Sensory Congenital Nystagmus

The roving eye movements are described as pendular, the eyes tending to swing from side to side. Examination of the eyes reveals one of the various underlying causes: congenital cataract, albinism, aniridia, optic atrophy or other causes of visual impairment in both eyes. A special kind of retinal degeneration known as Leber's amaurosis can present as congenital nystagmus. The condition resembles retinitis pigmentosa, being a progressive degeneration of the rods and cones, and occurs at a young age. It tends to lead to near blindness at school age. Patients with congenital nystagmus usually need to be examined under general anaesthesia, and elec-troretinography (a technique that can detect retinal degenerations at an early stage) should be performed at the same time.

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