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Corneal reflex, also known as the blink reflex, is an automated involuntary blinking of the eyelids elicited by stimulation (such as touching or a foreign body) of the eyeball's cornea. Stimulation should elicit both a direct and consensual response. The evolutionary purpose of this reflex is to protect the eyes from foreign bodies.
The reflex is mediated by:
- the nasociliary branch of the ophthalmic branch (V1) of the 5th Cranial nerve (Trigeminal nerve) sensing the stimulus on the cornea,
- and the 7th Cranial nerve (Facial nerve) initiating the motor response.
Use of contact lenses may diminish or abolish this reflex.