May 312011

Jack had his follow up appointment for the VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) and ERG (Electro-retinogram) tests today at the Sunderland Eye Hospital and it’s good news…

Jack’s Doctor (a Consultant Ophthalmologist) firstly asked questions about our family medical history (over three generations). He carried out several checks on Jack’s eyes (before and after drops) to test their movement and internal workings. He then advised that the VEP and ERG tests had both come back “normal”.

He has diagnosed Jack with congenital (since birth) idiopathic (no known cause) motor (brain e.g. how the brain perceives the messages sent from the eye) nystagmus. He used an analogy that the eye is like a camera and the brain is like a photo developing centre. Jack’s eyes (including the muscles and nerves) are capturing the pictures perfectly but the brain is taking longer to process them due to the wobbling.

He advised that Jack will always have wobbly eyes but the condition will not worsen over time.  There are more tests that can be done as he grows up to categorise the nystagmus e.g. when he can sit unaided and when he is able to talk.  He said Jack will probably need glasses to correct an astigmatism (eyes shaped like rugby balls) in both eyes when he’s older.  However, most importantly it’s likely he will be able to go to mainstream schools and lead a fairly normal life.  Surprisingly he also said Jack should be able to drive (although being able to and feeling comfortable doing so are two different things).  Also, based on our family history and the test results, it’s unlikely any future children we have will have nystagmus.

It is a huge relief to hear this and we are very happy.





As well as the nystagmus Jack has had a weeping eye on the right side since birth so the Doctor tested for it using orange eye drops (looked like he’d been tango’d). He confirmed Jack has got a blocked tear duct and he will monitor it and open it if it has not corrected itself before he is one year old.

Jack’s next appointment will be around his first birthday in December.

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