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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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After examining some photographs of my son where I had used

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After examining some photographs of my son where I had used a flash I noticed in photo that left pupil remained black but the other was red, in the other the left pupil reflected like a cats while the other eye was normal. I know it sounds like red-eye which can occur with flash photography but I am concerned that the eyes seems to react differently to each other. What concerns me also is we used to have a dog and when we looked at photos of him this was also noticeable, it turned out he had retinal displacement and had to have an eye removed.
Have I any cause for concern?

How old is your son?
Does his vision appear normal out of that left eye?
When was his last eye exam or visit to the pediatrician?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hello, William is 3 years 8 months old, he doesn't appear to have any vision problems, he's never had his eyes checked and he last saw a pediatrician when he was born.
Hope this helps.
The red eye in the pictures you are describing is called the red reflex. The pupil is black because there is no light coming out of it. When you shine a light or flash in the eyes, some of that light bounces off the retina/blood vessels and back into your eye (or camera). You see this as a red pupil. For the red reflex to be its brightest, the light coming in and then bouncing back out should be in the same line. If you were to take a picture of your boy from the side, you are less likely to see this red reflex.

So the position of the eye in relation to the observer (or camera) is very important in determining if you'll get a red reflex or not. So being off axis with the eye is one reason. Another reason could be opacities in the eye. In your dog's situation, the retina is damaged from the detachment and does not return that same red reflex.

Your concern is appropriate, but it is unlikely your son has a retinal detachment. Your doctor can easily determine if the red reflex is adequate with the use of an ophthalmoscope. This can be done by his pediatrician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist.

Remember to press the green ACCEPT button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to your son. Feel free to ask any additional questions.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank-you for for taking the time to ease our worries, hopefully I can placate my wife with this answer!
You're welcome.