April 4, 1931


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1931;96(14):1131-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720400029009

Occupational nystagmus has long been regarded as essentially nonexistent in this country. However, among jewelers, draftsmen, hand compositors, and similar close work tradesmen, nystagmus has occasionally been encountered; but none has been noted among miners, in which work group this disease is so highly prevalent in England and on the continent.

In 1920, Shufflebotham,1 addressing the International Public Health Congress in Brussels, maintained that miners' nystagmus "is the commonest occupational disease known to medical science." He cited in evidence the Home Office compensation figures, showing that in 1914 there were 6,000 British miners under compensation for this disease, 2,775 of whom were totally incapacitated. The British Medical Research Council appointed a miners' nystagmus committee, which in 1922 and 1923 made reports regarding the various causative factors of the condition, together with excellent descriptions of nystagmus in its several forms and degrees of severity. Thomas2 has recently made a

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