My name is Julie, age 23, from the Western part of New York state. I'm very happy to be able to join this board and have found amazing insight from what I've read so far.
A little background on me...I was just recently diagnosed with nystagmus, although I have had alternating strabismus since birth, with 5 surgeries to correct it over 15 years. I was born with esotropia (eyes crossed) and had the first surgery to correct that at age one, and thereafter was diagnosed with exotropia (eyes diverging) and hypertropia (eyes drifting upwards). The following four surgeries worked to correct these issues as much as possible, functionally and cosmetically. The surgeries have made a SIGNIFICANT difference in my life and have allowed me to live quite normally--enough so that I didn't even know I had nystagmus until my doctor told me! The diagnosis, of course, did help to explain a lot of issues I'd had but had merely attributed to the strabismus or after effects of the surgeries.
Regarding some of the most chatted about topics here: I am able to drive (carefully, of course) in the US, however I admit that I have not even the least bit of depth perception. Most of my issues pertain to tracking (moving objects, reading across and down a page without losing place), balance (running into things all the time--also compounded by pronating ankles and flat feet!), reading (signs from moving vehicles, smaller print), and focus (my eyes are constantly going out of focus on me--takes a concerted effort to bring them into focus, especially while reading). Also, even with the aid of all the surgeries and glasses, I still struggle with eye contact--it's not just uncomfortable, it's downright physically difficult!
This fall, I will be returning to school to study occupational therapy and hope to move into the field of vision rehabilitation from there.
I'm sorry to have rambled on so long, but I just had to give some back story. I can't begin to tell you all how much I have appreciated being able to read about your experiences with nystagmus-- it is wonderful to know that you are not alone.
Nice to meet you all, and look forward to reading more from you all soon!
P.S. Would especially love to hear from anyone else with strabismus/nystagmus combo, and also from those in the US who plan on attending the 2013 Nystagmus Walk in Nashville, TN!