Albinism is an abnormality in melanin production that causes the sufferer to have melanin deficiency or not at all the pigment. This condition results in the color of skin, hair, and eyes of the patient look very pale or tend to white. Albinism can be suffered by any ethnic group in the world. The term "albino" is generally more familiar in the ears of society, which refers to people with this disorder. Although albinism can not be cured for life, this condition does not prevent the sufferer from being able to live a normal life.
Symptoms of Albinism
The skin color and hair of albinism sufferers vary, depending on the level of melanin produced by the body. Although common albinism sufferers have a characteristic pale skin with white hair, there are also some who have brown hair.
The deficiency of melanin pigment can cause the skin of albinism sufferers to burn easily if exposed to direct sunlight. For people with albinism, sun exposure should not be underestimated because it is not impossible can lead to serious complications, namely skin cancer .
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In the eye, the lack of melanin pigment not only can change the color of the iris (generally gray or pale blue), but can also cause the view to be disturbed and sensitive to light. Some examples of eye disorders that can arise from albinism are nearsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism , squint, and eyeball movement without side-to-side (nystagmus) control.
This visual impairment can affect the baby's ability to learn movement, such as crawling or picking up an object. Often children with albinism seem awkward due to impaired vision.
Causes of Albinism
Albinism is caused by a change or mutation in one of the genes responsible for the production of melanin by melanocyte cells present in the eyes and skin. As a result of these gene changes, melanin production becomes disturbed, either drastically reduced or nonexistent. Changes to this gene will be lowered by various patterns.
There are two types of albinism based on the symptoms that arise, namely ocular albinism and okulokutaneus. Ocular albinism affects the eyes and vision of the sufferer, causing little or no discoloration of the skin or hair. Whereas oculocutaneous albinism is the most common type of albinism. This condition affects the hair, skin, eyes, and eyesight.
Diagnosis of Albinism
Albinism can be diagnosed directly by doctors since the patient is born through their physical characteristics (hair color, skin, and eyes) in accordance with what has been described in the subtitle of symptoms and types of albinism.
To find out a vision problem, the ophthalmologist can do some checks. For example, examination using a special tool called slit lamp, pupil checking, examination of the shape of the corneal arch to diagnose the cylinder, examination of eye vision to diagnose squint, and examination of eye movements to diagnose nystagmus.
Although there is no cure for albinism, treatment or treatment is aimed at maximizing the eyesight of the sufferer and protecting their skin.
Most infants with albinism will experience severe visual impairment for several months postpartum. After that, the vision will grow significantly even though it will never reach the normal level of vision.
Therefore, people with albinism usually have a lifetime to wear glasses or contact lenses prescribed by an ophthalmologist in accordance with related conditions, such as those for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or cylinders, and regular eye exams every year.
In patients with albinism who experience photophobia (sensitive vision to sunlight), the doctor will suggest the use of glasses that can counteract ultraviolet light or dark lens lens.
Handling albinism through surgery is usually rare. However, for some conditions, such as squint and nystagmus, repair surgery of the eye muscles may be recommended so that they are not clearly visible from the outside.
In addition to eye examinations that must be done routinely every year, skin examination is also important for albinism sufferers so that doctors know how much their risk of skin cancer, and provide preventive advice.
If you are albinism sufferer, do not do as much activity outdoors when the weather is hot. If forced to go outside, always use sunscreen cream and clothes that can protect themselves from direct exposure to sunlight.
Complications of Albinism
Stability of emotions and fostering social relationships with people around is a challenge for people with albinism. People with albinism will look different from his family, this can affect his feelings. Patients with albinism can feel alien or considered like a freak. Patients with albinism can also be mocked about his appearance, ranging from getting the title of albino or other designations, questioned about the appearance of skin and hair, up to his appearance with glasses. All of these things can cause people with albinism to be stressed, low self-esteem, and feel isolated from the surrounding environment.
Skin disorders experienced to make people with albinism become more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer.
Albinism can not be prevented. For those of you who have a family history of albinism, having children with albinism, or your own albinism sufferers are advised to consult with a geneticist. This consultation aims to understand the possibility of albinism occurring to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or subsequent descendants.