Redness

The symptom of the red eye is very common. The interviewer should ask the following questions:

''Have you had any injury to the eye?'' ''Does anyone else in the family have a red eye?'' Have you had any recent coughing spells? vomiting?'' Have you had any associated eye pain?'' Does light bother your eyes?'' ''Is there any associated discharge?'' ''Do you wear contact lenses?''

The eye may appear bloodshot. Redness may result from trauma, infection, allergy, or increased pressure in the eye. Severe coughing spells or recurrent vomiting may cause a patient to have a conjunctival hemorrhage. A family member or friend with viral conjunctivitis may be the source of a patient's red eye. The combination of eye pain and red eye may indicate acute narrow-angle glaucoma. (Table 10-2 summarizes the differential diagnosis for the red eye.) Uveitis, inflammation of the uveal tract, which is associated with a red eye, can manifest with light sensitivity. Patients wearing contact lenses may suffer from corneal irritation and may have eye redness.

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