The six cardinal positions of eye gaze isolate the individual extraocular muscles. In order to determine which muscle is abnormal, the six positions of gaze are observed to determine if the eye moves in each direction.
To assess the six cardinal fields of gaze: use a penlight or some type of object a patient can track with their eyes.
Position the penlight 12-14 inches from the patient’s face.
Then have the patient follow your penlight in the following directions (always start in the midline)
right upper to left lower
left upper to right lower
right side to left side