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Cranial Nerves Assessment

Cranial Nerves Assessment
You may assess the cranial nerves by performing some procedures depending on the nerve involved.
CN I (Olfactory) – ask the patient to identify the smell of two different objects.
CN II (optic) – Rosenbaum-near vision card and Snellen chart may be used
CN III (oculomotor), CN IV (trochlear), and CN VI (abducens). Corneal light reflex test, the six cardinal positions of gaze, and the cover-uncover test may be used. You may also assess the size, shape, and symmetry of your patient’s pupils and papillary reactions to light.
CN V (trigeminal) – You may need objects to use in testing the pain and sensory perceptions in the same three areas.
CN VII (facial) – Sensory component may be checked by placing different items with different tastes on the anterior portion of the tongue. Motor function may be checked by assessing symmetry when smiling and frowning. By asking the patient to attempt opening his eyes, you are also checking muscle strength.
CN VIII (acoustic) – Weber’s and Rinne’s test may be used with the use of a vibrating fork.
CN IX (glossopharyngeal) and CN X (vagus) – You may need to listen to the patient’s voice and check the gag reflex.
CN XI (spinal accessory) – You may assess this nerve by testing the strength of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper portion of the trapezius muscle.
CN XII (hypoglossal) – You may need to check tongue symmetry as well as tongue strength (asking the patient to push his tongue against his cheek as you are applying resistanc

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