Something interesting happens when you close your eyes.

Do you know what your eyes do when you close them? They don’t continue to stare straight ahead into your closed eyelid.

Instead, the eyes roll up, with your pupils and cornea pointing towards your eyebrows. This is called “Bell’s Phenomenon”.

It becomes obvious when someone who has a peripheral facial nerve palsy (such as Bell’s Palsy), who can’t fully close their eyelid, allowing you to see the movement of the eyeball.

Image a) shows someone with their eye open, while image b) shows someone with a peripheral facial nerve palsy who is unable to close their eye, and the eyeball rolls up. This is Bell’s Phenomenon.

Find out more about the basics of the neuro exam in the Raven Review student book.