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Red eyes: assessment

Simon Hardman Lea

Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Director, Evolutio Care Innovations

Lyn Price

Senior Optometrist and Clinical Lead, Evolutio Care Innovations

Christian Dutton, Professional Services Optometrist & Independent Prescriber.


Patients presenting with eye problems account for up to 1 in 20 of primary care consultations, but most non-ophthalmic clinicians do not have significant knowledge or feel comfortable with their training in ophthalmology. This module provides an overview of the conditions presenting with red eyes.


On completion of this module, you should be more familiar with:

  • The structures of the eye and why eyes go red
  • Common conditions affecting the eyelids and conjunctiva
  • Conditions warranting specialist referral
  • A simple, practical approach to assessing a patient presenting with red eyes
  • What to do in the case of young children with red or sticky eyes

This resource is provided at an intermediate level. Read the accompanying article, which provides further detail and management options, before answering the self-assessment questions, and reflecting on what you have learned.

Complete the resource to obtain a certificate to include in your revalidation portfolio. You should record the time spent on this resource in your CPD log.