INTERNATIONAL NYSTAGMUS AWARENESS DAY
International Nystagmus Awareness Day on June 20th brings attention to a condition that can cause severe vision problems among other concerns. The day aims to bring tools, resources, and opportunities for education to the forefront.
Depending on the type of nystagmus, treatments, and symptoms vary. Approximately 1 in 1000 babies are born with nystagmus, but adults are affected by it, too.
Nystagmus presents as drifting or wobbly eyes with two basic types of nystagmus:
- Jerk nystagmus – As the name suggests, the eyes jerk quickly in one direction and are then followed by slow movements in the opposite direction.
- Pendular nystagmus – The eyes move with equal speed in either direction.
The condition also has 5 classifications of diagnoses. One of those is congenital nystagmus which physicians diagnose primarily in infancy or childhood. However, acquired nystagmus can be caused by illness or side effects of prescribed or misused medications. Of the two, congenital nystagmus is more prevalent.
Those with nystagmus face a variety of challenges. The condition may cause severe vision problems causing them to be legally blind. Because the eye movements set them apart from others, they often face self-image and social issues. The day aims to alleviate some of these concerns by increasing awareness and erasing the stigma.
While no cure exists, treatments include contact lenses, glasses, medication, and even surgical interventions. As with many conditions, early intervention is important. A physician will determine the type and cause of nystagmus and determine the best approach to treatment.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NystagmusAwarenessDay
Learn how to live with nystagmus, its treatments, and find support. You can also participate in a campaign to help raise awareness.
- Join a support group.
- Host a fundraiser.
- Share information on social media.
- Take a quiz.
- Raise your voice and share your experiences.
- Thank others for their support.
- Advocate for others.
- Gain more knowledge through this easy to read book from Amazon.
Organizations like the Nystagmus Network offer many resources and tools, too. Use #NystagmusAwarenessDay to share your journey and find out more.
INTERNATIONAL NYSTAGMUS AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The Nystagmus Network sponsors International Nystagmus Awareness Day to promote worldwide support, fund research, and raise awareness for the eye condition.
Other vision focused observances on the calendar include:
- National Different Colored Eyes Day
- Children’s Health and Safety Month
- World Sight Day
- World Braille Day
- White Cane Safety Day
- Home Eye Safety Month
- World Glaucoma Week
June 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
A jury of 12 acquits Lizzie Borden of murdering her father and step-mother in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The Steven Spielberg-directed shark-tacular film Jaws opened in U.S. theatres. Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, the film follows their attempts to hunt a killer great white shark.
Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, The Blues Brothers opens in theatres. Inspired by Saturday Night Live characters by the same name, follows the brothers’ efforts to save the orphanage they grew up in.
Jimmy Wales establishes the Wikipedia Foundation.
June 20th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Lloyd Hall – 1894
The American chemist was a pioneer in the food industry. He developed a process for preserving foods and preventing molds and bacteria using Ethylene Oxide. Interestingly, some fruits and vegetables give off Ethylene gas when they are ripening and another process uses that gas to help ripen green fruits such as bananas.
Pauline Kael – 1919
A movie critic for The New Yorker, Pauline Kael wrote honest, energetic reviews.
Minnie Spotted Wolf – 1924
In 1943, Minnie Spotted Wolf became the first full-blooded Native American woman to join the Marine Corps Women’s Reserves. She served four years and later returned home to a teaching career.
Lionel Richie – 1949
The American singer-songwriter began his career with the Commodores. As a solo artist, Richie gained more recognition with songs like “Hello,” “Stuck on You” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
John Goodman – 1952
Best known for his role as Dan Conner in the American sitcom Roseanne, Goodman also built a reputation on the silver screen. The Big Lebowski, Monsters, Inc., and 10 Cloverfield Lane are just a few of his films.