Dubai, 23 June 2019: Nystagmus is a relatively unheard of, but complex eye condition. With Nystagmus Awareness Day (20 June) just around the corner, there is no better time to learn about the visual impairment, which causes involuntary eye movements, and affects 1:1000 people.
Flickering from side to side or from up and down, nystagmus is caused by an altered functioning of the brain, especially in the area that is responsible for eye movement and positioning. Two forms of the conditions exist, the first variant appears in the early months of infancy, and the second develops later in life.
Experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai note that the condition is common among children and can be congenital (infantile) or acquired. Infantile usually presents itself at birth or in the first six months, whilst acquired can be caused by diseases such as multiple sclerosis, a brain tumor, inner ear infection, trauma (head injury) and even as side effects of certain medications.
All types of Nystagmus are involuntary, which means that patients cannot control their eyes. According to experts at Moorfields, most of these patients have some sort of visual disability, which ranges from very mild to severe.
Occurring both in isolation and in relation to other medical conditions. Key indicators of the condition include wobbly eyes, defective vision, and a head tilt.
Nystagmus itself does not have a cure, yet some of its underlying conditions may be treated. With neurological therapy and other treatments, which look to address cataracts and strabismus, those with nystagmus may also consider surgery for their head tilt. As researchers look at methods of prevention and cure, the understanding of the condition remains incomplete. Researchers hope that in the near future, medical practices will be developed to help control the condition and aid those who are subject to it.
Since the condition primarily affects children the most, it is essential to look at the relationship between academic performance and the ailment. With better care, glasses, contact lenses, and low visual aids, children with nystagmus can be nudged towards performing their best in school.
As more conditions are discussed in the public sphere, there is an increased support system made available to those who are subject to it. Allowing for better services, employment opportunities, increased research into the area and overall, an improved quality of life, raising awareness for a condition helps to act as a part of a solution.
International Nystagmus Awareness Day helps to act as a reminder for all those who are in need to be listened to and supported. Helping to simplify diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and cure, the day is marked to lend a spotlight to the condition.
The hospital provides world class outpatient diagnostic and treatment for the full range of both surgical and non-surgical related eye conditions, for both adults and children, from basic screenings and eye health checks, to retinal surgery, laser refractive surgery, cataracts, corneal grafts, diabetic retinopathy treatment, squint correction surgery, oculoplastic surgery, genetic eye disease consultations and counseling, and ocular oncology services through permanent and visiting consultants.