Living with Aniridia: Samantha's Story Video

Samantha, 18, was born with aniridia, a congenital absence of the iris in the eye. Samantha also suffers from glaucoma, high astigmatism, cataracts and high hyperopia, or severe farsightedness. Hear her story.
Read the full transcript »

Living with Aniridia - Samantha's Story Dr. Kerry Assil: Sam has been a patient of ours since she was two years old. She was born with a rare condition called aniridia that affects between one in 50 to one in a hundred thousands people. Sam: When you’re born without an iris you have extreme sensitivity to sunlight. If you look into my eyes, at first glance it seems like they’re just really dark. However, they’re black because all you’re seeing is pupil and the pupil is that big hole. Dr. Kerry Assil: Unlike most of us that haven’t had stopped to the camera of our eye where we’re going to bright light, the pupil gets small and blocks the light. Pupil with aniridia all the light showers them. So it’s 10 times worst in walking out of a dark theater in the middle of a bright sunny day. Sam: These are my sunglasses. I wear them all the time whenever I go outside. Dr.Kerry Assil: She’s at the point where she is effectively legally blind in many circumstances. Sam: There are times where I almost give up and I think that I’m really sick like this forever.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement