Albinism In Humans

Albinism is a word derived from the latin word “Albus” which means white. The diseas is thus aptly named because its effect causes overall whiteness on the skin all over the body. Human beings are born with Albinism. It is a congenital disorder passed down the generations from parents to children. It is known to occur more frequetnly in cultures where inter marriages between close relatives is more the norm. There are two main types of albinism in human beings; oculocutaneous albinism and ocular albinism. Oculocutaneous albinism causes loss of pigmentation in the overall skin of a body as well as eyes and hair. In animals this type of albinism can be seen in the loss of pigmentation in fur and eyes. The level to which depigmentation occurrs varies from person to person depending on levels of melanin produced by the genes. Ocular albinism is that type of albinism which is restricted to eyes only. It is a common myth that people with albinism have red coloured irises. This is not true in all cases. Ocular albinism does effect eyes but it is not neccesary that everyone who has this type of albinism will have red or voilet coloured eyes. The colour of the eye depends on the amount of pgimentation produced and this again varies from person to person. In extreme cases some people have red or voilet coloured eyes. People suffering from ocular albinism also suffer from photosensitivity where bright light causes them discomfort. Apart from photo sensitivity ocular albinism leads to other eye problems which are not easily corrected with eye glasses. These problems include near sight or far sight as well as blurry images due to a lack of eye focus. Involuntary eyes movement as well as difficulties in tracking objectes with eyes is also caused by ocular albinism. Diognosing the specific type of albinism a person has can be difficult. It is best to determine what type of albinism a person has by taking suffiecient family history and tracing the genetic disorder in this manner. Albinism causes more than physical harm to a person. The emotional experienced by the patients is often not t aken into account when describing the problems related to albinism.





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