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What is Albinism?

Albinism refers to a group of conditions in which people have little to no pigment in their eyes, skin and hair. This eye condition is the result of hereditary changes in genes that produce too little of the pigment “melanin”. Depending on the amount of melanin in the eyes, different types can be distinguished. What these different types have in common is that they are all associated with reduced vision. Vision problems are caused by abnormal development of the retina and abnormal nerve connections between the eyes and brain.

Albinism affects people of different ethnic backgrounds; its occurrence worldwide is estimated at 1 in 17,000.

The realization that vision has been affected can be difficult to accept. Knowing that one is not alone may provide support. There are many people in the same situation, some who have just been diagnosed themselves and some who have been living with Albinism for years.

If one experiences visual impairment as a result, then there are devices available to help with tasks that people have difficulty with. These aids can provide support with tasks that require vision and can help you continue to lead a full and independent life.

Picture view without and with Albinism
Left: normal vision. Right: view with Albinism

What are the symptoms of Albinism?

Eye problems aften include:

What can one expect from Albinism?

The treatment mainly focuses on visual rehabilitation. Surgery may be able to relieve some of the symptoms, such as Strabismus and Nystagmus. Vision recovery is not completely possible, but there are several aids available that can help with a variety of daily tasks.

More information about Albinism

There is extensive information available about Albinism. Surgery may be able to relieve some of the symptoms, such as Strabismus and Nystagmus. Despite this, vision cannot be fully restored. Fortunately, however, there are several tools available that can assist in performing a variety of everyday tasks.