People with albinism tend to have trouble with their eyesight.
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It is very common for people with albinism to experience eyesight problems. This occurs due to the lack of melanin in the retina which makes it difficult for them to see with perfect clarity. However, they are not completely blind, as per certain myths. They are merely short-sighted or long-sighted and usually require seeing aids such as glasses or contact lenses to improve their vision.
Which of the following causes an albino child to be born?
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Albinism and the absence of melanin in the skin, hair and eyes is an inherited disorder that is passed on through the genes. It is caused by the occurrence of mutations in the specific genes which are responsible for the production of melanin (the pigment that produces colour in the skin, hair and eyes) in specialized cells known as melanocytes. Some albinos have a very low content of melanin in their systems whereas others experience a complete absence of melanin in the body.
Which of the following statements about albinism is true?
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The lack or the absence of melanin in the skin makes albinos more prone to sun damage and skin cancer. That does not mean that every albino person inevitably ends up with skin cancer. Taking measures to stay protected from sun exposure, such as covering up all the parts of the body when stepping outdoors during the day, will help reduce the chances of being affected by skin cancer or other forms of sun damage.
If a child has an albino parent, he or she will also be an albino.
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Not all persons with albinism will give birth to albino offspring. For a child to be born with albinism, both parents must be carriers of the gene which leads to the condition and they must both pass it on to the child through genetic inheritance. If only one or neither parent is a carrier passing the gene on, the child will not be born an albino.
Albinism is contagious and can spread from one person to another through unprotected sex.
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Albinism is not a contagious condition of the skin and there is no way for it to spread from one person to another through direct contact or even through unprotected sex. You cannot catch albinism from a person who has had it since birth. These are simply common myths associated with the stigma of albinism and should be taken with a pinch of salt.