When you see an albino, they usually look quite different because their body system couldn’t produce or utilize pigment(melanin) like every other person.
Pigment is the material in the body that helps us produce colour, usually on the skin, hair and eye.
MELANIN PIGMENT IN THE BODY HELPS US ACHIEVE THE FOLLOWING:
It protects us naturally from the UV effect of the sun.
It is required for proper development of the eye, especially the structures at the back of the eye.
Albinism is a hereditary condition which could be passed from parents to offspring. It is usually due to genetic mutation or malformation of some of the genes which results in destruction of the melanin pigment.
THERE ARE 2 TYPES OF ALBINISM, THEY ARE;
● Oculocutaneous – This type of albinism occurs when there is less number of pigments in the eyes, hair, and skin. The presentation of this is usually very obvious as the albinism cuts across the eyes, skin and hair.
● Ocular albinism – This only affects the eye. The skin and hair are not usually affected. The external presentation of ocular albinism is usually less obvious because only the eye is affected and the person may only have visual complaints.
Aside the obvious signs of albinism which includes hair colour, and difficulty seeing in the sun, here are other signs that an albino may also experience;
– Nystagmus – rapid and uncontrollable eye movement.
– Strabismus or eye turn
– Reliance on the vision of one eye rather than both eyes.
– Photophobia due to inadequate amount of pigments in the iris, thereby allowing excessive light to pass through the eye.
– There is usually a problem at retina (Optic disc) in the back of the eye.
ANY TREATMENT FOR ALBINISM?
Albinism itself has no treatment, but some conditions associated with albinism can be eliminated. For example, albinism associated with low vision can be improved with the use of low vision aids, such as; hand-held magnifiers and telescope. Also, spectacle glasses with photochromic effect can also be utilized to reduce the sensitiivity of the sun on the albinos under sunlight.
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