Albinism refers to a group of inherited conditions that causes little or no pigmentation in the eyes, skin or hair. A genetic mutation that causes a lack or deficiency in melanin in the body, the photo-protective pigment that protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, resulting in physical characteristics like white or light blond hair, violet to blue eyes, very pale skin that is particularly sensitive to the sun.
Without sufficient melanin, our eyes are unable to function properly and nerve connections to the brain are also altered. We, as People with albinism are therefore often characterized by long-sleeved clothing, hats and prescription glasses as a measure of protection against the sun. Albinism is caused by a mutation in one of several different genes involved in making the pigment melanin.