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Definition - What does Epileptic Nystagmus mean?
Epileptic nystagmus is a type of eye movement that occurs during an epileptic seizure, or seizure like activity. This kind of nystagmus is rare, but it appears as very rapid eye movements or oscillations while the convulsion is occurring. However, epileptic nystagmus does not necessarily have to occur during an obvious seizure or convulsion, it can also occur in a person who is not necessarily convulsing. Sometimes, the appearance of epileptic nystagmus is the only indication that seizure like activity is occurring in a person.
Detection of Epileptic Nystagmus
While medical professionals can identify nystagmus of the eyes by simply observing the patient's eyes themselves, epileptic nystagmus can be confirmed by multiple tests. These types of tests include:
- EEG (electroencephalogram)
- Video recordings
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
With these tests, epileptic nystagmus can be detected through the images caught by these tests that show brain wave activity or other neurological occurrences going on in the patient. These tests do not necessarily have to be done during epileptic nystagmus or during seizure like activity to pinpoint exactly what it is, it can be done after the incident as well and still find accurate test results as to what has occurred in the brain.
In all cases of nystagmus, these type of eye movements are completely involuntary. The patient has no control over what their eyes are doing, especially during an epileptic seizure. These eye movements can be going up and down, side to side, or in circular motions. And in any case, nystagmus will always cause the patient to lose control of vision, depth perception, balance, or coordination.