Ophthalmology Referral

  • Ian Bodford


Emergency physicians are experts in diagnosing ocular conditions; however, the challenge remains with knowing when an emergent ophthalmology consultation is required. Trauma is the most common etiology of eye complaints that warrants a consultation. Emergent consultation is needed with a penetrating globe injury, laceration involving the tear duct system, and orbital fractures causing entrapment. Painful or red eyes are also another common complaint, and conditions requiring emergent consultation are endophthalmitis, acute angle closure glaucoma, uveitis, corneal ulceration, as well as orbital cellulitis. Vision loss is the other common ocular complaint emergency physicians assess. Temporal arteritis, optic neuritis, central retinal artery occlusion, and early retinal detachment all require emergent consultation. Almost all other eye complaints should receive an urgent or semi-urgent evaluation by an ophthalmologist.


Ophthalmologist Consultation Ocular trauma Endophthalmitis Acute angle closure glaucoma Uveitis Corneal ulceration Orbital cellulitis Temporal arteritis Optic neuritis Central retinal artery occlusion Retinal detachment 


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    Graves D. Triaging ocular emergencies. BSM Consulting. 2012.
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    Magauran B. Conditions requiring emergency ophthalmologic consultation. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2008;26(1):233–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Bodford
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Francis HospitalMemphisUSA

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