What is vertical and horizontal nystagmus?

Nystagmus is a condition where the eyes move rapidly and uncontrollably. They can move: side to side (horizontal nystagmus) up and down (vertical nystagmus)

What does horizontal nystagmus indicate?

It occurs when there is an irregularity in the inner ear system or a problem affecting the oculomotor control of the eye. A horizontal gaze nystagmus is a lateral or horizontal jerking movement when a person looks toward the side.

What are the 3 types of nystagmus?

Spontaneous central vestibular nystagmus

  • Downbeat nystagmus.
  • Upbeat nystagmus.
  • Torsional nystagmus.

When the direction of nystagmus is vertical?

Vertical nystagmus may be either upbeating or downbeating. When present in the straight-ahead position of gaze (i.e. the primary position) it is referred to as ‘upbeat nystagmus’ (UBN) or ‘downbeat nystagmus’ (DBN) (Leigh and Zee, 1999).

What causes a vertical nystagmus?

Vertical nystagmus (downbeat and upbeat nystagmus) is typically caused by posterior fossa lesions. Other causes include medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies, inflammatory and autoimmune/paraneoplastic conditions, and hereditary and degenerative cerebellar ataxias.

When should I worry about nystagmus?

Nystagmus Diagnosis When nystagmus is a new symptom and occurs with new dizziness or vertigo, the patient should get prompt medical attention. People experiencing pendular nystagmus for the first time should see a neurologist or neuro-ophthalmologist.

Is horizontal nystagmus normal?

8% of the normal population can induce voluntary nystagmus – a predominantly horizontal, high-frequency, low-amplitude rhythmic oscillation of the eyes. It is sometimes associated with behavioural tics.

Is vertical nystagmus normal?

Central nervous system disorders such as with a cerebellar problem, the nystagmus can be in any direction including horizontal. Purely vertical nystagmus usually originates in the central nervous system, but it is also an adverse effect commonly seen in high phenytoin toxicity.

Is vertical nystagmus bad?

CONCLUSIONS Vertical and asymmetric nystagmus are most commonly associated with serious intracranial pathology and its presence is an indication for neuroimaging studies. However, such nystagmus can occur in children with retinal disease, albinism, and in cases with CIN.

What drug causes vertical and horizontal nystagmus?

Vertical, horizontal, or rotary nystagmus may be noted. The most common drug/toxin overdoses that cause nystagmus are the following: Anticonvulsants (phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid, lamotrigine, topiramate) Ethanol.

What can the presence of nystagmus indicate?

Nystagmus is most commonly caused by a neurological problem that is present at birth or develops in early childhood. Acquired nystagmus, which occurs later in life, can be the symptom of another condition or disease, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or trauma.

What’s the difference between vertical and horizontal nystagmus?

Definition. Rhythmic, oscillating motions of the eyes are called nystagmus. The to-and-fro motion is generally involuntary. Vertical nystagmus occurs much less frequently than horizontal nystagmus and is often, but not necessarily, a sign of serious brain damage. Nystagmus can be a normal physiological response or a result of a pathologic problem.

When is Vertical Pursuit abnormal in nystagmus patients?

Smooth pursuit can be difficult to assess when significant nystagmus is present, but if vertical pursuit is abnormal when the patient has spontaneous horizontal nystagmus, this is likely a central etiology.

What are the different types of nystagmus movements?

The movement can be horizontal, vertical, torsional or a combination of these movements. Nystagmus can be jerk (named for fast phase) or pendular, variable amplitude and frequency, and can be worsened or improved by gaze position, fixation, or covering one eye (latent).

When does rapid gaze evoked nystagmus resolve?

Physiologic nystagmus or rapid gaze-evoked nystagmus is present only in extremes of horizontal gaze and dampens within seconds. It resolves when the eyes are in a slightly less eccentric position. Pathologic nystagmus is characterized as jerk or pendular, and infantile (congenital)or acquired.