Nystagmus - Basic Things to Know About It

The eye has the fastest muscles in the human body and, on top of that, it's also a 576 megapixel camera. Unfortunately, just like other organs it can suffer from various conditions. Nystagmus is one of those conditions and in this article we will take a look at it.


What is Nystagmus?

Nystagmus is an eye condition in which either one or both eyes are constantly moving very fast and uncontrollably. The most common symptom that can be caused by this condition is blurriness. The level of interference with your vision can vary.

This condition can be inherited or acquired at a later point in life, due to illness or a trauma. It is one of the most common eye conditions in small children, but it can improve both with treatment or on it's own.


What causes Nystagmus?


When Nystagmus is inherited it can appear 1-3 months after birth and it normally is a signal that there might be another condition that has caused it. It can be hard to spot, as it is hard for even older individuals to notice it.

When it comes to developing it later in life, the condition is a bit harder to treat and recover from. Some conditions that can cause it are:

  • Stroke
  • Brain tumors
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Albinism
  • Central nervous system disease


What are the symptoms of Nystagmus?

Blurriness is the most common symptom. The symptoms can also largely vary in severity as well. Here are some of the other symptoms:

  • Issues with the vestibular apparatus, leading to poor balance
  • Sensitivity to light
  • The eyes of the affected individual can be seen moving back and forth between two directions or in a rotating manner
  • Feeling that the world is moving. This makes it common to discover you have Nystagmus when you're learning to drive. 


How do you treat Nystagmus?

Most of the time treatment is not necessary, as the condition improves on it's own. However in the cases where there are no major improvements, there are several things that your eye specialist might recommend.

One of the common things that you will get prescribed are vision enhancers. After an exam your specialist can prescribe you lenses, glasses or other magnifiers, to compensate for the impaired vision caused by the condition.

There are also medications available, which the individual can take. Most of the time, however, they might be avoided as it is not certain how effective they are and if the side effects won't cause more harm than good.

Tenotomy is also an option in more severe cases. The purpose of this surgical intervention is to change the position in which the eye muscles are holding the eye. This will not cure the condition, but it will improve the visual acuity of the individual.


In conclusion 

Nystagmus can impair the ability of individuals to perform some tasks and can cause severe problems in certain circumstances, however it does have a very good partial recovery for a lot of people. In fact, visual aids are a perfect way to aid your vision if you have this condition and we can offer you some great solutions to help improve your vision.