Nystagmus in Navi Mumbai
What is nystagmus?
Nystagmus is a series of involuntary, rhythmic oscillations of one or both eyes. It may be horizontal, vertical or rotatory. It is commonly also known as “wobbly eyes” or “dancing eyes.” There are two types of nystagmus: infantile nystagmus and adult-onset acquired nystagmus. There are pre dominantly two forms of nystagmus:
- Infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) is present at birth.
- Acquired nystagmus develops later in life because of a disease or injury.
Nystagmus in Navi Mumbai is is commonly treated either by Paediatric Ophthalmologists or Neurologists.
What is the cause for nystagmus?
Some of the cases of congenital nystagmus may be hereditary. In some cases there is clearly a family background sometimes going back over several generations. In others the disorder appears to be a singular occurence. In cases of ocular albinism and cone dysfunction, it is known that there is a definite hereditary basis. Genetic research is one of the fastest growing areas of medicine in the nineties. It is likely to prove of great importance to those with eye problems such as nystagmus.
How does nystagmus affect people?
Nystagmus affects people in many ways and the effects vary from person to person.
- Most people who have had the condition since childhood do not suffer from a constantly moving image (known as ‘oscillopsia’) most of the time, as their brains adapt to the movement of the eyes. However, people who acquire nystagmus in later life are unlikely to adjust so well and will suffer much more from the effects of oscillopsia.
- Nystagmus often seriously reduces vision. The degree of sight loss varies from person to person and is also related to the underlying condition. Many sufferers are eligible to be registered as partially sighted or blind. Please note that most people registered blind have poor vision, not no sight at all.
- Vision varies during the day and is likely to be affected by emotional and physical factors such as stress, tiredness, nervousness or unfamiliar surroundings. Nystagmus sufferers may tire more easily than other people because of the extra effort involved in looking at things.
- Many people with nystagmus can read very small print if it is close enough to their eyes. Some find a visual aid such as a magnifier helpful. However, large print material should always be made available and all written matter should be clear. It is very difficult to share a book because it will probably be too far away or at the wrong angle.
- People with nystagmus may be slow readers because of the extra time needed to scan. This should not be taken as a sign of poor reading ability, but students or school children with nystagmus may need extra time when they are sitting exams.
- Computers are used by many people with nystagmus, as they can position screens to suit their own needs and adjust brightness, character size, and so on. However, some people find it difficult to read computer screens for more than a few minutes. Experimenting with colour combinations and using large screens may help.
- The angle of vision is important. Many sufferers have a ‘null point’ where the eye movement is reduced and vision is improved. They will often turn their head to one side to make the best use of their vision. Sitting to one side of a screen or blackboard often helps. Children with nystagmus should be allowed to adopt the head posture which gives them the best vision.
- Head nodding sometimes helps concentration, probably because the head movement compensates somewhat for the eye movement.
- Depth perception is usually considerably reduced This may sometimes make people seem a little slower or clumsier than normal.
- Balance may be affected, possibly because of poor depth perception, which may make it difficult to use stairs or cross uneven surfaces.
- Confidence may be reduced because of poor vision, and maintaining eye contact may be difficult.
- Getting about can also be affected, especially in unfamiliar and busy surroundings such as supermarkets, airports and railway stations. Crossing roads is more dangerous than for a fully sighted person. Mobility training can help. Few people with nystagmus are legally able to drive a car.