The corneal reflex that is dependent on the integrity of the Vth and the VIIth cranial nerves.
- distract the patient by asking them to gaze upwards.
- lightly touch the cornea with a wisp of cotton wool, bringing the wool from the side of the eye.
Interpretation of results:
- reflex blinking of both eyes - normal
- patient can feel the touch of the cotton wool - via the ophthalamic division of the trigeminal nerve - but there is no reflex blink - via facial nerve innervation of orbicularis oculi muscles. This indicates facial nerve palsy.
- unable to feel touch of cotton wool - indicates trigeminal nerve palsy.