Skip to main content

In honour of Albinism Awareness Month (September), we will look at  albinism and the effect on the eyesight of people who are living with it.

Albinism simply means an uncommon group of genetic disorders in which occur in human beings. This disorder results in a situation whereby the body system of the affected individual produces little or no melanin (a pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair and eyes). When this happens, the affected person ends up having little or no colour on the external parts of the skin. This genetic disorder occurs because of a defective gene in one or both parents which is inherited/passed on from parents to their children. Individuals who manifest the albinism gene are usually referred to as “albinos.”

People living with albinism usually have issues with their eyesight, which result in them having to use glasses or contact lenses to correct their sight issues and help them see better Apart from that, most people living with albinism are as healthy as other people with regular skin colour. Some eyesight challenges which people living with albinism normally experience include:-

  1. Uncontrollable back-and-forth movement of the eyes.

2. Slanting the head to see better. This is also done in an attempt to stop the back and forth movement of the eyes.

3. Both eyes not being able to focus on one object or in the same direction at the same time.

4. Severe short-sightedness or long-sightedness.

5. High sensitivity of the eyes to sources of light. This is also known as photophobia.

6. Severely reduced vision caused by the retina of the eyes not being properly formed.

Note that the eye challenges listed above are not limited to any age or gender. Proper care is necessary for people with this challenge to live full and healthy lives. Contact us for more information on how they can manage their eye health.