Nystagmus is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) who will examine the inside of the eyes and test vision. Your Eye M.D. will also look for other eye problems that may be related to the nystagmus, such as strabismus, cataracts, or abnormality of the optic nerves or retina.
One way to observe nystagmus is by spinning an individual around for about 30 seconds, stopping, and then having them try to stare at an object. If nystagmus is present, the eyes will first move slowly in one direction, then move rapidly in the opposite direction.
Among the other tests that may be used to diagnose nystagmus are:
- Eye-movement recordings — to verify the type of nystagmus and determine the details of the movements;
- Ear exam;
- Neurologic exam;
- Computerized tomography (CT) — X-rays of the brain;
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — magnetic and radio waves used to make images of the brain.