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Alternative Names Return to topEOM; Extraocular movement; Ocular motility examination
Definition Return to top
Extraocular muscle function testing is an examination of the function of the eye muscles. A doctor observes the movement of the eyes in six specific directions.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
You are asked to sit or stand with your head erect and a forward gaze. Your health care provider will hold a pen or other object 12 inches in front of your face. He or she will then move the object in several directions and ask you to follow it with your eyes, without moving your head.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
The test involves only normal movement of the eyes.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
This test is performed to evaluate any weakness or other problem in the extraocular muscles, which may result in double vision or rapid, uncontrolled eye movements.
Normal Results Return to top
Normal movement of the eyes in all directions.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
Eye movement disorders may be due to abnormalities of the muscles themselves or problems in the sections of the brain that control these muscles. Your doctor will discuss any abnormalities identified.
Risks Return to top
There are no risks associated with this test.
Considerations Return to top
Slight nystagmus is normal with an extreme sideways gaze.
References Return to top
Baloh RW. Neuro-ophthalmology. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 450.Update Date: 2/22/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.