Skip Navigation
Search Menu

Wilmer Eye Institute
Print This Page
Share this page: More


Albinism and ocular albinism are inherited conditions where a person is lacking melanin pigment. In ocular albinism, only the eyes are affected, while the skin and hair color have normal melanin. This lack of pigment causes reduced visual acuity (central vision) to varying degrees but patients generally have good peripheral vision. In addition, most patients with albinism and ocular albinism have nystagmus (involuntary, rhythmic eye movements) and they may have significant refractive errors and so can benefit from spectacle or contact lens correction.

Even with glasses, most patients with albinism and ocular albinism are moderately to severely visually impaired. It is common for individuals with albinism to hold material close to read which can be very effective, but can lead to visual fatigue. The lack of pigment can lead to increased glare sensitivity especially in the bright sun.

Because albinism and ocular albinism are inherited and present at birth, the Vision Rehabilitation Service works in conjunction with schools and teachers of the visually impaired to ensure that patients are meeting their academic goals. Our physicians and therapists assess each person to determine the appropriate recommendations for tinted lenses to manage glare concerns, telescopic lenses for distance viewing in the classroom and community integration (i.e. reading street signs, bus numbers and addresses). Reading assessments to determine appropriate print size and form of material can be of critical value in navigating a child’s near needs and is part of the low vision evaluation. Ongoing work, counsel and prescribing of patients as they advance through their schooling and careers can be of great value to patients and their families

The level of visual impairment is variable with albinism and ocular albinism. We work closely with patients to determine the types of services needed. Some patients with albinism require orientation and mobility training while others are able to maintain a restricted driver’s license because of more mild visual impairment. The Vision Rehabilitation Service provides individualized plans based on specific goals and levels of visual impairment.

Sanford Greenberg Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Gehlbach Project Selected by Johns Hopkins-Coulter Translational Project Partnership- 06/23/16

Dr. Neil Bressler Speaks at Senate Briefing on Special Diabetes Program- 06/09/16

Dr. Neil Bressler Discusses Blue Light Effects on the Eyes in the Washington Post- 06/02/16

Dr. Arevalo Honored by National Institute of Ophthalmology in Peru- 5/31/16

Dr. Jennifer Thorne Appointed President-elect of American Uveitis Society- 5/17/16

Dr. Ingrid Zimmer-Galler Elected to the ATA College of Fellows- 5/13/16

Dr. Arevalo Launches New Book at ARVO 2016- 5/09/16

Dr. Elia J. Duh is elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation- 4/28/16

Dr. Maria Valeria Canto Soler Wins BrightFocus Award for Macular Degeneration Research- 4/27/16

Three Wilmer Faculty Voted Most Influential in Field of Ophthalmology- 4/22/2016

Dr. Pradeep Ramulu Wins Pisart Award for Significant Achievement in Vision Science Research- 4/21/16

Dr. Eghrari Receives Alcon Early Career Research Award- 4/13/16

Dr. Quigley Honored by American Glaucoma Society- 4/11/16

Dr. Ian Pitha Awarded Grants for Glaucoma Research- 4/11/16