The word “albinism” means light-colored skin or hair. In some cases, albinism also can affect the eyes of the patient. In such a condition, it’s called ocular albinism, a rare eye condition that is of genetic origin. It is characterized by the partial presence or complete absence of melanin in the skin and eyes. It develops often in boys and men than in girls or women. It is represented by symptoms like blurring of vision, red or pink or blue eyes, uncontrolled eye movements, high sensitivity to light, viewing a distorted image, and many more. It affects one’s normal life as vision is impaired due to inborn structural abnormalities in the eyes.
What Is The Prognosis For Ocular Albinism?
The prognosis of ocular albinism is excellent, as it does not affect life expectancy in those with ocular albinism.(2) In this disorder, the eyesight of the person is not lost completely, and the condition will not get worse with time. It is observed clinically that the sight of children who have it may get better with the growing age.(1)
However, the eyes develop light sensitivity and vision problems. Due to the light-sensitivity of the eyes, the choice of activities/profession of few people may be restricted. They have to follow regular eye examinations and vision acuity tests, as it may help to minimize complications.(2)
Lifestyle Changes For Ocular Albinism
Ocular albinism has an impact on the vision of a person. It can affect one’s ability to perform in the school, career, and other daily activities. It can be managed by making specific lifestyle changes that can improve the function of the eyes. These lifestyle changes involve-
- Bifocal glasses, prescription reading glasses, and contact lenses can improve one’s vision. Some people use handheld magnifiers for better vision.
- Having indoor lighting behind the shoulder instead of in front lights can assist individuals with ocular albinism can have better vision.
- Individuals with this disorder may be considered blind legally. But they can achieve success in getting a driver’s license in case if they wear special glasses mounted with small telescopes, called bioptics.
- People with ocular albinism have to visit an ophthalmologist regularly to have routine examinations of the eyes at least once a year. The eye doctor will examine the eyes and prescribe the right strength glasses or contact lenses to ensure improved vision.
- Children may face a hard time in the school because they struggle to see things clearly on a blackboard or screen. They should be provided large-print books that have proper seating arrangements, and other help available in the classroom. The children have to use glasses or mini-telescopes to see well. Computerized dictation programs and computer devices, such as video cameras, can also help to bring images closer(1)
- Ocular albinism is a genetic disease that occurs due to a mutation in a gene that controls the formation of melanosomes. Melanosomes are the cells that act as 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 person with ocular albinism may appear different and impact one’s vision. The person is advised to wear special glasses or contact lenses to improve the vision. It exhibits other symptoms such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, cross eyes, depigmentation of eyes, uncontrolled quick eye movements, the formation of distorted images in the retina, and abnormal development of macula.(1)
The prognosis of ocular albinism is good as this disorder does not have progressive nature. The affected person may have improved vision with contact glasses, small telescopes, others discussed above. Lifestyle changes such as bifocal glasses, behind the shoulder lighting, bioptics, and others mentioned above can help to see better.
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- Is Ocular Albinism A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?
- Does Ocular Albinism Cause Red Eyes & What To Do About It?
- How Common Is Ocular Albinism In Females & Does It Affect Life Span?