Is there a cure for albinism

Albinism: pigment disorder disorder

In many cultures, albinos are discriminated against and have to fear for their lives. Albinism is a genetic pigment disorder that, contrary to popular belief, has no negative impact on a person's mental development. Nevertheless, the level of suffering for many patients is very high due to social stigmatization.

Albinism: Pronounced pigment disorder

Albinism is a metabolic disease. This means that the skin cells produce less melanin. The pigment that gives hair, eyes and skin their color is either partially or completely absent. In the case of a mild form of pigmentation disorder, known as ocular albinism, the skin and hair are normally colored, while the eyes are lighter in color and eyesight is severely impaired.

There are several subtypes of the other form of pigment disorder, oculocutaneous albinism. Depending on the severity, skin, hair and eyes are affected at the same time. In some patients, the skin is pink and not tanning; in others, dark hamartomas, also called nevi, develop. According to the "Pharmazeutische Zeitung", around 5,000 people in Germany are affected by albinism, while the prevalence rate is significantly higher in Africa.

White skin, red albino eyes

The pigment melanin fulfills an important function. It protects skin and eyes from UV light. If this dye is missing, the skin is very sensitive to light. The pigment disorder makes the skin burn faster, age prematurely and is more prone to skin cancer. At the same time, the low pigmentation of the iris allows the UV rays to penetrate to the retina and damage it. Although the iris of albinos is typically gray or light blue, the eyes appear red due to the reflection of the light on the reddish retina.

The increased sensitivity to glare often occurs in combination with eye tremors and impaired vision. According to the Baden-W├╝rttemberg State Medical Association, the latter usually manifests itself in a lack of spatial vision and squinting. Normal vision aids are hardly sufficient to compensate for the severe nearsightedness or farsightedness. For example, some patients may need to use a magnifying glass to read small print.

Albinism cause and treatment

Albinism is hereditary. Like many other pigment disorders, this disease is also due to a genetic defect. Therefore, treatment can only be symptomatic; therapy or healing is not possible. To protect sensitive skin from the sun's rays, albinos need sunscreens with a high sun protection factor. But even with this, those affected should largely avoid the sun - especially at lunchtime. Prescription sunglasses fulfill two functions at the same time: They compensate for the visual impairment and attenuate the bright sunlight.

Important NOTE: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.