Wobbly Wednesday – What is Nystagmus?

A group of students are gathered in a group, smiling, as they hold balloons up in the air which say ‘Nystagmus Network’ on them.

Every year the first Wednesday of November is affectionately named ‘Wobbly Wednesday’ to raise awareness of the eye condition Nystagmus. Here, at RNC (The Royal National College for the Blind), we have 31 students with the condition.

 

18 year old Emma Gaylard from Newport describes her condition; “Nystagmus is an eye tremor; it’s a wobble in your pupil which makes things spin around in a circle when you look at them. If I have a good day then it’s alright but on a bad day my eyes wobble really quickly and it makes it much harder to see what I’m doing.” Nystagmus can occur at any time, often due to brain trauma, but the onset begins most commonly from birth. The condition can occur by itself but most of the students at RNC have other disorders which accompany the Nystagmus.

 

Jordan Peck, 21 from Hull, thinks that it is a great idea we are helping raise awareness of the condition “In the past I’ve found that people don’t know about the condition and have thought I just had a lazy eye. When you have sight loss generally it’s almost like an invisible disability and people only know about it if you’ve got a cane.”

 

Jordan balances one foot on the wobble and has one foot in the air as he tries not to wobble!

Jordan Peck

Today, at RNC, we’ve been hosting a series of activities around the theme ‘What wobbles?’ By far the most popular activity was seeing who could last the longest on a wobble board; this was very challenging for most of the students but for those who found it too easy, they were balancing on one leg! At the heart of these fun activities is raising awareness of Nystagmus and creates an opportunity for students to talk about their condition. Jordan adds “Now I’m at RNC I definitely talk more about my eye condition than I did before and as I’ve settled here, I now feel much more accepted.”

 

Find out more about Nystagmus by visiting the Nystagmus Network website.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about RNC, please call our student enquiries team on 01432 376 621 or email info@rnc.ac.uk

 

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC