What is albinism?

By September 6, 2014Skin

Did you know that September is World Albanism Awareness month SolidWorks 2016? It’s the right time to put out some facts about this little-understood condition.

An inherited condition

The word “albinism” refers to a group of inherited conditions that cause a person to have little or no pigment in their skin, hair or eyes. This is due to altered genes that don’t make the usual amounts of a pigment called melanin. Most children with albinism have parents with normal eye and hair colour, and albinism can affect people from all races.

Albinism-related skin problems

Being at greater risk for sun-damage, people with albinism need to take precautions to protect their skin and eyes from ultra-violet rays by wearing sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.

Main test for albinism is an eye test!

While not all people with albinism have fair skin or hair, they do all experience problems with their vision. Vision impairment in albinism is caused by abnormal development of the retina and abnormal patterns of nerve connections between the eye and the brain. These eye problems define the diagnosis of albinism, and so the main test for albinism is an eye examination.

Sensitivity to light means that people with albinism need to wear tinted contact lenses or sunglasses outdoors, and it’s important to place reading lights behind them, rather than in front when indoors.

We’ll close with one more reminder about albinism and the sun: stay out of it or cover up, all over, and reapply sunscreen through the day as it wears off.

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Source: Albinism