White pupil can appear in adult eyes as well as in children. This is most often caused by normal optic disc reflection, and is particularly common in smartphone photographs.
Leukocoria in adults may indicate an eye condition such as cataract.
Retinoblastoma in Adults
Less than 1% of retinoblastoma cases are diagnosed in adults. In a few children, something causes the cancer to stop forming during the first stages. This benign tumour is called retinoma. Rarely, it becomes active years later, causing retinoblastoma in the adult.
Retinoblastoma has usually destroyed much vision by the time it causes a pronounced white pupil. In Adults, these vision changes usually prompt the person to seek an eye test.
Concerned About a Photograph?
If you have seen white pupil in an adult friend’s photograph, you may want to point it out. If they have experienced changes in vision, an eye exam would be a good idea.
Reassure your friend that it they have experienced a change in vision, retinoblastoma is an extremely remote possibility for an adult.
If you have seen white pupil in your own photograph, check whether the reflex appears in other photographs. If it does not and your vision is normal, the white pupil is likely a normal optic disc reflex. A simple eye exam will give you peace of mind that all is well.
A camera captures white reflection as artifact in the eyes of medical professionals gathered for a photo at a retinoblastoma meeting.