WHAT IS NYSTAGMUS ? You may feel like your eyes have a mind of their own.They move up and down, side to side, or in a circle.This is called nystagmus or "dancing eyes." It's a condition where you can't control your eye movements. WHAT CAUSES NYSTAGMUS ? It may be a sign of another eye problem or medical condition.You may be born with it, or you might develop it later in life.Nystagmus is caused by many different things,including: -Being passed down from your parents. -Other eye issues, like cataracts or strabismus. -Diseases like stroke,multiple sclerosis,or -Meniere's disease. -Head injuries. -Albinism(lack of skin pigment). -Inner ear problems. -Certain medications,like lithium or drugs for seizures. -Alcohol or drug use. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NYSTAGMUS ? Your eyes move without your control.It might be fast, then slow, then fast again. The movement might be in one eye, but it's usually in both eyes.You may notice that you nod your head or keep it in strange positions. You do that because it helps you focus when you can't hold your gaze steady.Things look clearer when you tilt or turn your head. Nystagmus may also affect your vision.You might have a hard time seeing in the dark,or you may be sensitive to bright light.You may have problems with balance and dizziness. These can be worse if you're tired or stressed. GETTING A DIAGNOSIS : If you think you or your child may have symptoms of nystagmus,see your eye doctor. They'll look at the insides of your eyes and test your vision.She’ll also look for other eye problems. YOU MIGHT GET OTHER TEST'S INCLUDING : Ear exam. Neurological exam. Brain MRI. Brain CT scan. Recording your eye movement. Your doctor may ask you to spin around in the chair for about 30 seconds, stop, and then try to stare at an object. If you have nystagmus, your eyes will first move slowly in one direction. Then they'll move quickly the other way. HOW DO YOU TREAT NYSTAGMUS ? If you developed nystagmus as an adult, there may be simple things you can do to lessen its effects. Sometimes you may just have to stop a medicine or quit drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Wear the right contacts or glasses to improve vision. It won't cure nystagmus, but it can help with other eye problems that can make it worse. Eye muscle surgery may be an option. The goal is to help with the head tilt that often comes with nystagmus. Sometimes surgery improves vision, too. Some drugs may ease symptoms in adults but not children.These include the anti-seizure medicine gabapentin, the muscle relaxant baclofen,and onabotulinumtoxina (Botox). Opht.Dr .Ahmet Umay NICOSIA / CYPRUS WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD.
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