When you look at an object, you’re using several muscles to move both eyes to focus on it. If you have a problem with the muscles, the eyes don’t work properly.

There are many kinds of eye movement disorders. Two common ones are

  • Strabismus – a disorder in which the two eyes don’t line up in the same direction. This results in “crossed eyes” or “walleye.”
  • Nystagmus – fast, uncontrollable movements of the eyes, sometimes called “dancing eyes”

Some eye movement disorders are present at birth. Others develop over time and may be associated with other problems, such as injuries. Treatments include glasses, patches, eye muscle exercises, and surgery. There is no cure for some kinds of eye movement disorders, such as most kinds of nystagmus.

X-linked infantile nystagmus is a condition characterized by abnormal eye movements. Nystagmus is a term that refers to involuntary side-to-side movements of the eyes. In people with this condition, nystagmus is present at birth or develops within the first six months of life. The abnormal eye movements may worsen when an affected person is feeling anxious or tries to stare directly at an object. The severity of nystagmus varies, even among affected individuals within the same family. Sometimes, affected individuals will turn or tilt their head to compensate for the irregular eye movements.

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