Most parents keep a stash of photo albums of themselves and their sons and daughters as a way of remembering the past. In some images, you may notice the subject’s eye showing a noticeable golden glow. While it is often caused by a camera flash, it can also be a warning sign of a rare eye disorder that is diagnosed in children called Coats disease.
About Coats Disease
Coats disease is a rare, non-hereditary disorder that involves the abnormal development of the blood vessels in the retina. In people with this condition, the capillaries in their retina break open and leak fluid in the back of the eye, leading to swelling.
Only one eye is affected in most of the cases, which is usually diagnosed in childhood. Partial to complete retinal detachment may occur if not detected and treated early. This results in decreased vision or blindness in the affected eye.
Signs and Symptoms of the Disease
The signs and symptoms of Coats disease usually start in childhood. They start as mild, but others experience severe symptoms right away. These include the following:
- The yellow-eye effect or the golden glow in the eyes seen in flash photography
- Crossed eyes, also known as strabismus
- Leukocoria, which is a white mass behind the eyes’ lens
- Loss of depth perception
- Poor vision
Later symptoms may include eye inflammation or uveitis, reddish discoloration of the iris, and other eye-related conditions like glaucoma and cataracts. Any of these require an immediate visit to a local eye doctor for a comprehensive exam.
Coats disease, while rare, is progressive. Early treatment is vital to restoring vision and preventing retinal detachment. Options include photocoagulation, cryosurgery, intravitreal injections, vitrectomy and scleral buckling.
Turn to Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry for all your eye care needs. We offer a wide range of specialties, including pediatric eye care, low vision therapy, LASIK consultations, sports vision evaluations and dry eye treatments. Call us today at (703) 467-9080, or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. Our Virginia service areas include Reston and the surrounding communities.