Your health care provider will take a careful history and perform a thorough physical examination, focusing on the nervous system and inner ear. The doctor may ask you to wear a pair of goggles that magnify your eyes for part of the examination.
To check for nystagmus, the health care provider may use the following procedure:
- You spin around for about 30 seconds, stop, and try to stare at an object.
- Your eyes will first move slowly in one direction, then will move quickly in the opposite direction.
If you have nystagmus due to a medical condition, these eye movements will depend on the cause.
Questions asked in a medical history may cover the following areas:
- When were the movements first noticed?
- How often does they occur?
- Has this ever happened before?
- Is the problem getting better, worse, or staying the same?
- Are there side-to-side eye movements?
- Are there up-and-down eye movements?
- What medications are you taking?
- What other symptoms do you have?
You may have the following tests:
- CT scan of the head
- Electro-oculography: An electrical method of measuring eye movements using tiny electrodes
- MRI of the head
- Vestibular testing by recording the movements of the eyes
There is no treatment for most cases of congenital nystagmus. Treatment for acquired nystagmus depends on the cause. In some cases, nystagmus cannot be reversed. In cases due to medications or infection, the nystagmus usually goes away after the cause has gotten better.
Some treatments may help improve the visual function of patients with infantile nystagmus syndrome:
- Surgeries such as tenotomy
- Drug therapies for infantile nystagmus