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Doctor insights on: Nystagmus Involuntary Jerky Eye Movements

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Dr. Kenneth Adams
109 doctors shared insights

Nystagmus (Definition)

Nystagmus is a condition in which a person's eyeballs jiggle back and forth. The rhythmic jiggling can be present at birth (congenital nystagmus) or it can begin later due to a brain ...Read more


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I heard that nystagmus is involuntary. But I can shake my eyes! is it a neurological condition?

I heard that nystagmus is involuntary. But I can shake my eyes! is it a neurological condition?

No: Some have developed the ability to shake the eyes as a combination of near focus and concentration. This is voluntary and does not harm the eyes. Some have perfected it as a performance trick. ...Read more

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I can shake my eyes back and forth at a rapid pace, not like nystagmus, but sometimes it's involuntary. Is this normal?

I can shake my eyes back and forth at a rapid pace, not like nystagmus, but sometimes it's involuntary. Is this normal?

Yes: Up to 8% of college age students (about 1 out of 10) were able to produce "voluntary nystagmus" in one study, and most of them had a relative who could do the same thing. It usually doesn't indicate any other eye problem. If it happens involuntarily, you should see your eye md for an exam. ...Read more

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Jerking eye movements? = nystagmus?

Jerking eye movements? = nystagmus?

Most commonly, yes: Nystagmus is the name for usually rhythmic, oscillating (back and forth, or up and down) involuntary movements of both eyes. It is most often seen as a congenital (born with) finding, or develops shortly after birth. There are other causes for unusual or "jerking" eye movements too, and affected individual should be seen by an ophthalmologist, neuro-ophthalmologist, or neurologist for a diagnosis. ...Read more

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Could I have tourettes if I have involuntary eye movements?

Could I have tourettes if I have involuntary eye movements?

NO: Tourettes syndrome is a movement disorder characterized by presence of both motor and vocal tics for more than 1 year. Involuntary eye movements can be a motor tic and depending on the duration maybe transient (less than 1 year)chronic (more than 1 year). As a result only eye movements is not tourette syndrome. ...Read more

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I have constant involuntary movement on my eye, is that normal? Left eye... all day since last 3m

I have constant involuntary movement on my eye, is that normal? Left eye... all day since last 3m

Eye or eyelid?: Involuntary twitching of the eyelids is called blepharospasm. Sometimes a segment of the lower eyelids twitch, which is called orbicularis myokymia. In young people, this is common, often associated with sleep deprivation and/or caffeine use. Involuntary movement of the eyeball(s) is called nystagmus or nystagmus-like movement and is often more serious. See your eye doctor to evaluate this. ...Read more