As you can see there is a muscle that moves each eye in every direction. The muscles in both eyes have to work together properly to hold the vision of each eye perfectly aligned. If just on muscle is not functioning properly the eyes will not align either horizontally, vertically, etc but this may more commonly apply to nystagmus than oscillopsia.
NOTE; As of the beginning of 2015 I developed a more severe oscillopsia than I did when I wrote this and this time it has not gone away; I wake up and go to sleep with it every day! Since then I have written a better and slightly more informational article on what oscillopsia is so I recommend you check that out by clicking HERE.
Oscillopsia is a very difficult symptom to describe… It’s one of those things where when you have it, you know it. When I had it, it looked like everything was shaking very slightly; very small, short, left to right jumps. Unlike when I had horizontal nystagmus (when my eyes only skipped when scanning my eyes from left to right) oscillopsia caused me to feel like my eyes were shaking non-stop even though I could not see this in the mirror or on a camera like I could with nystagmus.
When we talk about nystagmus, we are referring to an actual shaking of the physical eyes themselves. When we talk about oscillopsia however, we are referring more to the “sensation” or the “illusion” that the world is moving around (oscillating) making it hard to focus on a stationary object when moving your head around or sometimes even when you are sitting still. Oscillopsia can appear to move horizontally, vertically, or even “in and out”.
This can obviously make you nauseous or cause you to lose your balance more easily. Not such a great thing for the typical “already accident prone” MS patient… Another problem (depending on the severity of your oscillopsia) is recognizing someone as you walk towards them (or vice versa) since their face will not be “stable”. Driving is usually not safely possible and can even make you feel sick.
As far as I know, there is not really anything you can do to treat oscillopsia but wait for it to go away or take some kind of steroid and then… wait… That is what I did (minus the steroids), I waited for a week or two, waking up every morning hoping “today will be the day I can see, look out the window, or just browse my computer”. I think it stuck around for about 2 weeks or so. It was horrible… I hated it more than double vision because at least with that I could wear an eye patch but that didn’t help at all with oscillopsia.