Definition of nystagmus in US English:



  • Rapid involuntary movements of the eyes.

    • ‘Tremor can be found in multiple sclerosis often with slurred speech and jerky eye movements, called nystagmus.’
    • ‘Albinos regularly turn their heads to the side and roll their eyes in a circular motion in an attempt to find a favourable axis of sight; they suffer from rapid nystagmus, and blink constantly.’
    • ‘Dysmetria, nystagmus, and cranial nerve palsies, especially involving the sixth and third nerves, may result from lesions of the brain stem and cerebellum.’
    • ‘The illness was characterised by gait disturbance, a relapsing and remitting course, nystagmus, and status epilepticus.’
    • ‘The physical examination demonstrated horizontal and vertical nystagmus, ataxia and peripheral neuropathy.’
    • ‘They had slower reaction times for visual and auditory stimuli, as well as subtle chorea, dystonia, and nystagmus.’
    • ‘He is raising money through sponsorship for a charity which supports people suffering from nystagmus, an incurable eye condition.’
    • ‘Patients often have nystagmus, ataxia, and in severe poisonings, cerebral edema.’
    • ‘Toxic side effects of phenytoin include nystagmus, dysarthria, diplopia, ataxia, and exacerbation of seizures.’
    • ‘It principally manifests itself as an increase of the dark adaptation threshold, nystagmus, and often moderate to high short sightedness, although the refractive state may be long sighted or normal.’
    • ‘Common symptoms include weakness or numbness of a limb, monocular visual loss, diplopia, vertigo, facial weakness or numbness, sphincter disturbances, ataxia, and nystagmus.’
    • ‘The most common adverse effects are somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue and nystagmus.’
    • ‘Potentially serious neurologic disease should be suspected in patients with focal neurologic signs, severe ataxia, nystagmus changing direction, vertical nystagmus and abnormal eye movement.’
    • ‘She suffers from a combination of dyslexia and a severe visual impairment consisting of severe photophobia, nystagmus and cone dystrophy.’
    • ‘The direction of these beating, jerking, movements of the eye called nystagmus can actually tell a doctor which part of the inner ear has a problem.’
    • ‘Side effects are similar to those of parenteral phenytoin: nystagmus, dizziness, pruritus, paraesthesias, headache, somnolence, and ataxia.’
    • ‘He had complete ptosis, limitation of eye movements in all directions, and nystagmus on lateral gaze.’
    • ‘Firstly, patients who develop significant symptoms with testing but do not develop nystagmus do not have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.’
    • ‘Doses should be withheld for nystagmus, sedation, ataxia, or dysarthria.’
    • ‘Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a common disorder, characterized by a history of positional symptoms and positional nystagmus.’


Early 19th century: from Greek nustagmos ‘nodding, drowsiness’, from nustazein ‘nod, be sleepy’.