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Why is this Person’s Eye Shaking?

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This patient has a condition called nystagmus.

Nystagmus is a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. The patterns can happen side to side (like in this patient's case), up and down, in a circular motion or a combination.

Nystagmus can be congenital (happens at birth) or acquired (happens later in life) and can be caused by:

  • Family history of nystagmus
  • Albinism (lack of color, or pigmentation, in the skin)
  • A wide range of eye problems in infants, such as cataracts or strabismus Inner ear problems, such as Meniere’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Head injury, concussion, TBIs
  • Use of certain medications, such as lithium or anti-seizure medications
  • Alcohol or drug use