Nystagmus & Dizziness

eye showing nystagmus

Have you ever suffered from an illness that made you wonder if it was all just in your head? You’re not alone. This is especially common in people who experience dizziness, loss of balance, or vertigo – the sensation that you or your environment is moving. Fortunately, we have a simple diagnostic method to confirm these symptoms, and it involves observing the eyes for a condition called nystagmus.

The Eyes Don’t Lie – What is Nystagmus?

Nystagmus presents itself as a consistent pattern of involuntary eye movements. This activity of the eyes is so subtle that it can be hard for the untrained healthcare practitioner to catch. However, these rapid and repetitive eye movements are even harder for patients to fake. This means that once nystagmus has been identified, there is likely an accompanying brain or vestibular system complication present. The vestibular system is located in your inner ear and monitors your balance.

Although nystagmus itself isn’t dangerous, it is often the result of a more serious injury such as a traumatic brain injury or concussion. Nystagmus can contribute to difficulties with:

  • Focus
  • Vision
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Muscular tension throughout the body (especially in the neck)

The Solution

Several neurological therapies can be effective at resolving both the nystagmus and its underlying root cause. Attuned Vitality’s very own Functional Neurologist, Dr. Funk, along with other researchers, found that a management plan involving eye movement rehabilitation, sensory stimulation, mirror therapy and vestibular rehabilitation was able to fully correct a 13 year old athlete’s vertigo as a result of two sports related head injuries. For further references, Dr. Funk conducted additional research regarding nystagmus here and here.

If you have any additional questions regarding difficulties with balance or dizziness, or suspect you may nystagmus, please make an appointment with Dr. Funk and he would be happy to help you. Additionally, you can learn more about what Functional Neurology here.

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