3. August 2011 15:25
Ocular albinism can be described as an inherited genetic disorder caused due to the lack of melanin pigment in the eyes. This deficiency reduces the pigmentation of the iris (the colored portion of the eye) as well as the retina (a light sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye). To have a normal vision, eye pigmentation is very necessary.
The most common form of ocular albinism is Nettleship Falls or the ocular albinism type 1 form. However, there are some other forms also, but those are very rare. They are associated with the secondary symptoms of the disease such as loss of hearing.
Ocular albinism is marked by the poor development in the foveal pit of the retina. Apart from the disability to focus correctly, some other symptoms of ocular albinism are:
- Low visual sharpness
- Eye shaking or nystagmus
- Oscillopsia i.e. a condition of disturbed vision in which he person feels the static object to be moving
- Photophobia or extreme sensitivity to light
- Strabismus or crossed eyes
- Unusual eye or head movements to compensate for the vision variation
The people who suffer from ocular albinism generally adapt to their visual disability. This condition is not deteriorative. This means that other vision problems that come up later can be caused due to other common eye disorders like hyperopia and myopia. Some of the treatment options for ocular albinism are:
- Bifocals and eye glasses
- Prescribed sunglasses
- Lens replacement
- Lens implant
- Contact lenses
- LASIK surgery
However, all of the above are unable to correct the inherited faults of ocular albinism. Surgical treatment for the muscles which are responsible for controlling the eye movements are a way out to improve the binocular vision and correct strabismus. Nystagmus can also be minimized with the help of a surgery. Bioptic telescope eye glasses and hand held telescopes can be used to settle the issues of distance vision in the people with ocular albinism.
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