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Qahatika Child: c. 1907

Qahatika Child: c. 1907

A Qahatika Native-American child. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, c. 1907. View full size.


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A diagnosis

Showed this to my husband, a pediatric ophthalmologist. He thinks the child has aniridia, or congenitally absent or vestigial irises. There are different degrees of how much iris is lacking; it is often but not always associated with congenital glaucoma -- hard to tell with this child if that present or not. I asked for the bottom line: how well could this kid see? Answer: some of them actually have fairly normal vision (if no glaucoma), but imagine not being able to shut down your pupils in bright light. Probably no sunglasses available, either.


The mydriasis gives this kid a chilling, scary stare. He looks so unreal.

Is there a Dr. in the house?

No kidding. This looks like major mydriasis (dilated pupils). Most commonly drug-induced, but could also be a disease process. Looks like you might be able to see Edward S. Curtis in there as well.

Or I could be hallucinating...

[Right you are. Here is a close up of his eye. - Ken]

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