International Nystagmus Awareness Day Date in the current year: June 20, 2024

International Nystagmus Awareness Day International Nystagmus Awareness Day is observed annually on June 20. It was created to bring attention to an eye condition that affects million of people across the globe, many of whom are infants or older children, and often results in reduced or limited vision.

Nystagmus, also known as “dancing eyes”, is a condition characterized by involuntary eye movements up and down, from side to side or round and round. It affects a person’s ability to focus, depth perception and facial recognition, resulting in impaired vision.

There are two main forms of nystagmus: early-onset (also known as congenital or infantile) and acquired. Early-onset nystagmus usually affects infants, whereas acquired nystagmus affects older children and adults. Congenital nystagmus is the more prevalent form of the condition. It is milder than acquired nystagmus, typically does not get worse, and may or may not result in impaired vision. Nystagmus is the most common form of visual impairment among school-aged children.

Nystagmus can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to congenital disorders such as albinism or aniridia (absence of the iris), various diseases and conditions ranging from head trauma to multiple sclerosis, intoxication, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, the diseases and disorders of the central nervous system, and other causes.

Nystagmus is easily noticeable, but a formal diagnosis typically takes time. An ophthalmologist will perform a number of tests to establish the possible cause of nystagmus and figure out whether its presence is relatively benign or there is a more serious underlying condition.

There is no cure for nystagmus, but there are certain medications, contact lenses or glasses, and surgical options that can help. However, it should be noted that not all treatment options are suitable or effective in every case. When nystagmus is caused by an underlying eye or neurological condition, treating the condition usually helps with nystagmus.

International Nystagmus Awareness Day was created by Nystagmus Network, a UK-based registered charity that supports research into the causes and treatment of nystagmus, raises awareness of the condition, helps to improve the quality of life of people with nystagmus, and provides nystagmus patients and their families with support, help and services they need in health, mobility, education, employment, and leisure.

There are many ways to observe International Nystagmus Awareness Day. You can donate to a charity that funds nystagmus research and/or supports people with nystagmus, host a fundraiser of your own or an educational event, order official merchandise from Nystagmus Network’s shop, and/or participate in the Step Up for Nystagmus walking challenge to help raise funds for nystagmus.

If you’ve been living with nystagmus and successfully managing your condition, share your story on social media with the hashtags #InternationalNystagmusAwarenessDay and #NystagmusAwarenessDay to inspire others and raise awareness of the condition.

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