Photo raises alarm
A local mum is encouraging other parents to get their children’s eyes tested after her three-year-old son, Bailey, was diagnosed with a rare disease following a trip to Specsavers Brownhills.
Bailey’s mum Katrina made the appointment to take her son into her local Specsavers in Brownhills, after her cousin pointed out a picture of Bailey on Facebook where he had a strange white reflex on his eye, and suggested she get it checked out.
Bailey was seen by optometrist Justine Page, who carried out a full eye examination. While she was looking behind Bailey’s eyes, Justine noticed a small lesion on the back of his right eye and so rang New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton, who asked Bailey and his mum to come in straight away.
From New Cross, Bailey was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where further tests revealed he was suffering from a very rare non-hereditary eye disorder called Coats disease. This is characterized by abnormal development of blood vessels behind the retina and can result in full or partial blindness.
‘Although I knew when I saw the photo that there may be something wrong with Bailey’s eye, I never would have thought that he would be suffering from a disease like this,’ said Mrs Moore. ‘I’m grateful to Specsavers for helping to pick up the condition and for the prompt response – it’s helped ensure Bailey’s disease didn’t deteriorate further. I’d urge other parents to make sure they get their kids’ eyes tested regularly.’
Fortunately for Bailey he was able to receive laser treatment to help stop the disease progressing, meaning that he retains partial movement perception in his right eye.
Regular sight tests
‘Stories like Bailey’s, although very rare, show how important it is to ensure you and your children visit your optician regularly,’ said Justine, who qualified as an optician in 2008. ‘As well as checking your vision, an eye examination can also pick up on a range of medical conditions and so really is a vital health check. We advise customers to visit us at least every two years, unless of course they are experiencing any problems in which case they should come in sooner.’