Red Eye Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Feb 25, 2022
  • Author: Robert H Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The differential diagnosis is so large that the caregiver must be comfortable with all diagnoses and must be able to distinguish between them. Misdiagnosis is a major medicolegal pitfall, in that the truly emergent conditions that may cause red eye have major vision-threatening sequelae.

The occurrence of subconjunctival hemorrhage in an eye after scleral buckle indicates buckle infection until proved otherwise, even if the surgery was performed years before. Usually, there is focal tenderness somewhere over the buckle.

Conjunctival neoplasms that give rise to secondary hemorrhage must also be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Differential Diagnoses