A rare genetic disorder characterized by a lack of the pigment melanin, which gives colour to the skin, hair, and eyes. In oculocutaneous albinism (the most common type), the hair, skin, and eyes are all affected. Less often, only the eyes are affected. In both forms, skin cannot tan and ages prematurely, and skin cancers may develop on areas exposed to the sun. Visual problems of people with albinism include photophobia, nystagmus, squint, and myopia. Glasses are usually needed from an early age; and tinted glasses help to reduce photophobia.


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