This interesting video clip, shared with permission, shows voluntary nystagmus. #Nystagmus, the medical term for abnormal eye shaking, can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical or neurologic problem. Sometimes it is can be present from infancy due to some factor interfering with the calibration of the brain's ability to hold the eyes steady and on target. In that case it is not dangerous but can limit vision. Nystagmus is generally involuntary, meaning the patient can not control it. The voluntary nystagmus seen in this video is not real nystagmus and is not concerning because this child is actually controlling it. Only a few people can learn the ability to do this. If you observe closely you can see that the abnormal eye movements are temporary (usually cannot be sustained longer than about 5 seconds), appear to involve some effort on her part, are associated with some in-turning of the eyes and closing of the pupils, and are very fast back and forth jumping of the eyes. These are all re-assuring signs. Sometimes a child will present to the eye clinic with the family or referring doctor very concerned about a serious issue due to these eye movements, when in fact the child has learned to control this consciously. However, as mentioned initially, nystagmus can be a sign of something serious, especially if brand new, and needs evaluated.
#pedsophtho #pediatricophthalmology #bestjobintheworld #nystagmus