types of nystagmus

Last reviewed 01/2018

The two types of nystagmus are:

  • jerk nystagmus:
    • a slow drift of the eyes
    • a rapid corrective movement back to the point of fixation
    • this is the most common form of nystagmus

  • pendular nystagmus:
    • eye movements are sinusoidal, that is both phases of movement have the same velocity
    • the nystagmus is always in one plane, for example horizontal pendular nystagmus remains in the horizontal plane even on upward gaze
    • pendular nystagmus may be converted to jerk nystagmus at the extremems of gaze