There are two main types of albinism:
Ocular albinism (OA)
Predominantly affects the eyes, with affected individuals often having only slightly lighter skin and hair colour than other family members and it usually leads to nystagmus (see entry). Many individuals may have been given a diagnosis of 'idiopathic nystagmus', meaning that the cause is unknown.
Oculo-cutaneous albinism (OCA)
Affects the eyes and skin to a very variable extent.
There are rare variants of OCA:
- Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome - this presents with easy bruising and affected individuals may have lung, bowel and bleeding features
- Chediak-Higashi syndrome - in which there is an increased susceptibility to infection and bleeding.
Most individuals with albinism do not have any associated health problems.