Rare Condition Leaves Baby with No Eyes
A baby girl, Brielle Garrison, was born in Wellington, Florida eight weeks ago. She is complete and healthy in every way, but sight. A rare condition, anophthalmia, has left her with no eyes.
The condition of either partially (microphthalmia) or completely missing eye tissue (anophthalmia) occurs in 30 in 100,000 births. Anophthalmia and microphthalmia are often used interchangeably. These rare disorders develop during pregnancy and can be associated with other birth defects.
Anophthalmia is not an inherited condition. It is often a genetic mutation, but very often the cause is not known. It is not usually diagnosed in utero.
No treatment for severe anophthalmia or microphthalmia can create a new eye or restore vision. Care is taken to aid the skeletal growth of the child’s face, fitting the child for a prosthetic (artificial) eye early. The prosthetic promotes proper socket and facial skeletal growth as well as being for cosmetic purposes.
Brielle will need several eye care professionals and multiple surgeries as she grows to fit the prosthetic eyes. It is important to remember that prosthetic eyes do not restore vision, so Brielle will also need all the services every blind person needs.
ican (international children’s anophthalmia/microphthalmia network) is a support group made up of families and professionals, for families dealing with these issues. The support group can put you in touch with other families or medical professionals who can help.