Haemolacria, Or Bloody Tears: What Causes It In Children?
This post about a child shedding bloody tears has garnered a lot of attention and comments on social media - especially from parents.
On September 12, 2018, to be precise, a mother shared her story about a very scary experience. Her baby started to cry bloody tears -- scientifically known as haemolacria.
At first, it was suspected that the cause of the bloody tears were the child's frequent exposure to gadgets and the associated radiation.
The child's mum, Fitri Resita Dewi, has shared the full story on her Facebook account, which we have fully quoted below.
"A few days ago I read the news about this and thought it was a hoax ... it actually happened to my child just now, but thank God it's not as bad as Fajar's. Tsaqib just began shedding red coloured tears ... like blood.
It was a serious shock. This is my fault, as I let Tsaqib get used to using mobile phones without thinking about the impact of the radiation. His eyes were red - swollen, initially. He has experienced this condition for three days.
I've since given up on providing entertainment via mobile phone. To all mums whose children are addicted to tech gadgets, please don't be the next victims."
The case of this child shedding bloody tears, or haemolacria, inevitably attracted attention, as well as comments, by other fellow parents, in particular. They were worried if their children might similarly be affected by radiation.
A few days later, Fitri updated her post with the latest news. Her child received treatment from an ophthalmologist.
"The result is fine. There was only a membrane that blocked his eye's pores - which is the cause of his bloody tears. His eyes have already been cleaned and treated yesterday," she wrote on her Facebook page.
To answer this question, theAsianparent Indonesia contacted Dr. Meta Hanindita, a specialist Paediatrician.
"It's a hoax. That is, cell phone radiation isn't actually the cause of bloody tears. It's just that red eyes, which can lead to blood-like tears, does have a lot of other causes - just not cellphone radiation, " she explains.
The paediatrician, who likes to educate parents through writing on his blogs and Instagram, also adds another timely reminder: although bloody tears aren't caused by cell phone radiation, parents still need to be mindful in giving their children gadgets to use.
I also had the time to read an article on Detik Health related to shedding bloody tears and device-use.
Dr. Ariani Safira Nurul Akbar is an eye specialist from the Jakarta Eye Center, in Cinere. According to her, prolonged gadget use can cause dry eyes, especially in children.
If the eye becomes dry, it will become itchy and lead to the child rubbing his eyes. "So your child's eyes can become dry and itchy after prolonged gadget use, leading to vigorous rubbing - resulting in bloody tears," she explains to Detik News.
Just like Dr. Meta, the eye specialist, often called Dr. Fira, also reminds parents that they do need to limit cellphone use with their children. This rule of screen time applies to television use, too.
When this article was published, Fitri Resita Dewi had already confirmed that her baby's bloody tears, or haemolacria, were not due to the cellphone radiation.
"Thank God, he has nearly fully recovered - just a little bit of swelling left. My child is still very energetic, running about here and there. It turns out it's his mum that panics and is worrisome. I thought this was due to gadget use, as when I consulted the first doctor, he said, "Does your child frequently watch shows on his phone? Please don't give it to him at all from now onwards, ma'am. It's pitiful because he's still so young - the radiation is very dangerous for children.
Yes, I replied. I was suprised. Then, I remembered the news which I read on facebook about the kid who got affected by radiation - his eyes bleeded profusely and I became paranoid. So it's true, my child has been affected by handphone radiation. It makes sense, considering he uses his mobile phone excessively, watching watching YouTube for hours on end.
While he was being treated, I didn't give my cellphone. The whole incident is a lesson learnt and has made me worry. Yesterday, his bloody tears happened again. When he woke up his eyes were swollen - purple, as seen in the photo.
Then, we took him to an ophthalmologist. The doctor said that this could be from a virus, perhaps a small blood vessel bursting - such that it settles and forms a membrane, which blocks his eye's pores, leading to injury and bleeding. So it's not entirely the gadget's fault.
Although this incident wasn't caused by cellphone radiation, that doesn't mean that your child should have unlimited cell phone use, right? Fitri Resita Dewi's valuable experience certainly provides an important lesson for all of us.
Parents, have you set screen time rules for your children already?
This article about haemolacria was translated by Kevin Wijaya Oey and republished with the permission of the theAsianparent Indonesia.
References: TAP Indonesia