2 young boys take part in a team building exercise.

What is nystagmus?

Nystagmus is a complex eye condition, characterised by involuntary movements of the eye. The eyes appear to wobble or flicker from side to side, up and down or round and round. This can impact the ability to focus and perceive the world in three dimensions.

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A small child is playing with friends. She waers glasses and a blind fold which she has pulled down to reveal one eye. She is smiling cheekily.


It may be a parent, other family member, friend, health visitor or GP who first notices nystagmus in a baby. Acquired nystagmus or oscillopsia is usually noticed by the patient themselves or an optician and may be the first sign of a new medical disorder. Both types of nystagmus require thorough investigation.

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An adult is having her eyes tested.


There are some treatments which can help with nystagmus. There are surgical options and drug therapies, though these are not suitable or effective in every case. Eye drops, prisms in glasses and other aids can also help.

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