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eyes moving side to side very rapidly for a split second
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eyes moving side to side very rapidly for a split second

My question...

My doctor and 2 opthamologists I see, both tell me they have never heard of my eye symptom I will describe, which just makes me even more concerned about it.

This used to happen only a few times a week, but now happens everyday a few times usually.

If my eyes are focused on 1 word when I read something or if my eyes are focused on the tip of a pen when I am writing, in my field of vision my eyes will do what I am terming "a jitter."  Seems to happen more so when I am writing.

It happens in an instant, but both eyes will very rapidly move from side to side, maybe 5 or 6 times in a row.  Not sure if it is indeed the eyes themselves or just what I see.  Sometimes I will even shake it off after it did it, with my head.  This whole thing lasts maybe a split second.  And no one I have every described this to has ever had it or heard of it either.

So I'm wondering if this is a sign of something coming on... a tumor, more serious eyes problems such as blindness in the future, etc?  I do have chronic dry eye, but flaxseed oil has improved that tremendously, so it barely bothers me anymore.

Tags: eyes
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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233488 tn?1310696703
Could be nystagmus. If its getting worse see a neuro ophthalmologist. Find one at www.aao.org

JCH III MD
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Avatar f tn
i am researching the same exact symptoms you describe...it usually happens to me when i have been focusing for a while. have you figured out what it is?
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233488 tn?1310696703
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Avatar f tn
I've been researching this because it happens to me on occasion too. I found something called 'saccade' which is basically when your eyes flutter back and forth.

What I understand from the info I read is that your eyes, like a computer screen, have a 'refresh rate'.  We need our eyes to do this because the light and color receptors in our eyes (the rods and cones) only react to light, not movement.  So our eyes 'refresh' rapidly (and usually imperceptibly) so we can continuously see what we're looking at and doesn't disappear.  I'm sure you've heard about animals whose vision is based on movement - if the thing it's looking at doesn't move then it can't see it.  Same thing, but our eyes know how to refresh and keep the image streaming-live.

The flutter seems to be triggered by a number of things, one of which you already said - by focusing on something too long. It can also be eye fatigue, neurological, pathological, looking at something far away after reading up close or vice-versa, or from the brain being a tiny bit out of sync with what it thought the eyes were looking at, so it tells the eyes to flutter for a fraction of a second to "reset" the image.

I think for most people with the occasional flutter it's simply a reset of some sort or eye fatigue/strain.  Hope that helps.
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233488 tn?1310696703
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Avatar m tn
well i can move them whenever i wish like that- they move like million of times though its only a split of second, tried timing it after about 1 min of doing this cool feature my eyes start to itch and get a bit red, and some cappilaries are visible ive never had any vision problems whatso ever BUT the thing i wish to know what the heck is it?:D ive never met anyone who can do thesame so i usually use it at parties like "wanna se something wicked sick" and then stun people :D oh and nearly forgot i trained for aboth half a year to learn to move them up and down thesame speed!
wicked gift of nature or disease??
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Avatar f tn
It can also be ocular fluttering which can be a symptom of MS or other neurological disorders.Get it checked asap.
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Avatar f tn
I'm 15 and my eyes do this a few times a week. I don't know if age has anything to do with it, but sometimes it gives me a headache and worries me.
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Avatar m tn
@ hhhaaallleeeyyy:

Nystagmus is usually present from birth or a young age, and it is usually benign, so I wouldn't worry too much.  I've had it since I was at least 4, and other than causing momentary dizziness, I've never had a problem with it.  I do recommend having an eye doctor familiar with nystagmus check you out to be sure it isn't caused by a more serious condition (rare), but I wouldn't be too concerned.
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177275 tn?1438375244
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Avatar f tn
I have the exact same thing happen. It first happened when I was a young girl probably 6 or 7. It don't remember it happening very much until the past 5 years when I started playing video games more or switching my view from the rear view mirror to the windshield while driving also reading. I'be brought it up to eye Dr and they have taken pictures of the back of my eye and said everything looks normal and I have 20/20 vision. They recommended a neurologist but I have yet to have it examined. The eye Dr. wasn't familiar with what I was talking about either.
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Avatar f tn
And it's my left eye only.
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177275 tn?1438375244
I would suggest you see either an Eye MD ophthalmologist that specializes in neuro-ophthalmology or eye muscle problems (Strabismus-often called a pediatric ophthalmologist but most do adults also).   Nystagmus of just one eye might be due to Duane's Syndrome    Given the amount of time you've had it its unlikely anything serious and not likely to require treatment. however if it gets worse or something new develops then its mandatory to see one or the two types of sub-specialists.

JCH MD
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Avatar f tn
Thanks for the input Doc!
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177275 tn?1438375244
Yes best of luck. Let us know if a definitive diagnosis is made. JCH MD
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Avatar f tn
I have the same thing happen in both my eyes. Happens about once every 2 months or so. You might be straining your eyes too much. I got reading glasses with special lenses to reduce blue light from my computer. They have helped the strain in my eyes and my stress level.
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177275 tn?1438375244
Glad it helped JCH MD
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Avatar n tn
This has happened to me three times in the last hour. Usually it happens every so often, both eyes flicker from side to side at the same time for a second. Its been happening for years. I never thought of mentioning it to my eye doctor but havent been there in years either. I do have a "lazy eye" I know that. It is usually when Im trying to focus on something though, but my mouth also twitches when Im focusing (usually reading) on something and that happens more often than my eye flickering. All involuntarily.
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177275 tn?1438375244
If something happens for years and years and nothing new develops and it doesn't get worse then its not at all likely serious even if doctors have a problem putting a name on it.
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