereditary Eye Condition
Coats’ disease is a rare progressive eye disorder in which retinal capillaries develop abnormally. These blood vessels break open and leak fluid. The retina, which sends light images to the brain and one of the vital components that helps us see, begin to swell as fluid builds up.
Symptoms of Coats’ Disease
In addition to the yellow- or white-eye effect seen in flash photography, early signs and symptoms of Coats’ disease also include crossed eyes (strabismus), loss of depth perception and gradual loss of vision. Since it is a progressive eye disorder, some individuals may experience far worse symptoms. If not detected early, the risk of retinal detachment grows as fluids accumulate. Once this happens, glaucoma, cataracts and eyeball atrophy may occur, leading to complete vision loss.
People at Risk of Coats’ Disease
As with other diseases associated with leukocoria, Coats’ disease can happen to anyone but is often a rarity. Early symptoms usually begin in childhood. The average age at diagnosis is eight to 16 years, with two-thirds of children experiencing symptoms by age 10.
Diagnosing and Treating Coats’ Disease
Diagnosing Coats’ disease early might help save one’s vision. This is usually done through a thorough eye exam, plus a review of symptoms and health history. Testing may include a CT scan, echography or retinal fluorescein angiography.
When it comes to treatment, one procedure, which is similar to LASIK, is often considered. Known as photocoagulation, it involves the use of a laser to shrink or destroy blood vessels around the retina. This surgery can be done at an office setting or an outpatient facility. Other surgical procedures include vitrectomy and scleral buckling.
AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care is the leading provider of your eye care needs. We have the equipment, knowledge and experience to diagnose your eye problem, then design a treatment plan that works uniquely for your situation. We provide diagnosis and treatment plans for many serious conditions, including glaucoma, cataracts and eye trauma.
Want to get prescription eyeglasses? Give us a call today at (757) 340-7070. You may also fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve residents of Norfolk, VA, and the surrounding communities.