Nystagmus is rapid, uncontrollable movement of the eyes. This can be congenital or acquired and various studies indicate that the prevalence of this pathology in children is 1 in every 1000 or 1 in every 6000 infants.
It also has a certain correlation with visual weakness, since the same study estimates that 6 to 10% of childhood cases are related to manifestations of blindness. Adults can also suffer from it and it is not just a pediatric pathology.
Despite the rarity of its presentation, knowing its symptoms, causes and types can greatly improve the quality of life of the patient who suffers from it. Therefore, in this space we tell you everything you need to know about nystagmus or involuntary eye movement.
About nystagmus and its types
Before diving into the clinical picture of this pathology, it is very important to emphasize that there are two main variants. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, they are the congenital and the acquired form.
This type of nystagmus begins in babies, usually between three weeks and six months of age. According to the study we cited at the beginning, in which 63 children with this condition were monitored, the results were as follows:
- 54% of the patients with this disease had ocular alterations, which is classified as sensory nystagmus. This can be, for example, caused by diseases of the retina or congenital cataracts.
- 16% of the children showed a variety not related to the malfunctioning of the eyes, which is known as congenital motor nystagmus.
- Three patients, 5%, had neurological nystagmus, linked to pathologies in the nervous system, such as tumors or sclerosis.
As we can see, the types of this disease depend on its underlying causes. However, those we name are not the only ones, since there are many more, such as nystagmus block syndrome, alternating periodic or latent nystagmus.