And Welcome to my blog, i hope this post find you well and you get to learn some few things. Well at the end of your reading you should be able to explain to your friend why their eyes are not brown and hopefully do not make them feel bad about themselves. Ok, so if you still have not catch up to it today am going to talk briefly about albinism, ocular albinism to be precise.
Most often when we hear albinism or albino all we see in our minds eye is a fair person with fair hair color who is probably wearing a spectacle. But the truth is, there are a lot of people walking around who are albinos in their eye and may not even know it. These individuals do get attention because they have colorful eyes which looks mesmerizing to their crushes but not because we see them as albinos (which is probably a good thing).
Albinism is genetic condition characterized by lack or inadequate production of melanin in the body. It been genetic simply means we are born with it and thus not much can be done about the condition except to manage it. It is rare and it is also carried by a recessive allele which is why we do not have lot of individuals as albinos. It been recessive means you need the alleles on both genes for it to manifest.
There are different types of albinism based on the genetic makeup, but because i do not want to bore you with lot of genetics so lets go on to talk about oculo-cutaneous albinism and ocular albinism. Oculo-cutaneous is the one you are most familiar with, the general manifest albinism on the skin and in the eye whereas ocular albinism happens only in the eye.
Ocular Albinism and Oculocutaneous albinism
When we talk about eye color we refer to the part of the eye called the iris. The iris is comparable to the skin of an individual, whiles your skin determines your complexion your iris determines you eye color and in both of these tissues the color is regulated by the amount of melanin produced.
More melanin mean darker or brown color, less melanin is means a lighter or fairer color, in terms of the eye we are looking blue, green, grey eyes which are actually not contact lens induced.
Ocular albinos may not have much of health and visual complications as compared to oculocutaneous albinos. Ocular albinos may only require some refractive correction to help improve their vision and 100% UV protective lenses for their eye.
In the case of oculocutaneous albinos, these do not help so much. Vision do not improve much even with correction and in severe cases individuals may become low vision patients. Extra care has to taken to protect the skin too. Their lack or reduced melanin production makes them susceptible to melanomas and UV damage but albinism in itself is not a death sentence. It does not kill and albinos are as healthy as anyone of us out there.
Albinism is not contagious nor is it a disease. Albinos should be encouraged to live their life to the fullest potential, and i would like to advise that we do not ever look down on anyone for their difference in the society.
Visual Problems Associated with Albinism
Aside the reduce visual acuity as already discussed and their susceptibility to melanomas, albinos may also suffer from uncontrollable irregular rapid eye movements known as nystagmus. This is also known to contribute to their poor vision.
In addition individuals may suffer from Amblyopia otherwise known as lazy eyes. A condition where the eye fails to see as it should even after all refractive and conventional methods have been applied. Amblyopia may be due to poor visual cortex development in relation to stimulus input or other binocular vision anomalies such as strabismus which may all be evident in an albino individual.
Albinos may also suffer from enhanced sensitivity to light, glare and blurry vision especially in the daylight. In some cases the optic nerve which carries visual data to the brain for interpretation may also be under developed which has significant impact on vision
It is important that albinos, their families and their friends are aware of their condition and the potential harm that could be caused to them when they fail to protect themselves and seek the right care at all times.
Regular visit to your optometrist for assessment on visual health and visual acuity would go a long way to preserving and even improving vision. Regular visit to the dermatologist is advised to ensure that everything is been done well so as to protect oneself better and keep safe.
Always remember your doctors knows better, seek information from the right source at all times. Good life is how based on how well you live it. Your health is paramount to everything else. When in doubt consult your doctor and do not forget to report all ocular cases to your optometrist as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading, Special thanks to my mentors and supporters @mcsamm, @tj4real, @armandosodano, @delilhavores, @gentleshaid, @agmoore. For further reading;