Nystagmus (Bouncing Eyes)


Nystagmus involves the involuntary and uncontrolled movement of the eyes that affects your vision. The movements are rapid and can be up and down, side to side, or rotating. Nystagmus may occur when looking straight ahead or when moving the eyes. Sometimes nystagmus is referred to as dancing or bouncing eyes. Nystagmus may come and go or may be persistent. These movements often make reading, maintaining a clear image, watching television, or focusing extremely difficult and include depth perception problems.

Severe nystagmus can negatively affect your ability to drive safely and, in some cases, progress to the point you may be declared legally blind. In addition, fatigue or stress is known to cause eye movements to increase.

Additional Signs and Symptoms of Nystagmus


Treatment for nystagmus is limited and may include the off-label use of medications in the most severe cases. However, you should be aware use of prescription medications in controlling nystagmus is just beginning to be studied in-depth and often is simply a form of suppressing all eye movement. Medication is a severe option that needs a long discussion with your healthcare professional since side effects may outway the benefits.

Recently Reported Clinical Trial Drug Treatments

  • Gabapentin
  • Scopolamine
  • BaclofenIsoniazid
  • Memantine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Clonazepam
  • Canibis


Updated: October 22, 2021

Sources: Superficial siderosis is a rare neurologic disease characterized by progressive sensorineural hearing loss, cerebellar ataxia, pyramidal signs, and neuroimaging findings revealing hemosiderin deposits in the spinal and cranial leptomeninges and subpial layer. The disease progresses slowly, and patients may present with mild cognitive impairment, nystagmus, dysmetria, spasticity, dysdiadochokinesia, dysarthria, hyperreflexia, and Babinski signs. Additional features reported include dementia, urinary incontinence, anosmia, ageusia, and anisocoria. Superficial siderosis MedGen UID: 831707 •Concept ID: CN226971 •Finding Orphanet: ORPHA247245
Koeppen AH, Michael SC, Li D, et al: The pathology of superficial siderosis of the central nervous system. Acta Neuropathol. 116:371–382. 2008
Miwa et al. BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2013, 13:5 Vestibular function in superficial siderosis
Living With SuperficialSiderosis Website PubMed Reference Library 

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