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Ocular Albinism

Ocular Albinism Causes

The gene in most cases of ocular albinism is carried by mothers and occurs almost exclusively in males.

Ocular Albinism Definition

Ocular albinism is a condition in which the iris lacks melanin pigmentation. Persons with ocular albinism inherit their condition from parents. These patients however, retain their normal or near-normal skin and hair color.

Ocular Albinism Diagnosis

Opthalmologists identify the carrier gene from mothers through eye examination that shows irregular patches of pigmentation at the back of their eyes. These mothers may not exhibit ocular albinism. Patients are also diagnosed through eye examination showing light passing through the iris, which results when the iris has very little pigment. Hair roots of patients may also be studied to determine the activity of tyrosinase, which is responsible for converting tyrosine to melanin.

Ocular Albinism Symptoms and Signs

The patient has abnormal eye pigmentation, which causes vision problems such as reduced visual acuity, involuntary eye movement, crossed eyes, and sensitivity to bright light and glare.

Ocular Albinism Treatment

Patients may seek a genetic counselor to help deal with their emotional and social adjustment problems. Others seek medical help and use ordinary or special glasses, or contact lenses to help correct their vision. Other patients are also treated using visual aids and environmental changes to expand the limit of their vision.

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