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Balls and bruises

If people and objects are moving fast, then our ability to see or recognise them is further reduced. This probably explains why most of us (but not all) with nystagmus find fast moving ball sports difficult if not impossible to play. I think I can throw a ball fairly accurately (some may dispute that claim), but trying to catch a ball coming towards me is another matter altogether. And that's an experience shared by most people with nystagmus, often with the bruises to prove it.

Add in lots of people or objects (crowds and clutter) and the difficulties of seeing soon multiply. Similarly, scanning for a person in a crowd, a word on a page or an object in a room is much, much harder for people with nystagmus. I've lost count of the number of parents who have told me how upset they get when their child doesn't recognise them in the crowd at the school gate.

Switching our gaze from one object to another can be particularly time consuming and challenging. The classic (and traumatic)example that so many of us remember from school days is copying from the board(those of us lucky enough to be able to see the board that is). Write a few words, flick your gaze back up to the board, now where did I leave off?

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