The oculomotor nerve is one of 12 sets of cranial nerves. Many of these nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system supplies (innervates) organs, like your eyes.
The oculomotor nerve is the third cranial nerve. It allows movement of the eye muscles, constriction of the pupil, focusing the eyes and the position of the upper eyelid.
Cranial nerve III works with other cranial nerves to control eye movements and support sensory functioning.
It controls four of the six muscles that enable eye movement. 3rd Cranial nerve makes it possible to:
It coordinates eye movement with motions that include:
Oculomotor dysfunction is a group of disorders affecting 3rd Cranial nerve. These disorders are also known as third nerve palsy. They occur when 3rdcranial nerve becomes paralyzed.
Third nerve palsy can be present at birth. It may also occur later in life due to:
Conditions that may cause oculomotor dysfunction include:
Treatment for third nerve palsy depends on what caused it. There is no treatment to re-establish function of a congenital third nerve palsy. An acquired third nerve palsy may resolve on its own, depending on the cause. If a brain tumour or aneurysm is causing the third nerve palsy, surgery to relieve pressure on the third nerve may help it function.
A Neuro-ophthalmologist will wait at least 6 months after onset of third nerve palsy to see if it gets better on its own. During this time, an eye patch or prism glasses may help you with double vision. Eye muscle surgery (strabismus surgery) may help to realign the eyes so that the eyes are straight when looking straight ahead. But it can sometimes take numerous procedures. People typically still experience double vision when looking to the sides after strabismus surgery.
Contact your Neuro-ophthalmologist if you experience symptoms of third nerve palsy. These include:
The oculomotor nerve is the third cranial nerve. It controls four of the six muscles that enable eye movement. Conditions affecting cranial nerve III include third nerve palsy. It is often a complication of medical issues such as uncontrolled diabetes or a brain aneurysm. Third nerve palsy might impact your vision and the appearance of one or both of your eyes. Many people make a full recovery, although it can take around six months.