Horizontal Nystagmus: Features of Pathology and Methods of Treatment

It happens, when a person can involuntarily move or twitch eyeballs to the right or left. The process can not be controlled. From the outside it looks rather strange, but this phenomenon is not just an oddity, but a disease that most often appears in pathologies of the nervous system. If a problem is found, you should contact an ophthalmologist to choose the appropriate treatment.


  • 1Definition of disease
  • 2Causes
  • 3Symptoms
  • 4Possible complications
  • 5Treatment
    • 5.1Medication
    • 5.2Surgically
  • 6Prevention
  • 7Video
  • 8conclusions

Definition of disease

Nystagmus is a disease characterized by the emergence of a series of involuntary, fast and sharp fluctuations of the eyeballs aside (rarely - in a circle).Accordingly, the horizontal nystagmus is accompanied by a jerk to the right and to the left. Usually pathology develops in disorders and diseases of the nervous system.

Manifestation of nystagmus

The horizontal nystagmus is diagnosed much more often than the vertical nystagmus.A determine its direction in the fast phase of oscillations. It is also worth noting that the movements of both eyes can be of the same type and of the same type.


The prerequisites for the appearance of a horizontal nystagmus may be several:

  • Changes in the central nervous system;
  • Inflammatory processes (including purulent);
  • Infections;
  • Intoxication;
  • Pathologies of the middle ear.

The forms of the horizontal nystagmus prerequisites can be classified as follows:

  1. Spontaneous.It is not considered as a pathology and is a symptom of disturbance of the processes of circulation inside the brain.
  2. The pendulum.It is distinguished by a characteristic rhythm of oscillations and their amplitude (usually the same). Most often it is congenital in nature (intrauterine problems, injuries during labor and so on);
  3. Tonic.It differs by its slow speed and elongated phase. The causes may be strokes, craniocerebral trauma, severe hypertension.
  4. Pinched. Characterized by rapid fluctuations in different directions, while the speed of both eyes can vary. It occurs against the background of disorders of the nervous system.

Infringements of a congenital type at children can be shown from early age. With the first symptoms, you need to see a doctor.

Children's horizontal nystagmus can occur for the following reasons:

    • Transfer of infections;
    • Injuries during childbirth;
    • Atrophy of the nerve of the eyes;
    • Tumors of the brain;
    • Albinism;
    • Poisoning with chemistry.


The main symptom of the onset of the disease is involuntary eye movements. However, in addition, a person may experience other unpleasant sensations:

  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Sensation of the vibration of objects;
  • Deterioration of coordination of movements and gait;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Strabismus;
  • Doubling in the eyes;
  • Weakening the tone of the muscles.

The patient may feel that all objects and surfaces are in continuous motion, it is difficult for him to move independently, he loses the sense of space.

Possible complications

As rules, nystagmus as such can not give any complications to the organs of vision.However, the lack of treatment of the cause of its appearance can significantly worsen the state of human health. Any diseases of the vestibular apparatus, inflammation and suppuration, tumors and hypertension require compulsory medical intervention.


Treatment of an ailment of this type should begin with the establishment of the cause of its appearance. The disease itself, based on these data, should be treated in a comprehensive manner.


Medication can last at least one year.During this period, admission is mandatoryvitamin complexes and eye drops that dilate the vessels.In addition, general restorative drugs and medications that eliminate disease-causes are prescribed.

Timolol - vasodilator eye drops

During treatment it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right and strengthen immunity.


Surgical method of eliminating the disease is used extremely rarely, if other methods do not give the desired result.The essence of surgical intervention is to bring the tone of the muscles of the eyeballs into balance. Some muscles weaken, others - strengthen.

Often keratoplasty is performed - complete or partial replacement of the cornea, as well as special exercises that increase muscle tone.Sometimes a correction of the quality of vision is required. Almost always doctors prescribe wearing glasses or lenses.

Carrying out keratoplasty

If the disease is diagnosed in children under one year of age, surgery and medication are not prescribed.Usually, reflexotherapy is performed and the course of the disease is monitored. Older children are treated by the same methods as adults.


Eye drops Mesatone with instructions for use

Orthokeratological lenses: side effects of prolonged use are described in this article.

What eye drops when wearing lenses can be used described here.



Prevention of horizontal nystagmus can consist only in the prevention of its causes, which is also not always possible.Nevertheless, it is important to regularly undergo preventive medical examinations and visit the office of an ophthalmologist.

Curing the violation of the tone of the muscles of the eyes and getting rid of the causes of its appearance is much easier in the early stages of the onset.



Horizontal nystagmus in children and adults is an unpleasant disease that can interfere with the conduct of a habitual way of life and reduces efficiency. Moreover, the causes of its occurrence can be very serious and dangerous to health. However, timely identification of the problem and a comprehensive approach to treatment can bring the organs of vision into their habitual condition and save them from danger. To forget about the existence of a problem of this kind will help preventive medical examinations, which are especially important for young children.

Also read about such pathologies of vision as amblyopia and microphthalmos.