Wobbly Wednesday – Nystagmus Awareness Day

Today, Wednesday, November 5 is the second annual “Wobbly Wednesday”, the international Nystagmus Awareness Day created by the Nystagmus Network.  In honor of Wobbly Wednesday, we’re re-blogging this post that was originally posted to Little Four Eyes


What is nystagmus?

Nystagmus is an eye condition that is characterized by rapid, involuntary eye movements.  Those movements can be side-to-side, up and down, or rotary.  Those eye movements may reduce a person’s vision, and are often associated with other vision conditions.  Usually, a person with congenital nystagmus has a “null point”, that is, an angle of gaze, at which the movements are minimized.

Read a guest post by mum, Laura, whose son has nystagmus.

What causes nystagmus?

Nystagmus can be inherited, or can result from other sensory or neurologic problems.  It often occurs with childhood cataracts, albinism, optic nerve atropy, and coloboma, though in some cases, there is no known cause for the nystagmus.  Accidents, strokes, and other illnesses can also lead to nystagmus later in life (called “aquired nystagmus”).

What are the visual impacts of nystagmus?

Nystagmus is associated with poor visual acuity.  It also can take a person longer and more effort to see, than normally-sighted people.  Crowded and cluttered scenes can be especially hard to focus on.  It can be harder to track moving objects, particularly those that are moving quickly.

How is nystagmus treated?

Sometimes treating the cause of the nystagmus will resolve the nystagmus, but more often it is a permanent condition.  While glasses or contact lenses will not correct nystagmus, they sometimes improve vision, and are often worn to treat other associated vision problems.

Where can I get more information?

The Nystagmus Network and American Nystagmus Network have fantastic information for individuals and families that deal with Nystagmus.

Wobbly Wednesday downloads

Please feel free to download this sweet coloring sheet and fact sheet were made by Richard Darani to help raise awareness of nystagmus.

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