Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


Involuntary oscillatory movement of the eyeballs.



an involuntary, rapid rhythmic oscillation of the eyeballs. The bilateral form of nystagmus is much more common than the unilateral form. Nystagmus can be lateral, rotatory, vertical, or diagonal, depending on the direction of the oscillations of the eyeball. The condition need not be pathological. For example, rotatory nystagmus can be induced in healthy persons who are revolving in a swivel chair, optokinetic nystagmus can result from fixing the eyes on moving objects, and caloric nystagmus can result when cold or warm water is poured into the ear.

Nystagmus is pathological when it results from a morbid condition in the vestibulocochlear nerve, in the vestibular nuclei of the brainstem, or in the labyrinth of the vestibular apparatus. Nystagmus can also result from a morbid process in the cerebellum, an inflammation of the inner ear, cerebrocranial traumas, infections and toxicoses of the brain, or neoplasms in the brain. In rarer cases, nystagmus is caused by eye diseases. Miner’s nystagmus is an occupational disease in miners who work with a pick under poorly illuminated and poorly ventilated conditions. Because these workers are constantly looking up or to the side, certain eye muscles become strained.

Nystagmus is treated by eliminating the underlying cause. In cases of miner’s nystagmus, the worker is transferred to jobs above the ground.


Tsimmerman, G. S. Klinicheskaia otonevrologiia. Moscow, 1952.


References in periodicals archive ?
CEO of Fight for Sight, Michele Acton, said: "Both research projects have the potential to positively impact the lives of those living with nystagmus.
Nystagmus can be described based on its presence or absence, the position of the eye while the nystagmus is observed, the intensity (rate) of the nystagmus, the direction of the nystagmus (based on the slow-phase component) and whether it is present with or without a fixation point for the person to focus on.
Testified in Iowa on August 14, 2008 that there are 144 types of nystagmus.
5%), sixth nerve palsy (11%), nystagmus blockage syndrome (9.
Observe the eyes, noting the presence of any nystagmus.
9%) patients of nystagmus, while keratoconus, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa were observed in single patient (0.
In contrast, cupulolithiasis is characterized by persistent vertigo and nystagmus which does not subside until the patient moves away from the provocative position (Bisdorff et al.
Horizontal nystagmus is assessed by having the patient look in the direction of the fast phase of the nystagmus.
But there are also lots of things he can do that other kids with nystagmus can't, so in some ways he's very lucky.
The patient had nystagmus since birth and later on developed head nodding.
A directional preponderance of postcaloric nystagmus was observed in 3 patients (1.