Albinism (patient information)
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What are the symptoms of Albinism?
Symptoms of albinism include both dermal and eye features:
- White or hypo-pigmented hair
- White or hypo-pigmented eyelashes
- White or hypo-pigmented skin
- Decreased visual acuity
- Pink or hypopigmented eyes
What causes Albinism?
Types of albinism
Types of albinism include:
- Oculocutaneous albinism; causes white or hypopigmentation of skin, hair, and eyes. The hypopigmentaion is usually seen when patients are compared to other family members
- Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome; causes white or hypopigmentation of skin, hair, and eyes along with bleeding and lung problems
- Chediak-Higashi syndrome; Causes white or hypopigmentation of skin, hair, and eyes. It increases susceptibility to infection along with nerve defects and bleeding problems
- Ocular albinism; causes hypopigmentation of eyes, nystagmus, strabismus, decreased visual acuity, and photophobia
Who is at highest risk?
When to seek urgent medical care?
- If you notice skin changes, they might be possible developing skin cancer
- If you notice a change in your vision or light sensitivity
The treatment options include:
- Avoidance of prolonged sun exposure
- Sunglasses with UV protection for light sensitivity
- Upon sun exposure, application of sunscreen with at least SPF 30+ every 2 hours is recommended
- Glasses to correct vision problems and eye position
- Eye muscle surgery for severe strabismus