Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cool body tricks: Nystagmus

In class a few weeks back, we learned that if you put hot water in one ear and cold water in another (the "Caloric test"), you can induce nystagmus, a symptom that involves your eyes quivering back and forth.

A guy in my class changed his MSN name today to: "I just did the caloric test to myself... it works."

Med students are a funny breed.

Of course, the coolest tests come with a cool mnemonic: the mnemonic for this one is COWS.


Doctor Ayche said...

Isn't the caloric test supposed to be very unpleasant if performed on a conscious person? (Also, I recently started a blog, and I greatly appreciated your "new to medical blogging?" post!)

make mine trauma said...

I've had nystagmus without the ol' water in the ear test. For which, of course, the mnemonic is WET. Oh yeah, you've been tagged for the six word memoir!

Vitum Medicinus said...

I've also heard that it can cause you to feel "very unpleasant" (actually, feel nauseated +/- vomit). My friend assured me, though, that it didn't ... and was willing to repeat it on himself again in a clinical skills class.