International Nystagmus Awareness Day is celebrated on June 20 every year to raise awareness about Nystagmus, a medical condition that can cause serious vision problems, among other things. Nystagmus is a condition in which a person (or an animal) has floating or wobbly eyes. In common parlance, Nystagmus is referred to as the “dancing eyes” condition because eyes make uncontrollable movements.
There are two types of Nystagmus disorders: Jerk and Pendular Nystagmus. In the first kind
eyes jerk quickly in one direction and slowly in the opposite direction. In the second type, the eyes move in one direction and then suddenly pull to the other side.
About one in 1,000 babies is born with Nystagmus, reports suggest. The medical term when a baby is born with nystagmus or develops this defect in childhood is congenital nystagmus. It occurs due to compromised vestibulocochlear nerves or problems in the brainstem or cerebellum. However, one can also develop this condition in adulthood. Acquired Nystagmus is usually caused by an illness or the side effects of misused medications. The disease can also result from albinism, myopia, astigmatism, trauma, sleep deprivation, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and brain tumor.
Those who suffer from Nystagmus can become completely blind. As with many diseases, early diagnosis and intervention are extremely important in cases of Nystagmus. Treatment includes contact lenses, glasses, medication, and surgical procedures.
The first International Nystagmus Awareness Day took place in 2021. It was an initiative of Nystagmus Network, a registered charity in England and Wales. The Nystagmus Network, founded in 1984, funds research into the condition. On the International Nystagmus Awareness Day, governments and organizations are increasing attention to the eye condition. Meanwhile, they also pledge money that day to support research work in this area.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani†