Ocular Motility Examination Video
Ocular motility should always be tested, especially when patients complain of double vision or physicians suspect neurologic disease. First, the doctor should visually assess the eyes for deviations that could result from strabismus, extraocular muscle dysfunction, or palsy of the cranial nerves innervating the extraocular muscles. Saccades are assessed by having the patient move his or her eye quickly to a target at the far right, left, top and bottom. This tests for saccadic dysfunction whereupon poor ability of the eyes to “jump” from one place to another may impinge on reading ability and other skills, whereby the eyes are required to fixate and follow a desired object.
The patient is asked to follow a target with both eyes as it is moved in each of the nine cardinal directions of gaze. The examiner notes the speed, smoothness, range and symmetry of movements and observes for unsteadiness of fixation. These nine fields of gaze test the extraocular muscles: inferior, superior, lateral and medial rectus muscles, as well as the superior and inferior oblique muscles.