Nystagmus in Children
Marked by uncontrollable, repetitive eye movements, nystagmus may negatively impact vision. Involuntary eye movements range from side to side, up and down, or in circular patterns. This makes a fixed gaze nearly impossible.
Children suffering from nystagmus may hold their head at various angles or nod frequently in order to compensate for the lack of visual acuity.
Though the exact cause is unknown, there are three primary classifications of nystagmus that occur at differing stages.
• Congenital nystagmus develops by two to three years of age and often accompanies another congenital condition.
• The onset of spasmus nutans shows up anywhere between six months to three years of age and resolves between ages two and eight. Treatment is not usually required.
• Acquired nystagmus can develop during childhood or adult and may be a result of central nervous system or metabolic disorders. It can also be caused by drug or alcohol abuse.