Q. I cannot move my eye outwards. Do you think it is sixth nerve palsy?

Answered by
Dr. Pooja Bandivadekar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 31, 2017 and last reviewed on: Apr 02, 2021

Hi doctor,

Last week, I started experiencing double vision. I went to the ER and was told that I need to see my eye doctor. The next day, I went to the eye doctor, and he did a field test. He told me a nerve was messed up in my eye due to diabetes. He said it could take a few months to heal and that I could wear a patch or a prism until then. I decided on the prism, but recently it does not seem to be working as well as when I first got it. My eye doctor did not tell me the specific name of what I have. I have done some research online, and it sounds like 6th nerve palsy. My eye will not move to the outside, and it looks like I am slightly cross-eyed when I look straight. I have not had any symptoms other than double vision. Sometimes, I am getting little headaches from straining my eye, but nothing serious. Do you think it is 6th nerve palsy? Is there any type of exercise to speed up the healing process?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Since you cannot move your eye outwards, you seem to have sixth nerve palsy (Abducent nerve). We need to investigate its cause and then contemplate a cure.
  • The most common cause for 6th nerve palsy are as follows:
  1. Increase in intracranial pressure.
  2. Some space occupying lesion pressing the nerve.
  3. Diabetic vasculopathy.
  4. Vasculitis due to any other cause.
  5. Idiopathic.
  • So, you need to get your retina checked to rule out disc edema. Also, a CT scan to rule out any compressive mass is advised. Do get your sugars checked.
  • Once we have ruled out treatable causes, then idiopathic sixth nerve palsy is likely.
  • It recovers on its own with time, and there is very little to stimulate its recovery. Usually, the recovery takes six months to 1 year.
  • You can get your prism prescription rechecked as your squint might have improved. Also, occlusion is a good option. The remainder squint at one year can be corrected surgically with good outcomes.
  • You can post a picture of your eyes so we can ascertain the type of nerve palsy.

Revert with the photos to an eye care ophthalmologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/eye-care-ophthalmologist


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