What is Nystagmus? (ni-stag-muhs)

Nystagmus is the medical term used to describe a condition in which the eyes make uncontrolled movements. This movement can often times hinder normal vision. The eye movements can occur in a number of directions and patterns.

What are the Symptoms of Nystagmus?

  • Reduced vision
  • Reduced depth perception
  • Poor balance/coordination
  • Head tilt

What Causes Nystagmus?
Nystagmus is due to an impairment of the system controlling eye movements. It can also be caused by a number of factors such as:

  • Very high refractive error
  • Congenital Cataracts
  • Inner ear inflammation
  • Medications
  • Stress and fatigue can activate nystagmus

When does Nystagmus Occur?
Nystagmus is usually the result of some other underlying condition. Nystagmus can be inherited and appear in childhood. It can also occur later in life as the result of an event such as an injury, stroke or multiple sclerosis.

How is Nystagmus Diagnosed?
Diagnosing nystagmus begins with a comprehensive eye exam at Shanks Family Eye Care. During this exam, your doctor uses tests to evaluate your vision and your eye muscle coordination system.

How is Nystagmus Treated?

  • There is no cure for nystagmus
  • Prisms and special glasses can help aid those with nystagmus
  • Surgery is another option available for those with large head tilts