Vision problems and intervention measures
- All forms of albinism give rise to significant vision impairment. This is the reason why medical experts agree that albinism is definitively determined by an eye exam. The vision impairment in PWA (person with albinism) is caused by a combination of several overlapping eye defects including
- nystagmus (involuntary eye movements in horizontal patterns).
- Photophobia (high sensitivity to glare and light).
- Strabismus (muscle imbalance of the eyes also known as “crossed eyes”). surface of the eye that receives light, does not develop normally) and
- Astigmatism, foveal hypoplasia (where the retina or the interior optic nerve misrouting (nerve signals from the retina to the brain do not follow the usual nerve routes).
Persons with albinism always have vision impairments that are not completely correctable with eyeglasses.
The Vision problems in albinism, results from abnormal development of nerve connections between the eye and the brain due to their low or lack of colour/melanin.
The degree of vision impairment varies with the different types of albinism and most people with albinism generally have low vision. Most however can use the vision they have for many tasks including reading.
To improve performance and the wellbeing of PWA and learning for CWA, the following intervention measures need to be employed:
- Early examination and detection by Ophthalmologists and Optometrists to prescribe a variety of devices and care depending on the visual acuity and visual needs of the patient
- Ensure constant eye checkups may be at least twice in a year.
- Always be in the eyeglasses as prescribed by the Ophthalmologist.
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