What is included in the medical treatment of acquired nystagmus?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: Christopher M Bardorf, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Edsel Ing, MD, MPH, FRCSC  more...
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Answer

Any medications that may be causing the nystagmus should be discontinued in conjunction with the patient's internist, neurologist, and/or pediatrician.

Significant refractive errors should be corrected. Contact lenses may be preferred over spectacles because the patient may continue to look through the optical center of the contact lens if a head turn secondary to the presence of a null zone exists. Although, this usually applies only to congenital nystagmus. [15]

Base-out prisms (eg,7 diopters) with a -1.00 myopic correction may be used for convergence damping in infantile nystagmus. Base-out prisms (to induce convergence) have also been described to treat downbeat nystagmus with a pseudocycloid waveform. [16] Prisms may be useful prior to considering surgery for a face turn. Fresnel prisms directed with the base opposite the null zone (eg, for a right face turn with a null zone in left gaze, the prism over the right eye would be base out and a prism over the left eye would be base in). Null zones are more characteristic of congenital nystagmus; thus, prisms may not be applicable to most forms of acquired nystagmus. [15]


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