Nystagmus wiewed thru binoculars

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Dave, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I have congenital nystagmus and when I try to
    fixate on an object, the image appears wobbly and
    the longer I try to hold the fixation, it appears to be moving
    back and forth. However the other day I was looking
    thru a pair of regular binoculars and everything appears
    stable, with no movement. Do the the binoculars
    help keep the image stable on the retina?

    Dave, Jul 19, 2004
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  2. (Dave) wrote in
    If during normal viewing, your image appears wobbly (the medical term is
    "oscillopsia"), then you may have some form of nystagmus other than
    congenital, or you may have some other form of nystagmus sitting on top of
    your congenital nystagmus. Most congenital nystagmus patients don't
    complain of oscillopsia.

    Binoculars don't keep images stable on the retina--indeed, they contribute
    to image instability because of hand tremors.

    My guess is that you have something called "nystagmus blockage syndrome",
    in which your nystagmus is suppressed when one eye is in an extreme
    position. You probably don't do this when your viewing with both eyes,
    because you might see double. When you look through the binoculars,
    however, a misaligned eye wouldn't see a target, just blackness, so your
    non-viewing eye deviates inward, "blocking" the nystagmus. Most people
    with this particular syndrome supress vision in the eye that they
    dramatically deviate, but apparently you don't.

    When you remove the binoculars, are your eyes pointing at the same point?
    What happens if you cover one eye with a patch?

    (not a doctor)
    Scott Seidman, Jul 19, 2004
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  3. One other possibility. Mechanical stimulation of certain portions of the
    trigeminal nerve has been shown (if memory serves) to damp congetinal
    nystagmus. Possibly, you're hitting a portion of this nerve division
    when you hold the binoculars up to your face.

    I know this sounds odd, but try scratching your skin lightly above your
    eyebrow, low on your forehead, while looking at a visual target, and
    observe what happens

    Scott Seidman, Jul 19, 2004
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