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Oscillopsia/vision flickering

Does anyone on here have oscillopsia (a problem with your vision flickering or jumping up and down or side-to-side)? I was wondering if it’s linked to migraine at all?

I’ve been having this feeling of moving up and down very rapidly, mainly at night, for a few months now. I posted before on here, and said it feels a bit like palpitations (although I am positive it’s not anxiety as I am super chilled out with the beta blockers :smiley: ), which was the only way I could describe it, as it seems to be linked to my heartbeat. Anyway, recently I noticed that i feel like that if my eyes are shut, but if I lie down with them open and focus on a line somewhere in the room I can actually see it’s jumping up and down slightly with each heartbeat. Anyway, I googled stuff and came up with oscillopsia, which describes it very well. I also noticed that I do actually have it in the daytime too, but i seem to be able to distract myself from it.

I’ve also wondered if I have something else going on besides MAV (and BPPV, which I also apparently have) as I seem to now have several signs of Tullios Phenomenon (including the oscillopsia, and also I get nystagmus provoked by certain sounds. Or maybe this can also be due to MAV?

Hm, maybe I’m just turning into a hypochondriac. I seem to always be posting ‘does anyone else have this?’ kind of messages!

Hard to describ what your feeling but I get like a FAST twiching…eyes goes back and forth really fast, but only for a sec!!! Mine is only sideto side, never hear of the Tullis thingy, I dont feel that ANYTHING i do makes it happen. I will look it up now!LOL

Interesting to see if anyone else has this!

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I have been diagnosed with nystagmas. I have actually had it since I was a kid. All that I have to do is relax my eyes and away they go. Normally I can stop it at will by simply focusing. When dizzy though it is a different story. It can be triggered by sudden movements or stops, and normal walking.

I also experience something similar to Tullio’s as well. I don’t like to call it Tullio’s because it is not volume related. For example, something like two guitars out of tune with each other, or a choir on TV can trigger me.

Last, I can’t look up or down very well. This may sound like BPPV, but MAV does have symptoms similar to BPPV. I have been tested for BPPV 3 times and each time the test came up negative, so I can confidently say that I don’t have BPPV.

I’m also an odd case, I have a dual diagnoses of Meniere’s and MAV. I fall very frequently from drop attacks, along with a couple few other symptoms that don’t quite fit either diagnoses.

What I’ve seen called oscillopsia is a little different from this, in that the visual field oscillations happen when the head is moved, not spontaneously when sitting still. It’s usually due to a bilateral vestibular deficit, since it’s the vestibular system that helps to keep the eyes focused on an object when the head is moved (I think that’s called the doll’s head reflex). I have this when walking, though it only happens when the shockwave from my footfalls hits my head, jarring it briefly. I might lose a line or two of Snellen chart vision when walking, but not a lot. I’ve tested normal on VNG, so I wonder if it can also be caused by a central problem in the vestibular nucleus or in the brain’s processing of the information from the vestibular nucleus. (And then again, what I have may not even be considered clinical oscillopsia either.)

Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and also the comments and information.

Fizzixgal - yes, I noticed it’s most commonly mentioned as being connected to movement, but I also found some reference to pulsatile oscillopsia, which are movements in time with the heartbeat, and this seems to be what’s happening to me (and would therefore probably be all the time on the basis that my heart is always beating!). I couldn’t really get very far, other than seeing it mentioned in connection with multiple sclerosis or brain tumours (I’ve never had a full brain scan, only a MRI of my inner ear, so can’t rule these out 100%, but no one has ever suggested either as a possibility for me, so I assume that’s highly unlikely), in which case I assume it’s neurological rather than vestibular? I also had all normal readings in my tests for vestibular function. I was wondering if it would be a rare symptom of migraine?

Anyway, I have an appointment with my consultant in about 5 weeks, so I shall mention it then, and report back in case anything is revelant to anyone else on here.

this is a very interesting topic as i have never heard of osciillopsia before.

last night at worked, i remember i turned my head quickly to the right and back and it was almost as like i had to take a step back because whoa! my world was wacky and messed up for a few seconds and i closed my eyes and breathed and it was kind of okay again. (this was an hour after drinking my first soda in a week)

i’ve also had other times in my life where in a very quick moment- i’m not kidding- my world will quickly, almost in a flash, rotate upside side and then rotate back again. this has happened thankfully rarely. not sure if this is oscillopsia, but i can’t help not think this is all chemical and mav related.

There are three things I can relate to this.

The vertigo that lasts for a matter of seconds (like the room shifts).

Turning head over in bed, eyes closed, half asleep and like flashing pictures going up and down.

The last one, more recent. Getting up in the morning, moving around the kitchen and as I move everything around me seems to follow a second or two after me.


Hello - I think I have oscillopsia. I don’t really notice it round the house as such but if I go out for a walk then a do notice. Today i was walking down the hill and every time i put my foot down an object I’m looking at in the distance will bounce slightly. I believe this is called something like the occular visual reflex. If your vestibular system isn’t working right it can’t react fast enough and tell your eyes to move slightly as your head bobs up and down.

Also sometimes like if i’m sat still and i stare at something far off, i notice my eyes flick away from the target slightly. i.e. I can’t keep a lock on what i’m looking at.

Anyway I’ve been trawling the internet for days trying to find out what is causing this problem and I stumbled across MAV. I’m thinking migraine might be causing this because I have a very very faint headache at the top of my skull all the time and sometimes it feels like my scalp is tingling. I googled these symptoms and others with migraine seem to have them too.

So now I just need to find the trigger. I personally think it’s something I’m consuming which is the cause. I lost my pilots license because of this which I’m gutted about but I’m determined to get it back.

p.s. I’ve only had 2 normal migraines in my life when I was a teenager (visual disturbance, bad headache, eyeballs felt like they were being kicked out from a tiny footballer inside my skull and endless puking). Both times I’d had a cheese sandwich every day for a week!

Also worth mentioning is I used to get quite airsick when I was learning to fly but I got used to it over time. But then oddly if i’d been flying and it was a bumpy ride, when I got home and I was laid down on my bed, I would feel like I was moving.

Hi Toms-cruiser,
I’m really sorry to hear you lost your pilot’s license, but I hope you will get it back again soon.
By the way, the sensitivity to motion sickness that you describe is a really common MAV symptom. You also don’t actually need to have any headaches at all to get a diagnosis of MAV, although quite a lot of people do get them as well.
Have you seen a doctor about your visual problems? Did you mention that you are really sensitive to motion?

Hi Beech , yes I do have it And it’s part of my migraine event.
If I close my eyes while it’s happening , I can feel the eyeball jumping up and down.
My hubby and daughter have seen my eyelids flickering just like a person during Rem sleep. :roll:
I have aura first then it happens.
it’s hard to concentrate while it’s happening.


Thanks Jen,

Not that I want anyone else to have it, but it is reassuring when someone else has the same!
Can I ask if you have it all the time or only when you have a migraine? I seem to have it slightly all the time, but it gets much more noticeable when I am having a headache, or when I am very tired. I notice it every night when I am trying to get to sleep.

Hi Beech , no only when I have a migraine.
In general , if I look at something stationary I can see it slowly rotating, that’s happens most of the time, and on bad days.
best jen

Hi Beechleaf,

Yes I went to see my doc and he referred me to n ENT consultant but I didn’t go. It may be a little stupid but from lots of research on the internet I’m convinced I will get pigeonholed into what they “think” i’ve got and that will probably be the end of my flying days for good. So I decided to trawl the internet day after day and last night I stumbled upon this site. I’m convinced my diet is to blame and today I’ve stopped drinking Tea. That’s going to be my first experiment after reading quite a few people having their symptoms go away after cutting tea and coffee out.

Thanks for the reply!