Understand Albinism

What is Albinism

Albinism is an inherited condition that affects some parts of a person's body in different ways.Persons with albinism make little or no melanin in their bodies. Melanin is a chemical that gives color or pigment to skin, hair and eyes.

How albinism affects the eyes

Eyesight and eye problems differ from person to person. Some persons with albinism are totally blind, while most have low vision. Eye problems caused by albinism are sensitivity to light; weak eyesight and poor sharpness of vision; flickering eye movements; squinting and; long and shortsighted vision.

Albinism is genetically inherited

Babies are born with albinism because they inherit the albinism genes from both their father and mother. Genes are responsible for giving us our unique individual characteristics and are found in every cell in our bodies

How albinism affects the skin

The skin of persons with albinism is very sensitive to the sun because of the lack of melanin. Therefore, if a person with albinism is exposed to the sun without protection they will burn, blister, freckle and develop permanent, dark patches on their skin, called sun-induced skin damage. Ultimately, sun-induced skin damage can develop into skin cancer.

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