Nystagmus – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Nystagmus – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Also, Nystagmus is an eye problem where repetitive, involuntary eye  movements occur . Movements can be either vertical, horizontal or circular. They make it difficult to see, especially focusing on some object or thing, in addition to often causing imbalance, nausea and vertigo.

Nystagmus  can affect both eyes  or just one and is almost uncontrollable. Two forms of the disorder are found: the first is called infantile nystagmus  and the second is acquired nystagmus  .

This second form of the disease can be a sign of a more dangerous disease, such as head trauma, stroke , or toxicity, which is related to drug use. That’s why when we experience some symptoms of this eye dysfunction , we should go to the ophthalmologist and specialized professionals.

Causes of Nystagmus: Nystagmus is  caused by a neurological problem that is present at birth or develops in early childhood. Acquired nystagmus  , which occurs later in life, can be a symptom of another condition or disease, such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, or trauma.

Other causes of nystagmus  include:

  • Lack of development of normal eye movement control  early in life;
  • Albinism;
  • Very high refractive error, eg myopia or astigmatism;
  • Congenital cataract ;
  • Inflammation of the inner ear;
  • Medications such as anti-epilepsy medications;
  • Central nervous system diseases.

Symptoms of Nystagmus: The main symptom of Nystagmus  is rapid eye movement  that cannot be controlled. Usually the movement is side by side. It can also be up and down or circular. The movement can range from slow to fast, and it usually happens in both eyes .

In addition to rapid eye movement , symptoms of nystagmus  include:

  • Light sensitivity;
  • Dizziness;
  • Difficulty seeing in the dark;
  • Vision problems ;
  • Holding the head in a rotated or tilted position;
  • The feeling that the world is shaking.

Diagnosis of Nystagmus: Diagnosis of Nystagmus  can be made through a comprehensive eye analysis . Testing for Nystagmus , with special emphasis on how the eyes  move, can include:

Patient history to determine the symptoms the patient is experiencing and the presence of general health problems, medications taken, or environmental factors that may be contributing to the symptoms.

  • Visual acuity measurements to assess the extent to which vision  may be affected.
  • A refraction to determine the proper lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism).
  • Testing how the eyes  focus, move and work together.

To get a clear, unique image of what is being seen, the eyes  must effectively shift focus, move, and work in unison. This test will look for problems that affect eye movement control or make it difficult to use both eyes  together.

Since nystagmus  is often the result of other underlying health problems, your optometrist may refer you to your primary care doctor or other medical specialist for further testing. Using the information obtained from the test, your optometrist can determine if you have nystagmus  and advise you on treatment options.

Treatments For Nystagmus: While eyeglasses and contact lenses do not correct Nystagmus itself , they can sometimes improve vision . The use of large books, magnifying devices and enhanced lighting can also be helpful.

Some types of nystagmus improve during childhood. Rarely, surgery is performed to change the position of the muscles that move the eyes. While this surgery does not cure nystagmus , it can reduce how much a person needs to turn their head for better vision .

If another health issue is causing nystagmus , your optometrist will often work with your primary care physician or other medical specialists to treat that underlying cause.

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