What is the focus of medical history and ocular exam for suspected bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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A medical and detailed ocular history includes questions about the onset and duration of the red eye, the quality and quantity of discharge, presence or absence of pain, photophobia, trauma, blurry vision, foreign body sensation, ocular itch, contact lens use, history of previous ocular infections, and current and recent medication use. An eye evaluation should be performed with particular attention to reductions in best corrected vision in either eye, gross evaluation of lid margins and both bulbar and tarsal conjunctivae (presence or absence of a ciliary flush), any ocular discharge, pupillary reactions, any pain with eye movements, slit lamp biomicroscope evaluation of the cornea (with adjunctive fluorescein stain), IOP, and anterior chamber flare or cell. If only one eye has bacterial conjunctivitis, examine the unaffected eye first to prevent cross-infection.

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