Episode 9: Nontraumatic Eye Emergencies

Nontraumatic Eye Emergencies are seldom very satisfying for the emergency physician to manage. However, with systematic approach and timely management they can save a patient's vision. Dr. George Porfiris and Dr. Simon Kingsley discuss four non-traumatic eye emergency presentations. The painful red eye, the painless red eye, acute painful loss of vision and acute painless loss of vision. Several cases are discussed in which an accurate diagnosis and timely ED management are of critical importance in order to prevent permanent vision loss and significant morbidity. A systematic approach to the eye examination is described with particular attention to important maneuvers such as the swinging flashlight test. The utility of ED ultrasound of the eye is debated, and a discussion around systemic diseases that cause eye problems provides fodder for many clinical pearls.