Nystagmus refers to involuntary and rhythmic movements of the eyes, which have to-and-fro oscillations. These movements are horizontal, vertical, or torsional.
The primary objective of the eye examination of these patients is to diagnose acquired nystagmus which is caused by a nervous system disorder, and then necessary therapeutic measures should be taken immediately. But most people with nystagmus are born with the condition and it is a congenital nystagmus, which can be either sensory or motor one. Sensory nystagmus may be associated with a visual defect ,which causes severe vision loss from the beginning of the birth. These visual defects include congenital cataract, glaucoma, albinism, retinal and optic nerve disorders. There is no other visual defect in patients with motor nystagmus, and they have good visual acuity.
Diagnosis and treatment of Nystagmus
The main symptom is the rhythmic movements that can be diagnosed in most cases without comprehensive examination and special ophthalmic equipment. Some patients with nystagmus also have abnormal head position. these patients tends to hold their head to the opposite side where the least nystagmus is present .In some of the patients may also present strabismus.
In addition to the above symptoms, other visual symptoms can be diagnosed in sensory cases. If it is diagnosed that nystagmus is likely to be caused by a neurological disorder, the necessary comprehensive examinations should be done in this regard and the patient should be introduced more quickly to a neurologist.
If nystagmus is caused by other visual disorders, first these eye disorders should be treated and If there is refractive errors, it should be corrected before treating nystagmus. Prismatic eyeglasses can be used to treat nystagmus. there are various types of surgical procedures for nystagmus, which are used to correct abnormal head positions, correct the possible strabismus ( the deviation of the eye), and reduce the severity of nystagmus. It should be noted that none of the above methods are capable of completely eliminating nystagmus.