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October 2, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(14):1130. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680140048016

In spite of similarities in racial stock between the miners of North America and Great Britain, miners' nystagmus is practically unknown here, whereas in the British Isles more than 50 per cent of coal miners are affected. As the eye oscillates, objects seem to dance before the vision, and, in consequence, walking becomes difficult. When at work at the face of the coal, the miner's vision becomes completely befogged but clears if he rests and looks down. Usually, the nystagmus disappears in from six weeks to six months after the cessation of work, whereupon vision is found uninjured. Although this occupational disease has attracted serious scientific attention since 1870, a recent investigation by the Miners' Nystagmus Research Committee of the Medical Research Council has made it again a major topic in British medical writing. Search for the cause, in part, has centered around the effect of poor light. Mr. G.