Under the term of albinism there understood a genetic condition when a person lacks melanin pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Melanin can either be completely absent or its levels are critically low.
The important fact about melanin is that is serves in different purposes in our organism. But the main one is protection of our organism form ultraviolet rays and their harmful effects. Its second important function is to provide proper vision of a person.
All the albinism symptoms are caused by this lack or absence of melanin in a person’s organism. The reason behind it is some genetic mutation. It is generally happens when a person inherits the set of mutated genes from both parents. As long as it is a rare case, the disease is considered rare. In case a person inherits only one set of genes, nothing happens.
There are generally two forms of the condition according to albinism symptoms that a person manifests.
The first is oculocutaneous albinism. It is characterized by the specific color of skin and hair and eyes. Insufficient or lacking melanin crates the skin color that is pale and translucent. It is very frequent that people have this skin color all their lives. In some cases melanin production can start later in teenage years and then skin color can change a bit. In case of sun exposure, slight tan can appear and freckles as well as moles. People with lack of melanin have white or brown hair. One more in the list of albinism symptoms is the color of eyes that is either light blue or brown. Lack of melanin leads to the iris becoming translucent and, therefore, unable to protect eyes from UV rays. Redness of eyes also is explained by this translucence. Albinism symptoms of this type as well as others also include farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism.
The second type of the condition is ocular albinism. It differs from the previous type because its albinism symptoms are reported to manifest themselves in the eyes of a person only. There is no change either in the color of eyes or skin; rather, the condition is characterized by photophobia and rapid eye movements – nystagmus eyes. Generally the diagnosis based on these albinism symptoms can be stated only when a person undergoes eye examination as otherwise it is impossible to detect any alternations in melanin levels. Frequently albinism symptomsis also characterized by strabismus; which is the condition when eyes cannot look and move in the same direction.
Albinism symptoms cannot be treated in any way. It is a genetic disorder and it is really hard to do anything to alleviate the condition. One of the few things that can be done is actually to manage the symptoms a little. One of the first advises to such people is to avoid sun exposure. It is also recommended to undergo a thorough examination of eyes and skin at least once a year. Tinted glasses will be a great help in protecting from UY rays and sunlight for people with albinism symptoms and in case of bad vision, there are lenses and glasses. Surgery of the optical muscles can be of help in case of nystagmus. Still, there isn’t much that can be done to the albinism symptomsas it they are.
Albinism symptoms are very eloquent and it is a very frequent situation when people suffer from it a lot. This is especially true about kids and teenagers when unusual appearance can be a reason for a lot of jokes and picking on. Very often people with albinism tend to detach and isolate from the society as they are not accepted by the society. It is very important to understand that there is nothing wrong with a person with albinism symptoms and that (moreover) he is not contagious or the like. Parents should make it clear for their kids in the first place.