Nystagmus Eye Information

by Shaun Damon


Nystagmus refers to movements of the eyes that are rapid and involuntary. This may involve involuntary movements from side to side, up and down movements, or rotational. Some patients may have the problem in one eye, while others may have it in both the eyes. People sometimes refer to nystagmus as "dancing eyes." This problem occurs because there are some abnormal functions in that part of the brain that control your eye movements. Most people who have nystagmus have it right from the time they are born. This is referred to as congenital nystagmus. Some acquire nystagmus as a result of some disease or injury later on in life. This is referred to as acquired nystagmus.

Congenital nystagmus remains stable and does not increase in severity. It is generally very mild and not connected with any other disorder. Unless someone looks at the affected person carefully, he or she is not able to tell that the affected person has the problem. If it is a severe problem, the visual acuity is generally less than 20/20. This can be improved with surgery.

Acquired nystagmus may occur due to labyrinthitis or Meniere's disease, both of which refer to inner ear diseases. Nystagmus is most commonly caused due to taking some drugs or medication to treat seizures. Accidents that result in head injuries is another cause for this problem. This is mainly seen in younger people. In older people, a stroke may sometimes causes nystagmus.

Another cause of nystagmus, which is not highlighted, is that a nutritional deficiency in the body. If you are low on magnesium or thiamin, you may suffer from nystagmus. So it would make sense to treat this nutritional deficiency before opting for some expensive treatment.

You should get in touch with your health care provider if you have nystagmus since he will be best able to guide you. Nystagmus is generally a permanent ailment. Acquired nystagmus might be cured if you stop taking the medication that caused it. Those who have reduced vision can use glasses and vision aids to improve it. You have to keep in mind that nystagmus is not corrected by wearing glasses. You are only able to see well. In rare cases, surgery can be performed to bring about some changes in the position of the muscles that control eye movement.

Even if you suffer from nystagmus, remember that there is no further loss of vision as time goes by. If someone is suffering from congenial nystagmus, it will stabilize by the time he/she is five or six.


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