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Astigmatism and HGN test results for DUI

Can Astigmatism affect HGN test results for DUI?

Yes. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association), nearsightedness/astigmatism/poor eye muscle development may also cause nystagmus. 

What is Nystagmus?

In short, Nystagmus is a condition that affects the eye muscles. The eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. This condition impairs an individual's ability to interpret depth, reduce visual acuity, and can sometimes affect balance and coordination.

Nystagmus is generally a symptom of some underlying medical or physical problem. It can be made worse by fatigue and stress (as occurs with every DUI stop). When it occurs in adults, it is usually the result of a problem in the central nervous system (CNS), a metabolic disorder, or impairment due to drugs or alcohol.

Acquired nystagmus is present in adults. It can be the result of an underlying neurological condition or other problems such as:

  • Stroke
  • Conditions impact the CNS (central nervous system)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nearsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Cataracts
  • Inner ear inflammation
  • Anti-epilepsy drugs

Among the causes of nystagmus is drug or alcohol induced inebriation. But intoxication is only one of many causes that the condition can indicate. Unfortunately, this test is used to railroad a number of unwitting drivers into the court system.

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