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What is wrong with this Retina?

heroimage0.072454001593438853Ocular Albinism.

This picture is from an interesting case we had last week.  Ocular Albinism is an inherited genetic condition in which the eyes lack melanin pigment. Unlike typical albinism, the skin and hair of these patients can be completely normal which leads to some parents being unaware of their child’s condition.

The symptoms include:

  • Reduced Visual Acuity

  • Nystagmus (involuntary eye movements)

  • Strabismus (crossed or lazy eye)

  • Sensitivity to light or glare

These symptoms can really affect how a child with Ocular Albinism performs in school.  One of the problems is that the nerve tissue from the back of the eye does not follow the usual pathway through the brain.  A test called VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) can show these differences.  This is a type of brain wave test that involves the eyes.

Ocular Albinism is an X-linked condition which means that the disease is passed by the mother on the X-chromosome to her offspring.  This means her sons have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease.

We are able to help these patients in a variety of ways.  At Compete Eye Care, we have the latest version of the VEP testing device.  This gives us an idea of how much visual information is getting from the eye to the brain, and how fast this information travels down the nerve pathway.

Additionally, we can help these patients with glare protective contacts and glasses.  It is important that these patients protect their eyes with UV blocking lenses and sunglasses.  Prescription lenses can greatly help the poor vision, but we don’t typically see full recovery of acuity.

Our Downtown Lawton optometrist, Dr. Howard Ross, is equipped to handle these types of issues so you and your family are given the expert care you need. Find him at 409 C Ave. across from the mall for expert medical care on your eye health and vision health.