Living with Aniridia

Ultra Runner Sinead Kane
By: Sinead Kane

In this video Sinead describes her experience of living with the eye condition Aniridia. Aniridia, means “without iris”. It is a rare genetic disorder affecting vision, characterised by a complete or partial absence of the colored part of the eye (the iris). Aniridia can cause reduction in the sharpness of vision (visual acuity) and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).Sinead is very sensitive to bright light, glare, and finds it very difficult to see in the dark. People with aniridia can also have other eye problems. Increased pressure in the eye namely Glaucoma typically appears in late childhood or early adolescence. Clouding of the lens of the eye namely Cataracts. Individuals with aniridia may also have involuntary eye movements namely nystagmus or underdevelopment of the region at the back of the eye responsible for sharp central vision namely foveal hypoplasia. Many of these eye problems contribute to progressive vision loss in affected individuals. The severity of symptoms is typically the same in both eyes. People with aniridia usually find it difficult to adapt to rapidly changing light conditions They may be sensitive to intense light and reflections from windows, mirrors and wet, metallic or white surfaces and often have to adapt their home, work and school environments accordingly. Glare caused by reflections may lessen the ability to see details or cause visual discomfort, dry sneezing and headaches. Moving from inside to outside, switching lights on and off, moving in foggy or cloudy days, and crossing in front of car headlamps produce a painful dazzling that reduces visual acuity and causes uncertainty in movement. People with aniridia often need to wear sunglasses with highly protective lenses outdoors, which may also be needed on cloudy days or indoors. Some people with aniridia can wear contact lenses with an artificial iris and fixed pupil that blocks out the light.

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| Sinead Kane | International Adversity Keynote Speaker | Virtual Presenter | YouTube Presenter | Blind Adventurer | World Record Holder | Consultant | Lecturer | Lawyer | PhD |