What Is Albinism?

When someone has albinism, their body has trouble creating pigment. Pigment is the material in the body that produces color. Albinism is a hereditary condition, which means it’s passed from parent to child. People with albinism have a reduced amount or absence of pigment in their eyes, hair and skin.

There are two basic types of albinism, both of which cause vision problems, including low vision. One type of albinism is called oculocutaneous albinism or OCA. OCA causes someone to have decreased pigment in the eyes, hair, and skin.

The second type of albinism is called ocular albinism. Ocular albinism mainly affects the eyes. The skin and hair are of normal or near-normal color. Because a child with ocular albinism does not have any outward difference in appearance, eye problems may be the first symptoms of albinism.