Coping Methods For Ocular Albinism

Ocular Albinism is X linked genetic disorder characterized by little or no production of the pigment melanin in the body. It affects eyes that lead to red or blue or pink-colored eyes and vision problems. It affects men more than women. Its other symptoms involve blurred vision, red or blue colored eyes, sensitivity to light, and many more. It is not a progressive disease and has a good prognosis. It can be managed with low vision aids, special glasses, or contact lenses.

Coping Methods For Ocular Albinism

Ocular Albinism is a genetic disease that occurs due to a mutation in a gene that controls the formation of melanosomes. These cells are the typical cells that are the site of synthesis of the pigment melanin. This disorder is marked by low or no production of melanin. It affects the structure and function of the eyes.(2) The eyes of the affected person may appear different and impact one’s vision, and the person is advised to wear special glasses or contact lenses to improve the vision.(1)

Coping With Vision Impairment

Many people with ocular albinism can develop coping skills to adjust with vision impairments and eye problems. One of the coping methods for minimizing nystagmus and improve vision is to tilt the head to one side. Another way to see better is to hold a book closer to the head so that it can minimize the difficulty in reading without causing significant harm to the eyes.(3)

Coping With Educational Challenges

Ocular Albinism can lead to visual handicaps and abnormal optic nerve pathways. Children with Albinism tend to lack normal development related to his age. If a child is detected Albinism, one should contact teachers and school administrators to facilitate measures to help this child to adapt. In some instances, it becomes necessary to share the details of ocular Albinism and its effects on the child with the school professionals to educate them. It is also essential to inquire with the school as they can provide their services to meet the child’s needs. These may involve-

  • Make the child sit in the front row of the class
  • Use large-print books for learning
  • A tablet computer well synchronized to an interactive whiteboard (SMARTboard) at the front of the room, that can facilitate the child to sit further back in the classroom
  • Avoid bright light in the learning setting
  • Provide Handouts of the content written or drawn on boards or overhead screens
  • Provide High-contrast printed documents, such as black type on white paper rather than colored print or paper
  • Other options involve showing the child how to enlarge the font size on a computer screen
  • Allow more time for accomplishing tests or exams.(3)

Coping With Teasing And Social Isolation

Some children are subjected to teasing and social isolation due to their skin or eye color. It becomes essential to help the child to develop skills to tackle people’s reactions to his condition. It involves following coping methods-

  • The child should be encouraged to express his feelings and experiences.
  • He should be taught to practice responses against any teasing or embarrassing questions or remarks.
  • The parent of the affected child can join a support group or online community group through agencies like the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) to remain updated towards the disorder.
  • He can also seek the services of a mental health professional, who can guide him and his child to develop healthy communication and coping skills.(3)

Conclusion

The coping methods of ocular albinism involve using vision aids, tilting the head to one side, and holding the book near the eyes to improve vision. Other coping measures in school include sitting in the front row, using large-print books, avoiding bright light, and others mentioned above can help the child to deal with this disorder.

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