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Albinism - Skin Disorder and Compromised Eyesight

Albinism which is a genetically inherited disorder is diagnosed by the lack of melanin in an affected individual. Since melanin is highly critical in determining the color of an individual's skin, hair and eye, the lack of it is one of the distinguishing features of this disorder. Melanin is also important in the growth of optical nerves and hence in addition to suffering from the lack of pigmentation the individual can also suffer from compromised eyesight. Almost all types of albinism affect the functioning and developmental process of the eyes.

It is highly possible that those suffering from albinism stand a great risk of developing skin related disorders skin sensitivity. The disorder has no known cure to date, but it can be controlled and kept under check with the help of simple measures that involve prescription eye wear and avoiding the exposure of sun. The disorder however does not affect any part of the individual's intellectual capability, metal growth or physical development. Since the individual is clearly characterized with extremely light hair and milky white skin, he or she is often subjected to societal ridicule or some sort of discrimination that may hamper the patient's psychological standing. Vision deficiencies amongst albinism patients include accelerated, non-voluntary to and fro motion of the eyes, this is known as nystagmus, lack of ability of both the eyes to remain focused at one point or move together simultaneously, known as strabismus, utmost myopia or hypermetropia or super sensitivity towards light known as photophobia.

Albinism takes place when there is a mutation of one or several genes. The mutation that takes place may cause the absence of melanin or a substantial descent in the quantity of melanin.

It is possible that society may have a negative impact on the individual through teasing, taunting or being asked negative queries about the condition or just by being shunned in social gatherings. In popular culture and mainstream media, there are instances where individuals who are supposedly "bad" or "cruel" are depicted with albinism. This can cause a lot of hurt in the mind of the individual with albinism. All these societal elements can cause the individual to develop poor self-worth and mental or emotional strain. In all this it is imperative that the individual is made to be confident despite of the condition. The only known surgery to correct any feature of albinism would be through eye surgery. Eye surgery may be recommended on optical nerves or muscles that would reduce the effect of nystagmus and provide some relief in visual sensation.