Oculomotor Nerve Palsy

The oculomotor nerve is one of your 12 cranial nerves. It is also known as the third cranial nerve. It is the nerve responsible for moving your eyeballs around, positioning your eyelids and pupils, and focusing your eyes. Many conditions can affect the third cranial nerve and cause its palsy. When it's paralyzed, you will suffer from double vision, drooping eyelid, and inability to move your eye in certain directions. This can happen due to diseases that affect the blood supply to the nerve, trauma, surgery, and compressing aneurysm or tumor.

Diagnosis of oculomotor nerve palsy is made by neurological examination. Your doctor might order some images and tests to establish the underlying cause.
  • Symptoms
  • Deviated eye


    Droopy eyelids

    • One eyelid


    Double vision

    • Sudden

    • Improves when one eye is closed



    • Rapidly developing

    • Chronic or persistent pain, Recurrent

    • Tension around forehead, Tight band-like pain around the head and neck

    Unequal pupil sizes

  • Risk factors
  • High blood pressure disease

    Diabetes mellitus

    • Type 1, Type 2

    High levels of fats in blood

    Head injury

    History of vasculitis

    An abnormal focal dilation of an artery in the brain


    Head surgery

    Brain cancer

  • Treatment
  • Treatment of oculomotor nerve palsy is directed towards the underlying cause. Emergency surgery could be performed if a life-threatening condition is suspected to be the cause.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Oculomotor Nerve Palsy, then a visit to a neurologist is highly recommended.

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