Is it conjunctivitis or something more serious? Use this diagnostic tree to find out what's causing that red eye.
Checklist: Examining the Red Eye
- Observe eye to determine what part(s) are affected, what appears normal/abnormal, whether eye is painful, and presence of discharge.
- Develop list of diagnostic differentials based on ocular changes and conduct diagnostic testing.
- Determine whether eye is visual.
- Assess pupil size and light reflexes.
- Perform STT for quantitative assessment of tear production.
- Perform ocular surface staining:
- Fluorescein staining to assess corneal epithelium defects, NLD patency, and tear film breakup time and stability
- Seidel’s test to identify leakage of aqueous humor through cornea
- Rose bengal staining to measure precorneal tear film quality and integrity
- Perform tonometry to estimate IOP: elevation consistent with glaucoma, decrease consistent with intraocular inflammation.
- Complete examination and systemic diagnostic testing as indicated.
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