An accurate history is crucial for triage of referrals over the phone – so please be thorough.
Some tips for common presentations;
- Visual loss: Which eye, rate of onset, intermittent or not, which part of visual field affected (central/peripheral/all), floaters or flashes, headaches, any giant cell arteritis symptoms (if age >50)
- Red eye: duration, discharge, visual disturbance, pain, trauma, photophobia, surrounding cellulitis
- Pain: which eye, where, type of pain (FB sensation vs ache etc), pain on eye movements, relieved with topical anaesthetic?
- Diplopia: clarify if monocular or binocular (does it go away when either eye is covered)
- Flashes/floaters: previous retinal tear/detachment or FHx of this, myopia, previous eye surgery, recent trauma/falls
- POHx: ‘lazy eye’, contact lens use, past diagnoses, who they see (consultant/ known to) trauma or surgery, current eye drops
- PMHx: common co-morbidities that we need to know about include diabetes, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, connective tissue/inflammatory disease, immunosuppression, or recent hospitalisation