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Tips for living with Nystagmus

Nystagmus, also called dancing eyes or wobbly eyes is a condition in which the eyes make repetitive uncontrolled movements. These movements may lead to impaired vision and poor depth perception which can affect one’s balance and coordination. Persons suffering from nystagmus may also have dizziness, imbalance, night vision problems, sensitivity to light in addition to objects appearing shaky. Nystagmus may be present at birth or may even come on in adulthood after illnesses like stroke or injury.

Tips for living with Nystagmus

Treatment of Nystagmus:

– Eyeglasses and contact lenses cannot cure nystagmus, but they may help improve vision as well as reduce nystagmus

– On rare occasions, your eye doctor may advise you to undergo surgery to correct your eye muscles as a treatment of nystagmus. Again, this is not a cure for nystagmus, but may decrease how much a person turns their head for better vision.

– Some medications like gabapentin or baclofen may be prescribed for certain adults to help ease the symptoms.

– When other issues lead to nystagmus, the treatment of nystagmus will involve your eye doctor consulting in tandem with other specialities.

All these interventions can lead to significant dampening of nystagmus thus improving the quality of vision greatly in the affected individuals.

Tips for living with Nystagmus:

Treatment of Nystagmus

If you or your child has been diagnosed with nystagmus, it can be tough to deal with the way this condition hampers one’s quality of life. Here are a few tips for living with Nystagmus

  • Optimising your Computer Screen

Increase the text size to a large font. Adjust the screen brightness so that it matches that of the room – if you’re reading at night, a table lamp may help.

  • Take Care of your Eyes

Keep your eye glass prescriptions up to date with annual checks. Give your eyes frequent breaks while reading for long hours. Use magnifiers and other low vision aids to help with your reading.

  • Coping with Vision problems

You may take more time to see things and hence your responses may be slower. Your depth perception may be hampered which may make things difficult on the steps or when you have to judge distances. Factor in these things when you are outdoors, in a queue or simply ordering something in a public place. Ensure that people who accompany you are aware of these difficulties.

  • Helping Kids adapt at Home

Let your kids hold their books close to their eyes. Let them wear tinted glasses or a hat (outdoors and indoors) to reduce the glare from bright lights. Let your kid place a scale horizontally below every line while reading. Allow your child to tilt their head to the position from where their vision is the clearest and eyes have decreased movements.

Nystagmus Specialist in Mumbai
  • Making the best of Technology

You can use various mobile apps to make life easier but engaging for the kids – the ‘speech to text’ feature can help in their writing work or ‘story tell’ app can read out texts written in books. Nystagmus may put in some road blocks, but these tricks can help ensure that the journey never stops and that every child reaches their full potential nevertheless!

  • Helping kids adapt at School

Have a word with your kid’s teacher to inform them about nystagmus and what it entails. Let the teacher provide your child with individual books and worksheets rather than sharing them with other kids. Let them allow your child to sit at a place that enables them to see the board and teacher well. Let the teacher know that your child may have issues with recognising facial expressions and should be called out by their name to grab their attention.

And most importantly, reach out to your eye doctor for nystagmus help. They may be able to provide suggestions that can make your life a tad easier!

Dr. Prachi Agashe is a Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Adult Squint and Nystagmus Specialist in Mumbai. She can be contacted at or 9867539883.