Albinism's Affect on the Eyes

The eyes of an albino mouse

Albinism is a congenital disorder that is typified by either a partial or a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, eyes or hair. This problem with pigmentation is caused by an issue with an enzyme that is involved in the making of melanin. There exist two main kinds of albinism in humans: ocular albinism and oculocutaneous albinism, which features four, distinct types. The frequency of albinism is such that it happens with similar frequency in males as well as females. Testing for the specific gene of albinism is a possibility, but all this does is verify that albinism is present and also what variety it might be.


Involuntary eye movement is the best way to describe nystagmus. It is defined by a smooth pursuit in a direction and a saccadic eye movement in the eye’s other direction. It is called pathologic nystagmus when the eye fails to satisfy its regular function. In general, nystagmus produces a sense of vision impairment, but the extremeness of this impairment is not the same in all cases.


Strabismus is a medical condition whereby one’s eyes are not correctly aligned. A failure of coordination between the eye’s extraocular muscles, which results in the gaze of the eyes not meeting in the same point in space. Additionally, strabismus also causes a harmful effect to one’s depth perception. This condition might be a brain disorder that affects the coordination of the eyes or the appropriate muscles’ direction or power of motion.


An intolerance to otherwise regular, visual perception of light in the eyes is photophobia. Other symptoms might include a photosensitivity of the eyes that is physical or an unreasonable and unnatural fear of the light hitting one’s eyes. A few, different medical conditions that are associated with the nervous system or the eye may be the cause behind photophobia. Some causes of photophobia can be migraine headaches, corneal abrasions, uveitis or even cataracts.

Far-sighted, near-signted, astigmatism

Being farsighted is a defect in one’s vision that can be traced back to imperfection in the eyes. Farsightedness occurs much of the time when the eye’s lens fails to become round enough or when one’s eyeball is too short. Nearsightedness is known as a defect in the eye that is refractive because collimated light creates image focus at the front of the eye’s retina, when one’s accommodation is relaxed. With nearsightedness, a person looking at a far-away object sees a blurry image, while a person looking at an object close to himself or herself sees a sharply focused object. Astigmatism is defined as an optical field where light rays that fall into two perpendicular planes actually possess different foci. For instance, if a person with astigmatism looks at a cross, the horizontal and vertical lines will be in clear focus at two, distinct distances.

Foveal hypoplasia

Foveal hypoplasia is a medical condition of the eye. It can also be referred to as something that is called macular hypoplasia. This medical condition relates to a rare event where one’s macula is underdeveloped. The macula is known as a tiny area on the surface of the retina that is responsible for letting one see sharply.

Optic nerve misrouting

Optic nerve misrouting is a telltale symptom of albinism. Optic nerve misrouting is when one’s nerve signals from one’s retina to one’s brain refuse to obey the normal nerve routes. Unfortunately, surgery for optic nerve misrouting will not produce any favorable outcomes. The reason has to do with the fact that optic nerve misrouting is a problem more of the brain, rather than the eye, and brain surgery is inherently risky.

Iris lacking pigment

Another feature of a person who has albinism is that his or her iris will actually have very little pigment to no pigment at all. This presents a dilemma with respect to screening out any stray light that should happen to enter the eye. In average people, light usually enters the eye only through the pupil, not the iris. However, in a person with albinism, light is also able to pass right through the iris.

Albinism is a congenital disorder that can affect men and women with equal frequency. It is a congenital disorder that can have severe impact on a person, leaving them with vision problems that can manifest in several ways. There are two major types of albinism that can strike a person, and these are either ocular albinism or oculocutaneous albinism. Some of the eye conditions of albinism can be treated whereas others cannot.

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