Comments: 391 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

iuliana_cosmina210 karma

Do you know what caused this ? How has this affected your life?

bmkern3389343 karma

Essentially, it's just a part of the iris that didn't form in-utero. It just makes my vision pretty poor, but it can be corrected with contacts to 20/40.

the-average-gatsby136 karma

This is pretty amazing. I hope this doesn't come off as insensitive, but I just have one lazy eye and it prevents me from wearing contacts to correct my vision.

It astounds me that you can correct your vision so well with contacts when your condition is so visibly noticeable.

Anyway, thanks for doing the AMA and I hope (again) I didn't sound like a dick up there. My question I guess is did this impact your life at all growing up, and if so, how?

bmkern3389209 karma

It mostly just affected my vision. People are afraid to ask about my eyes sometimes because they think I'll be offended, but I really don't mind (so don't worry!). It's just something that's pretty normal to me. I guess the only way it really impacted my life is that I learned to have a tougher skin. I'm not usually easily offended by people now so that's a good thing.

CaptainCpt185 karma

So, is it true that you and your husband only came together because of your lacking vision?

bmkern3389402 karma

Haha. No. He just says that. I can see him fine. He's a dime.

brainless0621147 karma

Did this ever effect your self esteem while growing up? Highschool can be tough times afterall.

bmkern3389387 karma

Not really. People say dumb things. But that doesn't really mean what they say is true. It bothered me in elementary school but not anymore.

Lowlifelongcut138 karma

When you look around do your pupils still move in the direction you're looking?

bmkern3389136 karma


RabidMuskrat936 karma

So you're saying they are essentially googly eyes? Because that's awesome.

bmkern338911 karma

No not at all. Hahaha. I haven't even heard of it being called googly eyes until just yesterday. My pupils do not wiggle around in my iris. They are in a fixed position just like everyone else's.

deathsheep122 karma

your eyes look incredible! I'm curious tho, when looking at something, do you look directly at it, or do you angle your eyes so your pupils point at it? Also i'm ashamed that this is all i can think of: shame

bmkern338986 karma

That is not shameful. Funny though. Haha. Just like most people, I don't have to consciously angle my eyes. I just look and they follow. My pupil is still in the middle, so it's not like I'm having to aim the bottom of my pupil upwards. I can see by just looking at something straight on.

OliveJuices1780 karma

Does that mean in the picture you are looking down because your eye iris is centered but your pupil is not?

TaraTLC18 karma

In the pictures she's looking at the camera. Her pupils are permanently fixed in that position. If her colobomas are anything like my daughters they won't dilate or constrict much, if at all, when exposed to light or dark.

bmkern338915 karma

Mine dilate and constrict like everyone else's, they just don't become a small circle. They stay the same shape but that shape just gets larger or smaller. This can throw cops for a loop though, so you have to explain that you have a condition and that you aren't on something.

bmkern338911 karma

I do not have "googly eye" syndrome, which so many people keep assuming. Hahaha. My pupils do not move independently of my irises. They move with the iris like everyone else with normal pupils. My pupil is still centered, just larger.

trideout96 karma

Could you wear contacts that corrected the appearance while still allowing you to see?

bmkern3389133 karma

I tried colored contacts once but it made my vision really cloudy.

chunkypigeon88 karma

What was your husbands reaction when he first found out about this? Thanks for doing this ama by the way.

bmkern3389186 karma

He's always liked my eyes. He's the one that wanted me to take the picture with my dog. He asked a few questions when we first started dating but I think they're his new normal now.

dummystupid80 karma

Does your vision differ from the average person's and if so how?

bmkern3389112 karma

I'm a lot more nearsighted because more light comes through my pupil, but other than that, it doesn't differ much.

ChronoX5185 karma

There's a neat trick you can do when you are near sighted. When you look through a very small gap, like the gap you can make by curling your index finger most of the excess light get's blocked out and your vision get's almost normal. Very handy when you can't find your glasses.

Edit: Thanks for the gold!

bmkern338979 karma

I used to do this when I was little but it doesn't help enough to go without glasses. I can't even see the big "E" on the vision tests. Ha.

tweakingforjesus40 karma

Does the extra light mean you have some sort of super night vision?

bmkern3389104 karma

If only!! That would be awesome. But actually, my vision is worse at night because any light source "floods" my vision. Especially headlights. Yikes.

TaraTLC50 karma

Hi! It's nice to see other people with this condition! My daughter has unilateral Iris coloboma but bilateral retinal colobomas. She's 3.5!

bmkern338943 karma

I have bilateral retinal colobomas as well so I totally understand! And it's neat to know other people have it.

Velorium_Camper43 karma

Were there any hardships you had to overcome because of bilateral coloboma?

bmkern338956 karma

Other than getting used to peoples reactions and learning to wear contacts, nope. Pretty manageable.

Erin_Bear3 karma

So only contacts can correct it? Glasses don't help as much? How old were you when you started wearing contacts, and what did you do before that? Was it a shock when you used contacts for the first time?

bmkern33897 karma

Glasses correct it just as well. I just don't like wearing glasses (inconvenient). I was about 12 when I started wearing contacts, and I couldn't wait to use them because I'd worn glasses since I was about 7 or 8. It was a super easy transition for me.

myinsidesarecopper40 karma

How do people react when you are out in public? For example, do cashiers say things to you, do elderly people stare, do children ask funny questions? What is the dumbest and or funniest thing a person has said?

bmkern3389107 karma

Mostly people between the ages of 16-30 comment. Everyone else just kind of stares. The dumbest comment I've ever gotten? Gosh I can't even begin to list them all. I had one guy ask if I had x-ray vision. I've had another say that he wanted to drink my dirty bath water (disgusting). I was a cashier at a QuikTrip for a while in college and that's when I got most of my comments. One guy said I looked like a cat and asked if I scratched when I got frisky. Pretty weird.

bibub30 karma

Are you looking straight into the camera?
I can't tell if you are looking down or straight.

How confusing is it when people try to maintain eye contact?

I have a friend with a lazy eye and even though one eye was looking straight at me I always somehow thought he was looking past me (because of his lazy eye which he is not using).

bmkern338943 karma

I'm actually looking down a bit in the camera because my husband was aiming the camera up at me. So in a normal situation, I think most people can tell where I'm looking. If you look at the second picture that might clear things up.

cjwojoe27 karma

Did you guys get the husky because you were empathetic of his condition or was it just coincidence?

bmkern338944 karma

My husband actually got her for an engagement present. He picked her out because of her name, but she also ended up having the bicolored eyes and so she was even more perfect.

tallestmidget22011 karma

Well, what's your dog's name? You can't leave us hanging like that! Every husky I've come across has had a very odd name. Kenai, Varga, Gretta, Aheito...

bmkern338918 karma


MrCranberry23 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! I have a pretty random question for you: do you find that you have a lower incidence of redeye when taking photos?

bmkern338935 karma

Higher incidence actually. I usually have red eye in one eye and a white eye in the other.

karmanaut21 karma

Could you take a second picture of yourself with a note that says "/u/Bmkern3389" so that we know it is really you?

bmkern338940 karma

This is a picture of my husband and I. You can probably see my pupils here too.

ThatObviousDude20 karma

Your man friend has expressed that he believes you cannot see him properly and that this is why you are together. Does he have any bodily errors like the mangina or pubefro?

bmkern338929 karma

Hahaha. I can see him fine. He just jokes cuz he's sweet.

raziphel18 karma

If it could be fixed with surgery, would you?

bmkern338931 karma

Probably not, unless it meant I could have perfect vision. I've had my eyes like this so long that it's kind of part of who I am. I wouldn't really want to change it. Good question though.

Millhouse20117 karma

My new daughter has a coloboma and my wife has been having a really hard time dealing with it. What's the best advice you can give us in raising a daughter with your same condition?

bmkern338930 karma

Honestly it makes her so unique and it's neat. It was not fun as a kid, but it won't really affect you much as an adult, other than having to wear contacts. One of the things my husband likes most about me is my eyes. And I'm sure the same will go for her when she gets older. If she can learn to just ignore the people who are rude, try to understand that they just don't know how to react, and learn to explain what it is in a simple way, she'll do just fine. I love how concerned you both are!

cb914 karma

With the iris being in the center of the eye, does your vision seem to be centered, or does your bottom eyelid somewhat obscure your vision?

bmkern338924 karma

I don't think that my eyelid obscures my vision at all. I wouldn't know the difference because I've never had another pair of eyes, but mostly I'm just nearsighted.

AndreTRON13 karma

Are you able to drive / legally allowed to?

bmkern338925 karma

I am able to drive, but I am legally blind without my contacts. So without them, I cannot drive. And I wouldn't want to!

scotthoffman197711 karma

Lovely pup and lovely lady!

Does it impact at all her vision?

bmkern338919 karma

It affects my vision for sure. It makes me extremely nearsighted.

justsomeguy011 karma

Are you sure that this is what affects your vision? I also have a bilateral colombola but have no vision problems (besides light sensitivity).

bmkern338923 karma

Well I also have retinal coloboma, not just coloboma of my irises. So it allows more light to come in and over-refracts the images.

otso_kallio7 karma

Wacky question: what happens when you were lenses that reduce light input (perhaps broadly or within certain spectrums, perhaps blue)?

Maybe glasses that dynamically adjust range for light conditions?

bmkern33899 karma

I've never tried them so who knows?

Dylan_1979 karma

When you're outside how do you manage the sunlight? Also how does light feel to you since you recept more?

bmkern338911 karma

It doesn't bother me too much. I just make sure and bring sunglasses with me if I'm driving or out for a long time.

MalletSpaceStudios8 karma

when you look in the mirror, do you feel like you are making eye contact with yourself? does your perception of eyes (being used to your own) cause any confusion when looking at someone else's eyes?

To elaborate, if we were to hold eye contact, I would feel like you weren't actually looking at me, even if i knew you were. Do you get the same feeling or perceive how eyes point to look at things differently?

bmkern33898 karma

You might not feel like that if it was in person. No one's ever said they don't feel like I'm looking at them. So it might just be the picture. But my perception of eyes doesn't really make me see others eyes differently (at least I don't think so).

Danny_Love7 karma

Are there any benefits to the condition?

bmkern338958 karma

Free halloween costume.

ThoroughlyAgitated5 karma

I'm curious, how quickly do people notice? From the dog picture, it looked very apparent, but in both your photo w/ your husband and your username proof photo, I think it's kind of harder to see.

Similarly, after initially meeting you, how long does it usually take for people to ask about it? I would assume most are polite, but have there ever been any reactions that prompted you to explain?

bmkern338910 karma

It really depends on the person. My best friend growing up didn't notice until we were 10 (and we grew up together) but some people notice right off the bat. Most people are afraid to ask so I just kinda throw it out there if I notice them staring or if they ask about my "contacts". I realize that most people don't know how to ask about it without seeming offensive so I just help em out and tell them what it is. That usually puts people at ease.

NeedYourKarma4 karma

Have you considered surgery? Are there even surgery options? I saw that contacts can correct your vision to 20/40, surely surgery of some sort could do better?

bmkern33896 karma

Apparently there is a surgery option with a company somewhere (or so another redditor pointed out) but I've never considered surgery.

sevpay4 karma

I see that your pupils are near the bottom of your eyes. Do you have a tendency to look down with your eyes in a normal position?

bmkern338919 karma

My pupils "appear" at the bottom of my eyes, but I still see primarily through the same area that everyone else sees through. The only thing that comes through the bottom part of my pupil is mostly light.

adrach873 karma

Does your eye focus light differently? Like when you try one of those find the blindspot in your eye tests, do you find it, or is light focused in a different place in your eye away from the optic nerve?

bmkern33899 karma

I have no clue. I mean, I could find the blindspot. It was about half a foot from the computer screen.

Cookiemonster23233 karma


bmkern33896 karma

Not really. I've never had a situation where people didn't know I was talking to them because of my eyes.

Geicolo3 karma

How well are you able to drive?

Also you and your husband look adorable!

bmkern338912 karma

My husband would probably disagree with this, but I think I drive fine. Any poor driving is not because of my vision (except at night). I usually let him drive at night because headlights flood my vision.

sblackwell133 karma

So do your eyes process light differently than your SO? Have your eyes even been dilated to the point where your vision was enhanced? If so what did look like? I'm curious to know whether you pick up on other frequencies of light that people without this condition can't.

If none those questions elude to anything, how has your experience been with this condition? You seem like a vibrant, healthy woman.

bmkern33893 karma

My vision has never been enhanced because of more light. The definition of near sightedness is an image being over-refracted onto the retina and therefore being seen as fuzzy. Because I have so much light pouring in, it over-refracts the images even more, making them even fuzzier, not enhanced.

Space_Waffles2 karma

Your eyes are such a pretty color! <3 Other than your vision being bad/blurred, is there any other way that you can tell there is something abnormal with your eyes?

bmkern33897 karma

Not really. That's mostly the extent of it. Light bothers my eyes a little more sometimes. It just gives me headaches if I don't have sunglasses and I'm outside for a long time. But I think people with light eyes have this issue sometimes too.

freenarative2 karma

Do you hear the words "googly-eyes" a lot?

bmkern338910 karma

Not until today. Reddit is the first place I've ever been called that. I've heard "cat eyes" or "keyhole pupils" plenty of times though.

mrrain12 karma

Can it be corrected or is contacts the only way you will to be able to see normal?

bmkern33897 karma

It can't be corrected with lasik because Lasik is created for a round pupil so it can't adjust to mine. And with contacts I can see 20/40 so relatively normal vision.

mrrain12 karma

Are they working on a way to use LASIK to help those with this condition?

bmkern33893 karma

Another redditor posted a link to a company that is correcting it currently. So I guess it can be corrected? Wouldn't make me want to have surgery though.

FishInhaleTheirPee-9 karma

are you really her or did you just steal the pic from this post?

bmkern338913 karma

Yes this is really me. My husband posted that picture and I got so many requests for an ama that I posted this.

FishInhaleTheirPee2 karma


how do people react when they recognize your eyes? how was it in your childhood, did other kids make fun of you because f your eyes?

bmkern338912 karma

Reactions are varied. Some people love it. Other people freak out and say they can't look at me. One guy freaked out so much he told me to stop looking at him and ran away. His wife made him come back and apologize. Most people just think I'm wearing colored contacts. It doesn't really bother me anymore. People don't know how to react to different.