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Vestibular nystagmus - Definition


Nystagmus is the involuntary movement of the eye, moving in a darting, saccadic way from side to side or, more rarely, up and down. It can be associated with different conditions, such as brain damage, intoxication from varied substances or medication, or general disease. Nystagmus is qualified as vestibular, in other words the involuntary eye movements are related to a damaged vestibular system. Nystagmus is categorized depending on which area of the vestibular system is affected: it can be classified as a central nystagmus where the central nerve is affected, with any direction of eye movement possible, or peripheral nystagmus, where there is a lesion in the inner ear, usually with a side to side eye movement.