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Alternative Names Return to topLeukocoria
Definition Return to top
White spots in the pupil is a condition that causes the pupil of the eye to look white instead of black.
Considerations Return to top
The pupil of the human eye is normally black. In flash photographs the pupil may appear red, an effect called "red eye." This is also called the "red reflex" by health care providers, and is entirely normal.
On occasion, the pupil of the eye may appear white. This is never a normal condition and needs to be seen right away by an eye care provider.
There are many different causes of white pupil. Other conditions also can mimic white pupil. A cloudy cornea (usually, the clear part of the eye) may look similar to a white pupil. The causes of a cloudy or white cornea are different from those of a white pupil, but are also significant and need immediate attention.
Cataracts may also cause the pupil to appear white.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
If you see a white pupil, make an appointment with your health care provider right away. Pediatricians routinely screen for a white pupil in children. If a child develops a white pupil or cloudy cornea, immediate attention is needed, preferably from an ophthalmologist.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Contact your health care provider if you notice any color changes in the pupil or cornea of the eye.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions, such as:
The physical examination will include a detailed eye examination.
The following tests may be performed:
Other tests may be done, depending on the suspected cause, including a head CT or MRI scan.Update Date: 12/12/2008 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Manju Subramanian, MD, Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology, Vitreoretinal Disease and Surgery, Boston University Eye Associates, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (1/25/2008).