Vision and Ametropia in School Students with Albinism
Susan M. Carden; Dujon R. Fuzzard; Jack X. Kane
Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Introduction: Ocular or oculocutaneous albinism may result in significant vision impairment from birth. Identification and treatment of ametropia during childhood is pivotal in allowing full visual potential to be reached. We aim to quantify refractive error in school students with ocular and oculocutaneous albinism in Victoria, Australia.
Methods: A retrospective audit of students with a clinical diagnosis of ocular or oculocutaneous albinism from the Education Vision Assessment Clinic at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital between 2002 and 2015 was conducted. Significant ametropia was defined as spherical equivalent >/=4 diopters in magnitude or astigmatism >/=1.5 diopters in magnitude. Significant anisometropia was defined as =1.0 diopter in magnitude.
Results: Fifty-one students with a mean age of 5.6 years (range 4.1-14.3 years) were included in the study. The mean best-corrected visual acuity with both eyes open was 0.81 logMAR (SD ±0.18). Forty-three students had oculocutaneous albinism and eight had ocular albinism. Significant hyperopia was present in at least one eye of 37.2% of students, significant myopia was found in 3.9% and significant astigmatism in 78.4% of students. Eight students (15.7%) had significant anisometropia.
Discussion: Students with albinism have significant vision impairment. Amblyogenic hyperopia and/or astigmatism were present in most cases. This is similar to the refractive error findings of a Jerusalem-based cohort (1). Interestingly the findings of myopia and astigmatism were more common in a Nigerian cohort (2).
Conclusion: Amblyogenic refractive error is a common finding in students with ocular and oculocutaneous albinism. Correcting refractive error is an important intervention.
References: 1. Yahalom C, Tzur V, Blumenfeld A et al. Refractive profile in oculocutaneous albinism and its correlation with final visual outcome. Brit J Ophthalmol. 2012; 96:537-9.
2. Udeh NN, Eze BI, Onwubiko SN et al. Prevalence and profile of ophthalmic disorders in oculocutaneous albinism: a field report from South-Eastern Nigeria. J Commun Health. 2014; 39:1193-9.