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Nystagmus goggles: how to use them, what you find and what it means
  1. G Michael Halmagyi1,
  2. Leigh A McGarvie1,
  3. Michael Strupp2
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia
  2. 2 Neurology and German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munchen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Michael Halmagyi, Neurology Department, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia;gmh{at}


A fundamental characteristic of peripheral vestibular nystagmus, in particular horizontal nystagmus, is that it is suppressed by visual fixation. This means that a patient with a vertigo attack of peripheral vestibular origin might have no obvious spontaneous nystagmus on clinical examination. Goggles that reduce or remove visual fixation allow the cliniican to observe nystagmus in this situation. Nystagmus goggles are essential for any clinician dealing with dizzy patients. Here, we discuss why this is so and how easy it is to acquire and use them.

  • Vision
  • Neurootology

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  • Contributors GMH drafted and finalised the manuscript, MS wrote sections of the manuscript and LAMcG collected and analysed data.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests GMH and LAM have no conflicts to declare. MS is joint Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurology, Chief Editor of Frontiers of Neuro-otology and Section Editor of F1000. MS has received speaker’s honoraria from Abbott, Actelion, Auris Medical, Biogen, Eisai, Grunenthal, GSK, Henning Phrama, Interacoustics, MSD, Otometrics, Pierre-Fabre, TEVA, and UCB. MS is a shareholder of IntraBio. MS is the distributor of M glasses and acts as consultant for Abbott, Actelion, Ausric Medical, Heel, IntraBio and Sensorion.

  • Patient consent for publication Not applicable.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Diego Kaski, London, UK.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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