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Albinism Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is albinism?

Albinism, the congenital disorder is described as no or little melanin production. Melanin is a pigment which is responsible for giving color to our eyes, skin and hair. Most individuals with albinism tend to be sensitive to sunlight and are more likely to develop skin cancer.

Sadly, albinism is incurable; however certain steps can maximize the vision and protect the skin of people with the disorder. For some, albinism can lead social isolation and depression.

What are the types of albinism?

There tend to be 2 main types of albinism in human:

  • Oculocutaneous: the type affects your hair, skin and eye.
  • Ocular: the type affects only the eyes.

What are the symptoms of albinism?

The signs are quite apparent in the skin, eye color and hair of a person with albinism. However, all sufferers of the disorder faces vision problems. Its symptoms include:

  • Skin patches that have completely loss color- become white.
  • Lighter coloring of eyes, skin or hair.
  • Color absence in the eyes, skin or hair.

What causes albinism?

Defect in a gene responsible for distributing or producing melanin causes albinism. Such defect tends to consequent a reduced or absent melanin production. Clearly, the disorder is heredity and thus the defective gene is passed on by parents.

What possible complications albinism can lead?

The disorder can lead emotional and social challenges due to the affected appearance. While on the other hand, a person with albinism is more likely to develop few other skin disorders as well.

Who is more likely to develop albinism?

As mentioned before, albinism is heredity. That means you have an increased risk of developing albinism if your parents have it or someone in family has it.

How is albinism diagnosed?

In order to diagnose albinism, your doctor will need the medical history of your family in order to check the possibilities. Furthermore, he can:

  • Perform a physical exam including your eyes and skin.
  • Changes description in pigmentation.

How is albinism treated?

Since it is genetic thus has limited treatment. To relieve your symptoms is the goal of albinism treatment. However, treatment tends to depend upon the disorder severity. It involves protecting your eyes and skin from sun.

  • Minimize the risk of sunburn using sunscreen, or cover your body completely by clothing when more exposed to sun.
  • Avoid sun exposure.
  • The sunscreen must have SPF.
  • Lastly, UV protected sunglasses can relieve sensitivity to light.

Often, glasses are prescribed in order to correct eye position and vision problems. Moreover, sometimes, doctors suggest eye muscle surgery to correct nystagmus- abnormal eye movements.


  • Apply sunscreen.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Low vision aids should be used.
  • Wear clothing that covers your entire body parts.
  • It is important to protect your eyes, thus wear UV-blocking, dark transition lenses or sunglasses.
  • In case you have albinism, and are planning to have a baby, consult a genetic counselor.

By : Natural Health News

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