Sixth Nerve Palsy

Sixth nerve palsy

The sixth cranial nerve is responsible for moving the eye away from the nose. This nerve supplies the lateral rectus muscle and sends signals to this muscle. When the lateral rectus muscle weakens due to weak impulses from the sixth nerve the eyes turn inward.

Double vision is the most common symptom with horizontal separation of the images. This happens when both eyes are open and especially is more when one looks at the distance. Double vision is more when one looks in the direction of the affected eye. The nerve palsy may be in one or both eyes. The other symptom is squinting of the eyes, that is the eyes do not point in the same direction. The symptoms depend on the severity of the condition. The sixth cranial nerve travels from the brainstem to the lateral rectus muscle. In case there are other symptoms along with the double vision and the squint, one must consider the involvement of other nerves or the brain. When sixth nerve palsy occurs without other symptoms, it’s known as isolated sixth nerve palsy. The addition of other symptoms may suggest the involvement of more than just the sixth nerve.

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