The eyes are the body’s most important sensory organ. Made up of millions of moving parts, they provide us with our sense of sight. For most of us, we rely upon them on a daily basis. Like most of our organs, however, they can succumb to various diseases. With nystagmus, the eyes involuntarily move in a repetitive pattern. While most cases are congenital, it can also be acquired later in life, sometimes as a result of other disorders.
There are two different forms of nystagmus—physiological and pathological. In physiological nystagmus, the eyes move involuntarily due to the vestibulo-ocular reflex; depending on the individual, the oscillations may occur in the horizontal, vertical, or torsional planes. In contrast, pathological nystagmus drives the eyes away from the visual target. Because of this, patients may perceive the world to be "shaking" or "moving."
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