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Ocular Manifestations of Albinism Treatment & Management

  • Author: Mohammed O Peracha, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
 
Updated: Nov 05, 2015
 

Medical Care

No specific medical treatment is available. Refractive errors should be corrected, and some patients benefit from bifocal lenses. If visual acuity is severely impaired, these patients can be helped with telescopic and other low-vision devices.

Schulze Schwering et al reported improvement of visual acuity with proper refraction in patients with oculocutaneous albinism in Malawi. They found the most improvement in patients with mild to moderate myopia, while the patients with greater than +1.5 D hyperopia did not improve much.[14]

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Surgical Care

Surgical management in patients with ocular involvement is limited to ocular muscle surgery.

Strabismus surgery for esotropia or exotropia can be considered for better ocular alignment.

Large 4 muscle horizontal rectus recessions have been reported to improve visual acuity in some patients with nystagmus.

If coexistent retinal disease is present and laser photocoagulation is required (eg, for patients with diabetic retinopathy or retinal tears), laser treatment may be ineffective. Laser photocoagulation requires pigment in the retinal pigment epithelial cells for adequate absorption of laser energy. If the pigment is insufficient for adequate absorption of energy, cryopexy may be used as an alternative to treat peripheral retinal lesions. For posterior retinal pathology, the cryopexy probe is not accessible and no alternative treatment is available.

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Consultations

Depending on patient presentation and historical or physical findings, appropriate consultations from various subspecialties should be obtained, as follows:

  • Hematology
    • For patients with a history of easy bruising and bleeding diathesis (to rule out Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, which is more common in Puerto Ricans)
    • For patients with a history of recurrent infections (to rule out Chediak-Higashi syndrome)
  • Genetics - For additional genetic analysis or for genetic counseling for patients and their families
  • Dermatology - For patients with any skin lesions or any signs suggestive of skin cancer, or for dermatologic counseling (to avoid excessive sun exposure)
  • Low-vision specialist - Patients may benefit from low-vision aids to help with their daily visual activities.
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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Mohammed O Peracha, MD Associate Physician, Midwest Eye Center

Mohammed O Peracha, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Enrique Garcia-Valenzuela, MD, PhD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary; Consulting Staff, Vitreo-Retinal Surgery, Midwest Retina Consultants, SC, Parkside Center

Enrique Garcia-Valenzuela, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, Retina Society, Society for Neuroscience

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Dean Eliott, MD Associate Director, Retina Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School

Dean Eliott, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Frances M Cosgrove, MD Resident Physician, Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine

Frances M Cosgrove, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

J James Rowsey, MD Former Director of Corneal Services, St Luke's Cataract and Laser Institute

J James Rowsey, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Florida Medical Association, Sigma Xi, Southern Medical Association, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Kilbourn Gordon, III, MD, FACEP Urgent Care Physician

Kilbourn Gordon, III, MD, FACEP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Wilderness Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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