Nystagmus

Close up image of an elderly man's face.

Nystagmus is a vision condition characterized by repetitive, uncontrolled eye movements. These involuntary eye movements may be side-to-side, up and down, or in a circular pattern, which hinders the eyes’ ability to focus on a steady object. Individuals with nystagmus may hold their heads in unusual positions or nod their heads in an effort to compensate for these vision obstructions. Nystagmus that develops in childhood is typically inherited; if this condition develops later in life, it may be due to an accident injury. In some cases, however, the exact cause for nystagmus is not fully known.

Types of Nystagmus

Forms of nystagmus include congenital nystagmus and acquired nystagmus. Congenital typically develops between two and three months of age. Eyes appear to move in a horizontal swing fashion. Congenital nystagmus is associated with conditions like undeveloped optic nerves, albinism, congenital cataracts, and the congenital absences of the iris.

Acquired nystagmus generally occurs in adulthood. While the cause is typically not know, this condition may be triggered by central nervous system issues due to alcohol or drug toxicity, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or a blow to the head.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to diagnose nystagmus. An eye care professional will first study a patient’s history to determine whether environmental factors, general health problems, or medications could be causing any of the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Next, visual acuity measurements will be taken to assess the extent to which vision has been compromised. These tests will help determine the appropriate refractive lens necessary to compensate for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Finally, tests will be done to determine how the eyes work together to move in unison and focus on a single object.

While there is no “cure” for nystagmus, treatment options are available to help correct other vision problems that may be associated with this condition. Depending on the type of nystagmus, it is also possible that the condition will spontaneously correct itself. In extremely rare cases, surgery may be performed to alter the position of the muscles that move the eye. However, lifestyle changes such as using large-print books, increased lighting, and magnifying devices are generally the preferred treatment methods.

Location

Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Such a positive experience with his office! My first appointment was with Dr Reeve who was friendly and thorough with his exam. A year later Dr Woods performed my LASIK surgery and I have been thrilled with the results!! Their staff is super friendly and has really worked at getting my insurance to cover medications and making recommendations for where to get the lowest pharmacy fees!! I would recommend these doctors to anyone looking for ophthalmologists :)"
    Hannah B.
  • "Reeve-Woods Eye Center is the best eye clinic I've ever been to. The staff is very personable and willing to help in any way they can. The doctors are wonderful and want to make sure you understand everything completely! Dr. Woods did my cataract surgeries and was absolutely awesome! I can't say enough good things about this eye clinic! If you want top rate care, this is where you'll go!!"
    Martha M.
  • "A very Good Eye Care Center they have taken very good care of me for years now. Highly Recommend"
    Scott L.
  • "Fast service! I was their new patient, I got the appointment one week only and then it took only one hour my eyes test done. All staff are very polite and eye doctors were very nice. I love this place."
    Carmi A.