Optical Albinism

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Albinism is caused from lack of Melanin which controls the amount of pigment in the body. There are many different types of Albinism and one in every 17,000 people is affected by it. It does not discriminate against race, creed or color. It also does not discriminate whether you arehuman or an animal. Anyone or anything can be affected with this condition.

Albinism is a genetic condition which can give the person light hair and eyes and can have vision impairments, but not all Albinos have these conditions or may have one and not the other. The severity of these conditions varies from person to person. Most people who are albinos are sensitive to bright light and wear sun glasses a lot.

The myth with Albinos is that they have red eyes, although some do have violet colored eyes most have blue or hazel.

Children who are born with Ocular Albinism have an involuntary movement to and fro movement in their eyes. Some of these children will tilt their heads in a specific direction. If the turning of the eye doesn’t develop in the first few years then therapy depends on their head position.

Oculocutaneous (pronounced Ock-you-low-kew-Tain-ee-us) albinism conditions that involve the eyes, hair, and skin. Ocular albinism involves primarily the eyes, while skin and hair may appear similar or slightly lighter than that of other family members.

There are surgeries available to help with treatment of the eyes, but because sometimes these surgeries involve dealing with nerves and the brain there are other means of treatment including optical aids. Depending on what they need them for depends on the aid and treatment.

Some use bifocals while others use hand held magnifiers or special small telescopes that attach to there glasses. Some states accept bioptic telescopes for driving.

An optometrist can help with these things. Once the proper device has been found the student must then learn how to use them. There are also clinics available to help with this process.

To find a clinic you can contact the American Foundation for the Blind at

1-800-AFB-LIND.

NOAH is the National Organization for Albinism and hypopigmentation. This organization can be a big help with raising a child with Albinism. There web address is http://www.albinism.org/index.html.

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