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How Dangerous Is Ocular Albinism & Is It Contagious?

Ocular albinism refers to a genetic condition, which mainly affects the eyes of a patient. The condition mainly reduces your iris pigmentation or coloring. Here, iris refers to the colored part of the human eye. Besides, the problem also affects the human’s retina i.e. a light-sensitive tissue presents at the back area of one’s eye. Pigmentation in the eye is very essential to achieve normal vision.(1)

How Dangerous Is Ocular Albinism?

How Dangerous Is Ocular Albinism?

Ocular albinism characterizes a large number of impaired vision sharpness or visual activity and problems associated with the combining vision from the eyes to stereoscopic vision i.e. perceive depth. Even though the problem causes permanent vision loss it does not become worse with time.

However, the condition leads to a large number of eye or vision abnormalities, such as involuntary and rapid eye movements i.e. nystagmus, eyes, which do not view in the same direction i.e. strabismus and increase in sensitivity towards light i.e. photophobia.

Most of the patients with ocular albinism experience certain abnormalities, including the abnormalities related to optic nerves i.e. the ones responsible to carry vision-related details towards the brain from eyes. However, the positive aspect, in this case, is that ocular albinism does not cause any negative effect on the color of one’s hair and/or skin.(3)

Is Ocular Albinism Contagious?

Ocular albinism is not a contagious problem but it is an inherited one. Accordingly, a person cannot suffer from the condition via physical touch with any other individual. People born with the condition of albinism usually inherit albinism genes from parents.

In most of the cases, oculocutaneous albinism takes place when both parents carry the affected gene for their unborn child with the same condition. On the other side, if only one parent has the affected gene and the other one has regular pigment genes, their kids will not have the problem of ocular albinism.

However, each child gets one from two different chances to become a carrier of the albinism gene. If a child carries the albinism gene grows up and has a baby with a person, who also has albinism gene, the child will have a 1:4 chance to suffer from the respective condition.

As most of the people responsible to carry the gene of ocular albinism do not show any signs and symptoms of the respective condition, a baby affecting from albinism may be born to parents, whose colorings are typical and associated with their ethnic groups. Common types of ocular albinism take place only in males, who had inherited the respective gene from mothers.(4)

Symptoms of Ocular Albinism

The condition of ocular albinism affects one’s nerves present behind his/her eyes and the retina i.e. a tissue layer present at the back area of the eye. The retina is responsible to send signals to the brain whenever a person sees something. Things appear blurry as the retina fails to develop in a regular way. It fails to make any sharp image and the nerves present behind the eyes fail to transmit any clear image towards the brain.

Secondly, ocular albinism prevents one’s body to make melanin i.e. the chemical responsible to give color to the hair, skin, and eyes. Many people with this condition have their blue eyes. However, the inner blood vessels may show through from the iris i.e. the colored part and the eyes appear red or pink.(2)


To conclude, we should say that the ocular albinism problem is neither dangerous or contagious. Only, you have to take immediate actions i.e. undergo diagnosis and avail the necessary treatment to improve or manage your condition in the near future.


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 25, 2022

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