referral for ophthalmology opinion

Last reviewed 01/2018

In general, red eyes presenting in primary care, are most often secondary to conjunctivits (infective or allergic). If there are any features suggestive of either iritis, acute glaucoma, a foreign body or any other significant cause of a red eye then immediate ophthalmological review is required.

Examples of when ophthalmological review is required include:

  • if there is impairment of visual acuity, or,
  • if there are abnormal pupillary reactions, or,
  • if conjunctival injection is most marked around the pupil (suggestive of keratitis, corneal ulcer or intraocular pathology), or,
  • if there is corneal ulceration, or,
  • if there is a history of possible penetrating injury, or,
  • if fundus is cloudy, or,
  • if there is associated significant pain rather than the 'gritty' discomfort associated with conjunctivitis, or,
  • if topical treatment for presumed conjunctivitis has not led to improvement