- Vertical—up and down
- Infantile—tends to develop between 6 weeks and 3 months of age
- Acquired—occurs later in life
- A family member with nystagmus
- Poor development of eye control that may be caused by an eye disease or visual problem during infancy, such as bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia or congenital cataracts
- Lack of pigmentation— albinism
- Eye disorders, such as optic nerve degeneration or severe astigmatism or severe nearsightedness
- Health conditions, such as Meniere’s disease which involves balance problems, multiple sclerosis , spasmus nutans, or stroke
- Injury to the head or involving the body’s motor system
- Use of certain medications, such as lithium or antiseizure medications
- Alcohol abuse or drug use
- Inner ear problems, such as infections, irritation, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, some brain tumors
- Thiamine or vitamin B12 deficiency
- Health condition that can also affects the brain
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing in darkness
- Vision problems
- Head held in a turned position
- Oscillopsia—feeling that the world is shaking or moving
- A full exam with an eye specialist called an ophthalmologist
- An ear exam, including a hearing test
- Exam with a neurologist or other medical specialist
- Visual exam of the inside of the eye with an ophthalmoscope
- Vision testing
- Eye movement recordings
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- Prisms, tints, eyeglasses, or contact lenses
- Adopting a particular angle of vision where the nystagmus is reduced, such as holding the head in a certain position
- Vibratory stimulation of the face and neck
- Certain medications for certain types of nystagmus, including botox injections to relax the eye muscles, muscle relaxants, and certain anti-seizure medications
- Surgery on the eye muscles
American Optometric Association http://www.aoa.org
Eye Smart—American Academpy of Ophthalmology http://www.eyesmart.org
Canadian Ophthalmological Society http://www.cos-sco.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Eye facts about nystagmus. American Nystagmus Network website. Available at: http://www.nystagmus.org/aao.html. Accessed February 18, 2013.
General information about nystagmus. American Nystagmus Network website. Available at: http://www.nystagmus.org/aboutn.html. Accessed February 18, 2013.
Hertle RW. Understanding and treatment of infantile nystagmus syndrome. Presentation at the 4th Biennial Conference of the American Nystagmus Network, Los Angeles, CA. July 8-10, 2005. American Nystagmus Network website. Available at: http://www.nystagmus.org/doc/conf2005/hertle%5FANN.pdf. Accessed February 18, 2013.
Nystagmus. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/nystagmus.cfm. Accessed February 18, 2013.
Maybodi M. Understanding nystagmus: diagnosis, related disorders, treatment, and research. Presentation at the 3rd Biennial Conference of the American Nystagmus Network, Baltimore, MD. July 11-13, 2003. Available at: http://www.nystagmus.org/doc/conf2003/KEYNOTE.pdf. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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