Nystagmus: a movement of the eyes

Written by: Dr. Juan Antonio García de Oteyza
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Nystagmus is a reciprocating movement of the eyes. It may be of pendulum type (when the oscillation of the eyes are similar) or spring (oscillations have a slow phase and another fast). Also, there are different types: horizontal, vertical or oblique.


nystagmus-eye This reciprocating movement of the eyes may be triggered by neurological disease (neurological nystagmus), otologic disease (labyrinthine nystagmus) and ocular (eye nystagmus).


Causes and consequences of nystagmus

Eye nystagmus usually congenital origin and therefore present in the first days of life. It can occur alone or associated with other functional organ damage (cataracts, retinal lesions, etc.) or (strabismus).

The consequence of nystagmus primarily affects the vision will be greatly diminished in the case of pendulum nystagmus and partially affected in cases of nystagmus in spring. In the latter case pairing with torticollis is often the norm and thanks to him, the eyes stop moving in that position and the view is better.


Treatment of nystagmus

There is no cure nystagmus. However, in cases of torticollis or associated with a strabismus, the ophthalmologist can make a combined intervention to resolve both strabismus as the vicious head position. Where the nystagmus is associated with significant refractive defect, use of contact lenses can improve vision.

In cases where there is a greater compensator 10-15 degrees Crick should intervene to try to straighten the head which results in not only improve the quality of life for patients but also to prevent disturbances at the level of the cervical spine. The intervention should be done preferably before the age of five.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Juan Antonio García de Oteyza

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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