Facebook Pixel

Nystagmus Symptoms & Diagnosis


Other symptoms besides the eye movements may include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty seeing in darkness
  • Vision problems
  • Head held in a turned position
  • Oscillopsia (feeling that the world is shaking or moving)
  • Dizziness, which can affect balance


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. If nystagmus seems to be present, you may need:

  • Full exam with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor)
  • Ear exam, including a hearing test or a dizziness test
  • Exam with a neurologist or other medical specialist

Tests may include the following:

  • Visual examination of the inside of the eye with an ophthalmoscope
  • Vision testing
  • Eye movement recordings—to verify the type of nystagmus and determine the details of the movements
  • Ear exam
  • Neurologic exam
  • Computerized tomography (CT) —x-rays of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) —magnetic and radio waves used to make images of the brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI of the Brain
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

The ophthalmologist will also look for other eye problems that may be related to the nystagmus, such as strabismus, cataracts , or abnormality of the optic nerves or retina. The ear specialist will look for signs of ear infection, and for worsening of the nystagmus with head positions.

ASK Your Health Question

It's FREE and you'll get a response within 24 hours


POST Info, Tips & Stories

Inspire others to learn from your experiences. Tell your story!

Get Email Updates

Nystagmus Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!