What is albinism?
A health article about albinism from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Causes, Symptoms and Albinism Oculocutaneous Treatment
Albinism refers to a group of inherited conditions. People with albinism have absent or reduced pigment in their eyes, skin or hair. They have inherited genes that do not make the usual amounts of a pigment called melanin which is essential for the full development of the retina.
Lack of melanin in development of the retina is the primary cause of visual impairment in albinism. In the USA it is estimated that one person in 17,000 has some type of albinism.
Other parts of the world have a much higher rate; for example, albinism is found in about 20 out of every 100,000 people in southern Nigeria.
There are 10 types of the most common form of the condition, known as "oculocutaneous albinism," which affects the eyes, hair, and skin. In its most severe form, hair and skin remain pure white throughout life.
People with a less severe form are born with white hair and skin, which turn slightly darker as they age. Everyone with oculocutaneous albinism experiences abnormal flickering eye movements (nystagmus) and sensitivity to bright light.
There may be other eye problems as well, including poor vision and crossed or "lazy" eyes (strabismus).
The second most common type of the condition is known as "ocular" albinism, in which only the eyes lack color; skin and hair are normal.
There are five forms of ocular albinism; some types cause more problems-- especially eye problems--than others.
What are the causes of albinism?
Some people might think albinism is contagious, but it isn't. Albinism isn't like a cold or the flu; it's caused by a person's genes. The main problems of albinism are caused by the inability of the body to produce melanin pigment (whose major role in the skin is to absorb UV light from the sun so skin is not sun-damaged). It also has a role in the development of normal vision of the eye.
Albinism is mostly a recessively inherited disease, which means that you have inherited two albinism genes (one from each parent). If your parents are only carriers of albinism (each having one albinism gene and one normal gene) they will have enough genetic information to make normal pigment and will not show any signs of albinism.
Albinism of just the eyes also occurs. This is called ocular albinism. In this form of albinism, skin color is usually normal and eye color may be in the normal range. However, examination of the eye will show that there is no pigment in the retina. Individuals with albinism (called albinos) generally have white hair and pale skin which makes them stand out.
Often hair pigmentation is not completely absent (white) but shows a pale or medium blonde. Often the affected persons are paler in complexion as the rest of the family. The myth that all persons with albinism have "white hair and red eyes" is not true.
What are the symptoms of albinism?
Symptoms of albinism can involve the skin, hair, and eyes. The skin, because it contains little pigment, appears very light, as does the hair.
Although people with albinism may experience a variety of eye problems, one of the myths about albinism is that it causes people to have pink or red eyes. In fact, people with albinism can have irises varying from light gray or blue to brown. Some common symptoms of albinism inculdes:
• Absence of pigment from the hair, skin, or iris of eyes.
• Patchy absence of pigment (skin color, patchy) including in the carrier-mothers of affected boys with X-linked recessive albinism.
• Lighter than normal skin and hair or complete albinism.
Most forms of complete albinism have some of the following possible symptoms:
• Rapid eye movements (nystagmus).
• Strabismus (eyes not tracking properly).
• Photophobia (avoidance of light because of discomfort).
• Decreased visual acuity.
• Functional blindness.
Treatment aims to ease symptoms and depends on the extent of the disorder. Doctors can only treat, not cure, the eye problems that often accompany the lack of skin color.
• As this is a large group of inherited conditions genetic counseling is important. Genetic counseling should be considered for individuals with a family history of albinism or hypopigmentation.
• Astigmatism - An eye condition in which the lens doesn't focus light evenly on the retina, leading to problems with visual sharpness.
• Gene - The basic unit of genetic material carried in a particular place on a chromosome. Genes are passed on from parents to child when the sperm and egg unite during conception.
Self Care strategies for Living with Albinism
Glasses are usually needed and can be tinted to ease pain from too much sunlight.
There is no cure for involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), and treatments for focusing problems (surgery or contact lenses) are not effective in all cases.
• Crossed eyes (strabismus) can be treated during infancy, using eye patches, surgery or medicine injections. Treatment may improve the appearance of the eye, but it can do nothing to cure the underlying condition.
• Patients with albinism should avoid excessive exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If exposure can't be avoided, they should use UVA-UVB sunblocks with an SPF of at least 20.
• Taking beta- carotene may help provide some skin color, although it doesn't protect against sun exposure.
A good site for information on albinism is http://www.cnb.uam.es/~montoliu/albinism.html
Share *YOUR* remedy & health success story!
We are on a world-wide mission to source and tell our readers about as many as possible of the natural remedies & self care strategies available, so please help us to grow and improve our health information on this subject.
If you have a proven home remedy or natural treatment or have a great Health Success story, we would love to share it with our readers.
And as a special "Thank You" for your contribution, we will give you our special edition "Health Success Report"!
(When you submit this article you agree to the ***GENERAL RELEASE below this form)
See below here what stories & resources have been contributed on this subject:
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Subscribe to “Your Health Success” free newsletter
BACK TO “Your Health Online”
the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & Self Care Strategies for natural remedies to your health issues.
*** GENERAL RELEASE AND ASSIGNMENT
For good and valuable consideration, the receipt and legal sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, I ("I", "me", "my") hereby agree as follows:
1) I hereby grant to Warren Tattersall, his successors, assignees and licensees the unlimited right, but not the
obligation, to use any statements made by or attributed to me (my "Statements") as well as my name, voice, and likeness, performance, personal characteristics and other identifying information (jointly and severally with the Statements and the photographs referenced in Paragraph 2 below, my "Personal Characteristics") in and in connection with the advertising, promotion, marketing and other exploitation of Herbalife products or Warren Tattersall’s services in any and all languages and media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity.
2) If I supply Warren Tattersall with photographs of myself on this date or any date subsequent, I agree that Warren Tattersall may use such photographs to the full extent provided above, I warrant and represent that I am the person depicted in the photograph, I am the owner of the photograph, I have the authority to grant the permission and rights granted herein, and no one else’s permission is required to grant such rights, and I understand that the copy of the photograph(s) I supply to Warren Tattersall will not be returned.
3) I understand that Warren Tattersall is not obligated to use my Personal Characteristics as permitted herein or, if commenced, to continue with such use in any territory. I acknowledge and agree that Warren Tattersall may make my Personal Characteristics available to Warren Tattersall’s independent distributors to use as permitted above.
4) In undertaking the act of submitting my words and images through www.TheHealthSuccessSite.com I understand that I am agreeing the terms and conditions of this agreement
I have read this entire General Release and Assignment and fully understand his contents. I likewise understand that this document shall remain in full force and effect unless/until I request that it be terminated, and that any such request must be made in a signed writing. By signing below, I hereby acknowledge and agree to the
I understand that in submitting my material for publication I am granting the rights to reproduce this material on the internet or in other form and I have read the conditions above
SITE DISCLAIMER: Do these products “cure” anything? Of course not… but it stands to reason that if you cleanse your body and feed it the finest nutrition available, giving it everything it needs in balance, on a daily basis, that your body will do what nature intended, and give you the best possible chance to fend off sickness and disease. This albinism information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any albinism questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
The albinism resources on this site are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the web site albinism subject matter herein. The site albinism contents are solely the opinion of the authors and should not be considered as a form of advice, direction and/or recommendation of any kind. If expert advice or counseling is needed, services of a competent professional should be sought. The author and the Publisher assume no responsibility or liability and specifically disclaim any warranty, express or implied for any products or services mentioned, or any techniques or albinism practices described.
The purchaser or reader of this publication assumes responsibility for the use of these albinism materials and information. Neither the author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of any purchaser or reader of these albinism materials. There is no guarantee of validity of accuracy. Any perceived slight of specific people or organizations is unintentional. This website and its creators are not responsible for the content of any sites linked to. Since natural and/or dietary supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
Back to Top of your health online albinism page
Subscribe to “Your Health Success” newsletter