Two-year-old, Mehlani Martinez, has probably the most beautiful eyes in the world. Just like the princesses in the fairy tales. However, it is unfortunate that her eyes are the way they are due to a rare genetic condition called the Axenfeld-Gieger syndrome. Affecting 1 in about 200,000 babies this condition is extremely rare and causes the person having this condition have under-developed iris. It is because of her iris-the black part of her eye- being under-developed that she has big eyes. Her eyes are virtually all pupil and make her look like any other Disney princess.
This condition also causes Glaucoma and Mehlani has it. However, Mehlani still has her eyesight, although, she is extremely sensitive to light and wears sunglasses outside. This is a condition with the eye pressure and can also cause blindness. According to reports by Daily Mail when Mehlani was born her mother didn't notice her eyes but other family members did. She was diagnosed with the condition in the first week of her life.
In a viral Twitter thread made by her mother revealed her apprehension. She said, 'I get so nervous thinking about her starting school. What if other kids are mean about her eyes & she gets made fun of? What if she starts to hate her unique gorgeous eyes? It makes me want to cry thinking about it because she’s so strong & sweet & been through so much already.'
Take a look at the whole thread.
Everytime were out & a stranger compliments on how big & beautiful her eyes are, I have a mental debate on whether or not I should mention her defect. I decide no, smile & say thank you. I’m always left with a weird feeling. I just pray she’ll always know how beautiful she is. pic.twitter.com/JUJyGkLbDe
— moscato mami🥂 (@karinaa_ortega) September 13, 2018
What is Axenfeld-Gieger Syndrome?
It doesn't only affect the eyes, as it may have come across via this case. Also known as Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome or Hagedoom syndrome, it is a rare autosomal dominant disorder. It affects the partial or overall development of the teeth, eyes, and the abdominal region. A study describes the condition as 'Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (ARS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of developmental disorders affecting primarily the anterior segment of the eye, often leading to secondary glaucoma. Patients with ARS may also present with systemic changes, including dental defects, mild craniofacial dysmorphism, and umbilical anomalies. ARS is inherited in an autosomal-dominant fashion'
Another study states, ' People with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome often have a pupil that is off-centre (corectopia) or extra holes in the iris that can look like multiple pupils (polycoria). This condition can also cause abnormalities of the cornea, which is the clear front covering of the eye. About half of affected individuals develop glaucoma, a serious condition that increases the pressure inside the eye. '