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Mum's warning over white spots in baby's eyes: 'My son would be blind if I didn't speak up'

By Merryn Porter |

When you have your first child, it is often hard to know what is normal and what isn't.

Parents rely on experts to guide them and can be made to feel they are overreacting about every little thing.

But a mum has issued a warning to parents via Tiny Hearts Education to trust their instincts after learning the sinister reason for the tiny white dots in her son's eyes, which would have caused him to go blind if left untreated.

Watch the video above.?

A mum has shared a video via Tiny Hearts Education to warn about the sinister reason why her infant son had white spots in his eyes. (Instagram)

The video was uploaded to the Tiny Hearts Education Instagram page this week after being passed on to the organisation by the child's mother.

It starts with a close-up of the infant's face. Across the screen is written, "Today my son would have been blind if I didn't speak up.

"When I gave birth to my first baby I had noticed that bub had white spots on his pupils. They almost looked like snowflakes.

"I thought nothing of it at first as his eyes were checked before we left the hospital, so me being a first-time mum, thought it must have been normal as no one mentioned it."

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The mum said in the video her son would be blind today if she hadn't spoken up about her concerns. (Instagram)

The video then continues, "At our one-week GP visit they checked his eyes again, but the GP didn't mention anything. Another week later, the child health nurse checked and didn't mention it, so I brought it up."

According to the video, a ?Maternal and Child Health Nurse (MCHN) checked the infant's eyes before admitting she had "never seen this before" and urged his mother to seek medical attention.

The first-time mum then sought advice from Midwifery Group Practice midwives, who told her to head straight to the emergency department.

"During the ED exam, the doctors told me that my son had no red eye reflex and they suspected congenital cataracts that would need to be operated on ASAP so he had a chance of developing his vision.

"Thankfully, my mummy instincts told me to ask because if I had left it, my son would be blind today."

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The baby boy after undergoing cataract surgery. (Instagram)

?In an accompanying post on Instagram, Tiny Hearts Education shared comments from the mum, who remained anonymous.

"Please look at your little ones eyes and speak up if you notice white spots of eyes darting around, not focusing on your face or white pupils in a photo (with flash) instead of red," she said.

"??The recommended timeframe for the surgery is 6-8 weeks of age for the best chance of developing their vision. Because this wasn't picked up at birth we JUST scraped in at nine weeks and got fitted for contact lenses at 10 weeks."

Thankfully, the story had a happy ending.

"He is now 3? years old and can see as well as anyone his age with his contacts," the video ended.?

Tiny Hearts said the story served as an important reminder to "trust your parent instincts and advocate, advocate, advocate."

"Multiple health professionals checked the eyes but none of them were able to pick it up until this mum spoke up," they wrote.

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Luckily the mother trusted her instincts. (Instagram)

Many commenters were shocked the problem wasn't picked up sooner.

"Wow it was so obvious how could none of the professionals picked it up. Our midwife and well health provider always checked the boys eyes at every visit," wrote one.

"I can't believe it wasn't flagged on his newborn examination. That's why we check for the red eye," wrote another.

"I am a qualified child and family health nurse, and have picked up a few of these rare eye issues, congenital glaucoma, retinoblastomas too, all because I was first a paediatric nurse and saw so many children with conditions. When you see it you look for it always. So glad this bub had received care and mumma instincts kicked in."

According to the Sydney Children's Hospital Network, a cataract is cloudiness in the lens of the eye, which means it is no longer transparent.

The lens is located behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye), and focuses light rays onto the retina. For a child to be able to see, light has to pass through the transparent lens to the retina.?

Most childhood cataracts are invisible until they become dense enough to cause a loss of sight.

Cataracts are usually treated by surgically removing the lens of the eye. In some cases an intraocular lens will then need to be implanted in the eye.

Congenital cataract symptoms include:

  • Glare C the same effect as car headlights through a dirty windscreen at night.
  • A white pupil known as leukocoria C this is due to the cataract showing through the pupil. The pupil is just a hole or opening which allows light to enter the eye.
  • Poor vision C light is not getting through the lens, because it's no longer transparent.
  • An eye turn may develop. This is called strabismus, or squint. A "turn" occurs because the eye can not focus properly.

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