Albinism is a rare condition where the body doesn’t produce a normal level of melanin (skin pigment). This normally results in very pale skin, hair and eyes, though the symptoms can vary from person to person. Other symptoms include a sensitivity to light, poor eyesight and an involuntary sideways movement of the eyeballs, called nystagmus. The condition is caused by a recessive gene, that if carried by both parents can result in albinism. The condition does not get worse, and whilst sufferers are at higher risk of suffering from conditions such as skin cancer, they should otherwise have a normal life expectancy. Treatment options are limited to improving the individual symptoms, such as glasses and contacts lenses to correct some of the vision problems, and high quantities of sun block to help protect the skin.
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