Infectious Eye

Managing the Red Eye in Primary Care Part 1 – Infectious Conjunctivitis

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CME Information


Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be better able to

  1. Differentiate and recognize red eye including infectious conjunctivitis based on a patient’s history and signs and symptoms
  2. Treat with appropriate medications while educating patients about ways to minimize recurrence and cross-infection
  3. Recognize which patients with infectious conjunctivitis, and other ocular issues, should be referred to an ophthalmologist



Infectious conjunctivitis is a common, multifaceted condition that has a variety of etiologies and clinical features, and requires a variety of treatments. Professional care is needed for accurate diagnosis and effective therapeutic intervention.

PCPs play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of red eye and should be able to differentiate whether the condition causing the red eye is a simple disorder such as an infectious or allergic conjunctivitis, or a more serious disorder such as intraocular inflammation, corneal inflammation or acute glaucoma. Such a patient may need an immediate referral to an ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Quite often a red eye is a simple disorder such as infectious conjunctivitis, which can usually be treated by a PCP. Raising PCP’s comfort level with ocular conditions will help facilitate the prompt management of these conditions and appropriate referrals to eye specialists.



This activity has expired and is no longer available for CME; however, we hope you still enjoy the education.
Published on September 25, 2012