International Nystagmus Day is celebrated every year on June 20. This is a time to discuss the issue of nystagmus, which affects millions of people worldwide and has no known permanent cure. However, with early diagnosis, some useful interventions can be applied to control it in the early stages. Therefore, it is important to use this day as an opportunity to spread awareness about this condition, especially among would-be parents.
History of International Nystagmus Day
International Nystagmus Day is the initiative of the U.K.-based Nystagmus Network, which operates as a charity. The organization mainly funds research on nystagmus and the commemoration of an international day helps to bring the world’s attention to this condition.
The main purpose of holding this day is to conduct various talks and seminars to increase people, professionals, and doctors’ awareness so that they can identify nystagmus in the early stages. Several other events are also held to raise funds for various research activities and support programs for children and other people affected by this condition.
The first experience was highly successful, which motivated the Nystagmus Network to make it a regular feature on their annual calendar and follow it up with more educational material, newsletters, and videos.
International Nystagmus Day timeline
The Nystagmus Network is set up as a charity in the United Kingdom.
Surgical treatment of nystagmus, including fixation and tenotomy, begins around the world.
Doctors discover a technique of using magnetic implants to correct nystagmus.
On 20 June 2020, the Nystagmus Network commemorates the first-ever International Nystagmus Day.
International Nystagmus Day FAQs
Can nystagmus be treated with drugs?
There have been cases where medication has brought some relief to people with nystagmus. However, surgery is the most common mode of treatment in nystagmus.
Does nystagmus interfere with reading?
Yes, in severe nystagmus cases, people can have trouble reading due to the inability of the eye to focus.
How can nystagmus be detected in children?
If you notice a child constantly tilting their head while reading, it might be a sign of nystagmus. Get them checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
How to Observe International Nystagmus Day
Organize a fundraiser
You can organize a fundraiser by setting up an event at your school or workplace. There are many ideas that you can experiment with such as having a bake sale, a concert, or even a small-scale sporting event. You can donate the proceeds to your local eye clinic or research institute to show your commitment to the treatment of nystagmus. You can collaborate with your peers and with other community organizations to share their resources for your fundraising event.
Join an advocacy group
Find out if there exists an advocacy group in your community that works for the well-being of people with nystagmus. If not, you can set up your own by reaching out to families of people with nystagmus and even by talking to eye specialists in your area who are familiar with the issues and challenges that people with nystagmus have to face daily. In this way, you can contribute to raising awareness about nystagmus in your community.
Create a peer support network
Often, people with nystagmus and their families find themselves completely lost and helpless because they don’t have anyone to share their problems with. You can help to solve this problem by creating a peer support network composed of people with nystagmus and their carers. This can be an online forum, or you could organize monthly meetups at a community center or at one of the members’ homes.
5 Facts About Eye Disorders That Will Blow Your Mind
Congenital disorders versus acquired disorders
Compared with eye disorders acquired later in life, congenital eye disorders are relatively easier to treat.
Medication side effects
Some patients acquire eye disorders due to the side effects of some strong medications and drugs.
High prevalence among ethnicities
Some eye disorders are more prevalent among certain ethnicities than others — eye color has nothing to do with the frequency of disorders.
In some cases, eye and vision disorders could be a sign of a more serious neurological disorder.
Related to sleep deficiency
Nystagmus may even be caused by extreme and prolonged periods of sleep deficiency.
Why International Nystagmus Day is Important
It develops social responsibility
International Nystagmus Day is a good opportunity to develop social responsibility and become an active member of the community. By working with different community organizations and professionals, you will learn how to engage with society for an important cause and contribute towards solving common yet important social issues.
It provides funding for research
Many people continue to live with different types of medical conditions simply because there are not enough funds to explore a treatment or to understand what causes the condition. Nystagmus is one of them. By taking part in different fundraising activities on International Nystagmus Day, you can play a valuable role in generating funds through which scientists can find a lasting cure and treatment for nystagmus in people of all ages.
It provides support to families
Living with a medical condition can be challenging for the individual as well as their family who has to take care of them. Therefore, on days like International Nystagmus Day, you can reach out to these families, talk to them about their experiences and the issues that they face, and provide them the emotional support that they need. In some cases, this can give them renewed hope and encouragement.
International Nystagmus Day dates