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Free Content Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and differential diagnosis of the red eye

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Red eye is a common presentation in clinical practice with conjunctivitis being the most common cause of red eye. Most commonly, conjunctivitis is infective (bacterial and viral) or allergic in origin although other forms of conjunctivitis including toxic and irritative conjunctivitis and conjunctivitis related to systemic conditions or dry eye are prevalent enough to warrant consideration in diagnosis. This article aims to provide a guide for generalists and allergists in the differential diagnosis of conjunctivitis allowing the inclusion of eye treatment into their current practice. With a discussion of important aspects to include in the patient history as well as a systematic guide to examination of the eye for generalists and allergists, this article provides a “plan of action” in the examination protocol for red eye patients. A differential diagnosis table and flowchart are provided as a useful chair-side reference for practitioners. With a particular focus on the more prevalent types of conjunctivitis, typical features, signs, and symptoms of each type are detailed. A general discussion of prognosis and treatment options and conditions that require ophthalmologic referral is included.
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Keywords: Allergy; blepharitis; chemosis; conjunctivitis; keratitis; photophobia; rhinitis; rhinoconjunctivitis; scleritis; uveitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California–San Diego/Ratner Children's Eye Center, 9415 Campus Point Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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