Treating nystagmus


Congenital nystagmus simply means nystagmus that is noticed in very young children. Although nystagmus itself cannot be cured, some underlying conditions can be treated. Researchers around the world are looking at different aspects of nystagmus with the aim of developing treatments.

A lot of this work still focuses on how the eye movements are controlled and the understanding of this is far from complete. However, it is hoped that as the research continues in this field more effective treatment options will be available for those people with nystgamus.

Drug treatments for nystagmus

As there is a continual development in the understanding of nystgamus various drugs have been used to manage the condition. Botulinum toxin injections have been shown to help some people with acquired nystgamus due to MS, although not in people with congenital nystgamus.

Gabapentin and memantine have also been show to have some success at reducing the effects of acquired nystagmus in some people and they are currently being trialled on people with congenital nystgamus. However, they do not work for everyone and can have side effects.

Alternative therapies for nystagmus

Various alternative therapies have been tried by people with nystagmus and although there is no scientific evidence that they work, some people say they have led to improved vision.

Some relaxation therapies may help indirectly by reducing stress and helping people to stay calm. It has been found that with congenital nystagmus the calmer an individual is, the less their eyes move. People with acquired nystagmus also find that anxiety, fatigue and illness can make the oscillopsia worse.