Fireside Chats With Dr Mary #36 – By Dr Mary Ugalahi

Zainab, a 13-year old girl popularly called “Madam 10 questions” visited her Uncle’s family for the holidays. Uncle Hassan has three children of whom two are medical doctors. However, Amina was her favourite.

On arrival, she was excited to meet her wonderful cousins Aliyu, Amina and Hussien in the house. Amina and Aliyu are doctors.  Hussein is a  lawyer.

On sighting Amina, Zainab excitedly jumped on her. “Aunty Amina, I have waited a long time to see you!”

“Why is that so?” Amina asked.

“I need to speak with a doctor” she replied.

Amina in concern clasped her to herself and asked, “Are you ill? You can tell me anything you know, right?”

“Aunty Amina I am not sick,” she replied. “I have a school assignment and I need to speak with a doctor. I did not know you will be home. I am so lucky to meet you.”

This girl will not give me a heart attack. Amina sighed. “Alright once you are settled we can discuss ”

Zainab greeted and hugged her other cousins. She was warmly welcomed and assisted to her room while the driver returned home.

Two hours later Zainab met Amina in her room and posed her question.

“Please can you tell me ten things about  normal eyes?”

“That is easy” replied Amina.

  1. They should appear to be of the same shape and colour.
  2. They should see objects equally. In other words if you close one eye after the other, the image clarity should be the same.
  3. They should look in the same direction at the same time.
  4. They should not be red.
  5. The black of the eyes should be black. No white specks or shiny reflex should be seen within the centre of the black or anywhere òn the black part.
  6. The brightness of reflection of both eyes should be similar especially in children. If any difference in brightness (cat eye reflex) is noticed that eye needs to be examined immediately.
  7. There should be no white ring around the black of the eyes. In young people this may be a sign of high cholesterol. However in people older than 60 years  it may be normal.
  8. The eyes should not be shaking.
  9. The size of both eyes should be the same. None should be bigger than the other
  10. The eyes should not shed tears when not crying or without a reason.

“I hope this is helpful?” Amina concluded.

“Oh thank you very much Aunty Amina, you are the best!” She hugged her tightly.”I am so happy I met you at home, when do you leave?”

“I am on leave and spending time with the parents. Will depart in a week” Amina replied.

  • Have you looked at your eyes in the mirror lately?
  • Do they look the same?
  • Have you checked the vision quality in either eye lately? Is it the same?
  • Have you examined your children’s eyes lately? Do they look the same?





Dr.Mary Ugalahi


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