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Identical twins, suffering from bilateral nystagmus, premature babies, eyes moving horizontally with bounce. Will they outgrow this?

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My 3 1/2 month identical twin sons seem to have bilateral nystagmus. Both babies have this. They were 5 weeks premature. Their eyes move horizontally, and occassionally bounce. Is this normal? And, will they grow out of this?
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Mihir Shah 9 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Nystagmus, a condition in which the eye has rhythmic and involuntary movement or oscillation, is often caused by an underlying neurological or ocular disorder. Congenital, or infantile, nystagmus will appear in the first few months of life and usually affects both eyes in a horizontal direction. This condition does not occur while the child is sleeping.

There are two primary types of nystagmus that occur in infants. Congenital nystagmus is present at birth, and is typically diagnosed quickly after birth. Latent or manifest latent nystagmus is not present at birth, but develops later during infancy.

Congenital nystagmus is the less severe form, and typically does not significantly impact learning or academic performance. Eye movements are usually not noticeable in infants with congenital nystagmus, although this condition does sometimes affect visual acuity.
Latent or manifest latent nystagmus is considered more severe, and can more significantly impact the infant's ability to process visual stimuli.

Latent or manifest latent can be caused by inner ear infections and disorders, head injuries and certain medications such as sedatives. In rare cases, brain tumors and other brain diseases can contribute to the development of nystagmus.

Since your twins were born premature, they would need to be evaluated for retinopathy of prematurity(ROP) which is quite a common condition in premature babies.

I would recommend you to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist, who will do a thorough examination and will be able to guide you better.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Dr.Mihir Shah

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