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Nystagmus


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My 1½ year old daughter has been diagnosed with nystagmus. What treatment should she receive?

Answer of our experts

Nystagmus (shaky eyes) is known to occur, although uncommonly, in CdLS. The cause is unknown and there is usually no complete treatment. However it is important to get a full eye exam to make sure there is nothing specifically wrong with the eyes that is causing this. If eye exam is normal, your doctor may or may not want to do an x-ray of your child's brain (this is usually not necessary if the neurologic examination is otherwise unremarkable). Also, wearing glasses if needed, or surgery to make the eyes aligned straight, if needed, can be helpful in reducing (but not eliminating) the nystagmus. These only work if the child has a need for glasses (farsighted, nearsighted, astigmatism) or has misaligned eyes (strabismus, crossed eyes etc)

AL/ TK 7-13-10

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Recommendation(s)

The eyes and the visual system

R36
Surgical correction of ptosis should be considered if vision is significantly affected or if the individual is lifting their chin in attempt to see more clearly and it is affecting the individual’s ability to move around.
R37
Blepharitis in individuals with CdLS should be treated conservatively with lid hygiene. Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear ducts) should be suspected if symptoms are not improved with lid hygiene.
R38
Vision should be regularly evaluated in all individuals with CdLS, especially in infancy and childhood. Problems with vision should be corrected early to prevent amblyopia (lazy eye), although children may have difficulty tolerating glasses or contact lenses.

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Please take note that the Ask the Expert service is comprised of volunteer professionals in various areas of focus. Answers are not considered a medical, behavioral, or educational consultation. Ask the Expert is not a substitute for the care and attention your child’s personal physician, psychologist, educational consultant, or social worker can deliver.

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