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Is Ocular Albinism Recessive Or Dominant & Can You Drive When You Have It?

Ocular albinism is a hereditary disorder that predominantly affects pigment production in the eyes. Ocular albinism might arise in an autosomal recessive pattern or it might show X linked genetic disorder often triggered by abnormal genes.

Is Ocular Albinism Recessive Or Dominant?

Is Ocular Albinism Recessive Or Dominant?

Various forms of albinism can have distinct forms of genetic factor, dependent on the chromosomal source of the disorder. Ocular Albinism is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This implies that two transformations are required for a person to have Ocular Albinism. People typically have two versions of each numbered gene and the protein sequence on them – one genetically received from the dad, the other genetically received from the mom. None of these genetic material versions are operational in people with albinism.

Oculocutaneous Albinism include types with moderate pigmentation of skin and hair that may be occasionally misinterpreted as “ocular albinism.” They are

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1- This is associated with hypopigmentation or reduced production of melanin in the skin, hair and eyes often characterized by white hair, very pale skin, and light-colored irises.

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 2- The most common form of Ocular Albinism seen in the African population and associated with the same vision problems that occur in Ocular Albinism.1

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 3- This is caused by homozygous or heterozygous characterized by the reduction or deficiency of melanin. Affected individuals have red to reddish-brown skin, ginger or reddish colored hair.

Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 4- Ocular Albinism 4 often characterized by varying degrees of skin and hair hypopigmentation with great clinical heterogeneity.

Although there’s no cure, people with the disorder can take steps to improve vision and avoid too much sun exposure.2,3

Can You Drive With Ocular Albinism?

You could have heard people asking if they could drive or are they eligible for a driving license when they are suffering from this disorder. Driving is an intricate assignment, encompassing both perceptual events and motor abilities. Vision is a vital component of perceptual knowledge for the driver. Some people even consider that they can’t meet the requirements however, the driving requirement truly depends on the situation.

Like other eye defects, ocular albinism doesn’t need glasses, it is a condition characterized by lack of development of vision in the retina instead of the lens. Routine eye defects can be corrected through eyeglasses or contact lens however with ocular albinism, your retina is fundamentally underdeveloped, and it cannot perform visual information.4,5

Since you don’t have a clearer vision and assess the risk appropriately, licenses are not rendered to these patients in the UK. However, in sketchier countries or in certain parts of the US, you can obtain some bioptic system (wear special glasses with small telescopes, called bioptics, mounted on them)

Both the American Optometric Association and The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend or support the concept of evidence-based driver assessment and training programs for low vision persons who wish to explore or retain their driving privileges.6

Classification Of Albinism

Albinism characterizes a group of disorders described by a deficiency in the creation of the pigment melanin, typically observed in skin, eyes, and hair. Albinism is classified into two main categories

Oculocutaneous Albinism- This is a rare inherited group of autosomal recessive disorders that affect coloring (pigmentation) of the skin, hair, and eyes.

Ocular Albinism- Ocular albinism is a form of albinism, a contrast to oculocutaneous albinism reduces the coloring (pigmentation) of the iris, which is the colored part of the eye, and the retina, which is the light-sensitive muscle at the backside of the eyeball.1


  1. Albinism | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5768/albinism
  2. Ocular Albinism, X-Linked – GeneReviews® – NCBI Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1343/
  3. X linked recessive ocular albinism – Orphanet https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?Lng=EN&Expert=54
  4. Information Bulletin – Albinism and Driving https://www.albinism.org/information-bulletin-albinism-and-driving/
  5. Albinism and Driving | National Organization for Albinism and Driving https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8471/ocular-albinism-type-1/cases/52667
  6. Can people with ocular albinism drive? https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/qa/can-people-with-ocular-albinism-drive

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 3, 2022

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