8. January 2016 14:00
Albinism is a congenital condition in which patients suffer from pigment absence in the skin, iris, retina and hair. The iris looks very pale, since it lacks cells called melanocytes, and patients experience several unpleasant symptoms, for instance photophobia and poor vision.
Fortunately, some of the symptoms can be treated with the use of tinted contact lenses, as a case recently described by Dr Patrick Caroline and Dr Mark Andre shows. The patient had incomplete oculocutaneous albinism along with nystagmus, which manifested itself with depigmentation on the iris and pale retinas as well as low visual acuity (20/70 when corrected) and significant photophobia.
To deal with the photophobia, the doctors tested several types of coloured contact lenses, and the patient chose a pair with a grey/green tint. Consequently, she was fitted with BioSport Sun Tac contact lenses, which solved the problem immediately. The patient was extremely satisfied, though her visual acuity remained 20/70.
According to the authors of the article, the case demonstrates that tinted contact lenses can really improve the quality of life of patients with albinism.