When it comes to situations related to medical diagnosis, it is certainly not a wise idea to believe what other people may say on the internet about it. However, in this particular case, the worried internet friends may have saved this girl’s vision by alarming her mother to take her to the emergency room immediately.
Three-year-old Rylee Taylor of Nashville, Tennessee, had just gotten a new haircut that her mom wanted to show off when friends and family noticed something odd with her left eye. In the photo that mother Tara Taylor uploaded, little Rylee’s eyes were clearly reflecting light differently. While Tara didn’t think much of it, she decided to see a specialist on the advice of the comments.
When Rylee went to see Dr. Jorge Calzada of the Charles Retina Institute, she was diagnosed with Coats disease, a rare affliction that can cause blindness. Treatment started immediately, and after news of the diagnoses spread, a donation of $550,000 was given to the Baptist Eye Clinic to open a new specialty children’s eye-care clinic. With proper treatment, Coats can be stopped, but the biggest problem is in diagnosing the disease.
Since children likely won’t report a problem with just a single eye, the condition often goes unchecked. With one-third of cases presenting in kids under the age of 10, it’s imperative that parents get their children’s eyes checked every year.
Coats is an abnormality in the blood vessels behind the eye that can cause them to burst open and leak blood into the retina. While treatment can stop the process, if left undiagnosed for long periods, it can result in the eye needing to be removed. The disease is not inherited from the parents and appears equally (though still extremely rarely) across all races and ethnicities.
While the internet is constantly doling out unsolicited advice, perhaps it’s not always uninformed. For Rylee Taylor, it likely saved her vision.
The next time you see a post littered with comments of “You need to go to the hospital” or “Doctor. Now.”, instead of shrugging it off like most of us do, instead consider that there may be some wisdom behind those words. Go to an optometrist.