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Nystagmus

Nystagmus is a disease that is accompanied by a constant, highly pronounced, and uncontrolled twitching of the eyes and, as a result, a noticeable decrease in visual acuity.

What does it mean to cure nystagmus?

Nystagmus is always a consequence of a disease that reduces visual acuity. Therefore, we have developed a treatment system that, on the one hand, blocks eye twitching, and on the other hand, increases visual acuity.

We block the nystagmus by means of a specially developed system of surgical intervention. This system reliably allows blocking the nystagmus completely in a straight position of the eye in 78% of cases, in 22% of cases, reducing the amplitude and frequency of eye twitching significantly.

But this is not enough for treatment. In the case of nystagmus, it is required to increase the patient's visual acuity as much as possible in each case. We achieve this through special therapeutic measures. In almost all cases, it is possible to increase the patient's visual acuity, and in some cases, even to obtain subnormal visual acuity performance.

The system developed by us is an alternative to the common opinion and treatment tactics in Russia for managing patients with nystagmus, which assumes that it cannot be cured.

If you conduct modern, correct, comprehensive, and timely treatment, nystagmus can be cured. The earlier treatment is started, the faster the child will be rehabilitated. And the achieved result will be sustainable!

Treatment of nystagmus in children

During the treatment of this disease, specialists of Yasniy Vzor use a comprehensive approach, including:

  • surgery;
  • glass correction;
  • therapeutic treatment.

Surgical stage during the treatment of nystagmus

The task of an ophthalmic surgeon is to block the oscillatory movements of the eyes (or significantly reduce them) in the straight position of the eye and to remove the forced position of the head, which often occurs in patients with nystagmus. Surgery is the only way to block these movements. In the case of nystagmus, treatment should start with surgery. This is the foundation for further rehabilitation. We have implemented modern "knifeless" technologies that allow performing surgical operations with the preservation of blood vessels and nerve elements of the eye, which is a huge achievement!

At Yasniy Vzor, we perform unique surgical operations of nystagmus that block and stop it. We are the first who have developed a three-stage system of rehabilitation of patients with nystagmus, the essence of which is to diagnose the precise state of the visual system in the case of nystagmus in combination with surgery and therapy to increase visual acuity.

The technique of surgery depends on the type of nystagmus, so it is extremely important to make precise diagnose; it is important to determine the cause of nystagmus and its type. It is for this purpose that we apply diagnostic standards that allow seeing the minimal disorders at any level of the visual system, from the transparency of the media and visual cells of the eye to the cells of the visual cortex of the brain.

After the surgical operation, it will be possible to carry out activities to improve vision.

In parallel with the surgical intervention, an ophthalmological examination is performed, which allows determining the exact refraction of the child and examining the fundus. If there is a refractive pathology (astigmatism, myopia, etc.), the child is prescribed glass correction.

Therapeutic treatment involves a special set of measures to increase visual acuity.

Diagnostics of nystagmus

Parents may also determine the primary symptoms of nystagmus since uncontrolled movements of the eyeballs are visible to the naked eye. Only a specialist can conduct a thorough examination and determine the cause of nystagmus. To avoid the onset of complications and to prevent further decrease in visual acuity, it is required to diagnose the disease as early as possible and to start treatment of nystagmus in children.

An ophthalmologist's examination may include additional electrophysiological investigations (visually evoked potentials, electroretinogram) and optical coherence tomography, which allows taking a picture of the retina, as well as determining possible changes in the structure of cells and the thickness of layers, which may be the cause of low vision in the case of nystagmus. In order to detect and treat congenital nystagmus, genetic investigations should first be performed.

To find the right method of treatment of nystagmus, it is required to find out the cause of the disease.

For this purpose, the doctor may prescribe additional tests:

  • MRI of the brain and eye sockets;
  • EchoEG;
  • CT of the brain;
  • EEG.

In addition, our clinic has a unique Gazelab device for the diagnosis of nystagmus and strabismus, which is currently the only one in Russia and CIS countries. This compact and precise device can be used to check the vision of children from 2 years old. It allows identifying the affected muscle from the twelve eye muscles precisely, which directly influences the tactics of future surgery. No other scanning device does have such precision and such opportunities.

Do not delay the diagnosis of nystagmus since the process of vision impairment depends on the age of the child. It worsens most quickly in young children. This is why most patients with congenital nystagmus have a fairly low visual acuity.

Causes of nystagmus in a child

Nystagmus can be caused by various disorders in the functioning of the central nervous system. It is either congenital or acquired. In the first case, we are talking about nystagmus in newborns. Often acquired nystagmus is combined with partial or complete atrophy of the optic nerve, refractive pathology (myopia, astigmatism), and also occurs in children with genetic diseases (Leber's disease, albinism).

The reasons for the emergence of acquired nystagmus in adults and children are similar:

  • encephalitis;
  • trauma to the eyeball;
  • stroke;
  • brain disease;
  • inflammation of the inner ear;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • exposure to narcotic substances or toxins;
  • brain injury;
  • Meniere's disease.

Symptoms of nystagmus

In the case of nystagmus, the child's head may often take an unnatural position. This condition is called ocular torticollis. It occurs due to the fact that nystagmus always assumes a position of the head, in which the oscillatory movements occur much less or completely disappear. The child unconsciously finds this position of the head and starts looking in this position because due to the smaller number of oscillating movements, the quality and acuity of vision in such the position is much better. It is difficult for a child at any age to determine the presence of a health condition. Moreover, nystagmus often develops against the background of another disease.

Features of nystagmus development in children

A newborn over the age of 3-4 weeks should begin to focus their eyes on objects. In the absence of fixation and the presence of oscillatory movements, it is better to contact a specialist as soon as possible in order to determine the cause of the disease and begin treatment as early as possible. If this does not happen, it should be checked for the presence of congenital nystagmus. It is more difficult for a child, especially at a young age, to report the discomfort caused by the disease. Regular vertigo, a sense of instability, and twitching of visual images lead to distorted vision of the surrounding world and impaired vision.

Types of nystagmus

The disease is classified according to various parameters. Nystagmus can be congenital (detected after birth) and acquired (detected at any age, if there is an impairment in the functioning of the nervous system). Moreover, by the nature of the disease, nystagmus can be: pathological (provoked by various diseases and pathological processes in the body); physiological (manifested, if there is an irritation of the nervous system). In the latter case, the disease also has 3 varieties, vestibular, end-point, and optokinetic. Vestibular nystagmus is manifested by jerky movements and occurs in people who have suffered from an infectious disease of the inner ear or Meniere's disease. Optokinetic nystagmus is characterized by abrupt movements of the eye. End-point nystagmus is visible at the extreme aversion of the eye.

Classification of the disease by direction of oscillations

According to the type of repetitive movements of the eyeball, the disease is divided into horizontal, rotatory (otherwise rotational), diagonal, and vertical nystagmus. In the latter case, the eyes move up and down, that is, vertically. The diagonal form can be determined if the vibrations are diagonal; rotatory nystagmus is when the eye moves in a circle. In the case nystagmus, oscillations are divided into jerky, pendular, and mixed. In practice, horizontal nystagmus, in which the eye movements are directed along a horizontal axis, that is, to the left and to the right, is the most common. Other forms are less frequent. According to the amplitude of oscillations of the eyeball, medium-, large-, and small-scale nystagmus cases are also distinguished.


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