Can I Have Laser Eye Surgery if I Have Nystagmus (Involuntary Eye Movements)?

Nystagmus, which is sometimes referred to by the more telling name “dancing eyes”, is a condition characterised by involuntary eye movements.

There are two types of Nystagmus: physiological and pathological. Physiological refers to when the condition is related to factors such as congenital disorders or sleep deprivation. In contrast, pathological Nystagmus is linked to disease and illness.

Nystagmus may also co-exist with other conditions, such as vertigo – experiencing the sensation that objects around you are moving when they’re not.

In this way, it is generally considered an eye condition that exists as a side effect of another underlying condition. While Nystagmus is generally considered incurable, there are often some things that can be done to help manage or reduce associated symptoms.

The very nature of Nystagmus may be enough to make you assume that – if you have the condition – Laser Eye Surgery is completely off the cards. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

Not only is Nystagmus not a contraindication for Laser Eye Surgery, but there may also be a chance that such treatment could help to reduce the effects of the condition.

Nystagmus and Laser Eye Surgery

At the London Vision Clinic, we are no strangers to providing treatments for patients with nystagmus.

So, to answer the question, “Can you have Laser Eye Surgery if you have nystagmus?”: The simple answer is yes. However, it is important to note that Laser Eye Surgery does not treat the nystagmus. Rather, through its ability to correct refractive errors and improve visual acuity, it may be able to reduce its symptoms.

Youtube video link

In the video above, Expert Laser Eye Surgeon Mr Glenn Carp explains how London Vision Clinic is able to provide both LASIK and PRK treatment for people with nystagmus. 

Nystagmus is thought to be caused by a problem with how the eyes send messages to the brain or how the brain processes visual information. This may be the result of developmental deficiencies in childhood or due to damage that may have occurred later in life.

As a result of these effects on visual pathways, eye movements can become poorly controlled and, as people with the condition commonly report, worsen with psychological stress.

The RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) has published a complete guide to Nystagmus which serves as a great resource for understanding the condition. There is also a selection of videos and insights into the experiences of people living Nystagmus. Such resources can be helpful for finding new ways to better manage and live with the condition.

If you would like to learn more about Nystagmus and Laser Eye Surgery, get in touch today. Want to know if you are suitable foe Laser Eye Surgery treatment? Book a Consultation to find out.