Nystagmus Awareness Day

Hello everyone. Todays post is going to be about raising awareness on nystagmus. This is something that is very close to my own heart as I suffer with nystagmus. It makes it very hard to concentrate on anything, I love to read, but I can’t do that for very long as it gets very blurry. The more I try to concentrate the worse it gets and the pain it causes my eyes. It is very frustrating not being able to see things properly. My eyes oscillate from side to side, going fast enough to make my vision blurry.

Facts About Nystagmus

Nystagmus is a condition that affects your vision, in which causes the eyes to make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. It often results in reduced vision and depth perception, which can also affect balance and coordination.

Involuntary eye movements can occur from side to side, up and down, and rotate in a circular pattern. As a result, both eyes are unable to steadily view objects. People whom suffer with nystagmus might nod and hold their heads in unusual positions to compensate for their condition.

Usually, nystagmus can be an underlying symptom of another eye or medical problem. Stress and fatigue can make nystagmus a whole lot worse. Although, the exact cause is often unknown.

Here is the different forms of nystagmus are as follows:

  • Congenital Nystagmus: You show signs of this from birth. This is where your eyes start to move together as they oscillate (swing back and forth like a pendulum).
  • Infantile Nystagmus: Between the ages of 2 to 3 months of age you would often start to develop infantile nystagmus. The eyes would move from side to side in a horizontal way. It can also be associated with other conditions, like undeveloped optic nerves, albinism, congenital cataract, and congenital absence of the iris ( the colored part of the eye).
  • Spasmus Nutans Nystagmus: This usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 3 years and will improve on its own, usually between the ages of 2 and 8 years of age. You tend to find that children with this kind of nystagmus often tilt or nod their heads, and their eyes will move in any direction. This type does not usually need any treatment.
  • Acquired Nystagmus: You later develop this in childhood or adulthood. The cause of this type of nystagmus is often unknown, but it could be due to the central nervous system and metabolic disorder or drug and alcohol toxicity.
  • Manifest Nystagmus: This is present at all times, latent nystagmus only occurs when one eye is covered
  • Manifest-Latent Nystagmus: is always present, but made worse when one eye is covered over

What Causes Nystagmus?

The most common cause of nystagmus is by any type of neurological problem, to which is present at birth or can develop in early childhood. Acquired nystagmus occurs later in life, can be the symptom of another condition or disease, like a stroke, multiple sclerosis or trauma.

Other Causes of Nystagmus Include:

  • Albinism.
  • Central Nervous System Disease.
  • Congenital Cataracts.
  • Inflammation of the Inner Ear.
  • Lack of development of normal Eye Movement Control early in life.
  • Medication such as anti-epilepsy drugs
  • Very high refractive error. For example, near-sightedness (Myopia) or Astigmatism

Can Nystagmus be Treated?

There are several things that can be done to help relieve it, sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.

  • Surgery reduces the null positions, lessening head tilting and improving cosmetic appearance.
  • Drugs such as Botox or Baclofen can reduce some nystagmic movements, the results are usually temporary.
  • Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses can help with nystagmus see better, but have found that contact lenses to be the superior alternative for many with nystagmus.

See you all next week

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