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Nystagmus caused by cataract surgery
My 75 yr old mother recently had cataract surgery in her left eye. After the surgery she developed nystagmus in both eyes.   She is legally blind in her right eye and has postponed the cataract surgery for that eye until the left eye settles down.  Her eye doctor has refused to give her a prescription for new corrective lenses until both eyes have had the cataract surgery.  She is unable to read, watch TV, and cannot see much.  She must wear very dark glasses to prevent the nystagmus from getting worse.  This has been going on for several weeks now and she is frightened out of her wits.  I have been researching nystagmus and I am now wondering if the disease was brought out by the cataract surgery.  About 50 years ago, my mother's obstetrician told her that it was a "freak of nature" that she wasn't albino.  She has very white blond hair, pink skin and sky blue eyes.  She has never been tested to see if she is albino.  Can nystagmus be caused by cataract surgery?  If she is an albino, would that contribute to the nystagmus developing after the surgery?  What can be done to treat the nystagmus to restore her vision?
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284078 tn?1282620298
With ocular albinism, nystagmus is usually present.  But from what you are saying, she did not have nystagmus before surgery.  Still she could have ocular albinism and was just didn't have much nystagmus.  The other thing that comes to mind is latent nystagmus in which the patient shows nystagmus only when one eye is covered.  Perhaps she was very blurry in both eyes before surgery and now sees well in the left eye and this has stimuated the nystagmus in some way.  Perhaps cataract surgery in the right eye could possible help???  Just one possible theory.  This is a very unusual case and she should see a pediatric ophthalmologist and a neuro-ophthalmologist for a second opinion.  I still think that ocular albinism is a distinct possibility.

MJK MD
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