The corneal reflex allows an objective assessment of facial sensation. The afferent limb is V1 of the trigeminal nerve, the efferent limb is the facial or 7th cranial nerve.
- explain to the patient what you will be doing.
- avoid a visual threat response by asking the patient to look up and to the opposite side.
- stimulate the cornea since the scleral conjunctiva is less sensitive.
- touch the cornea lightly with a wisp of cotton, observe the direct (same) eye and consensual (opposite eye) blink in response to corneal stimulation.
- repeat on the opposite side.