Ocular Emergencies: Red Eye

Andreina Tarff, Ashley Behrens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


“Red eye” is used as a general term to describe irritated or bloodshot eyes. It is a recognizable sign of an acute/chronic, localized/systemic underlying inflammatory condition. Conjunctival injection is most commonly caused by dryness, allergy, visual fatigue, contact lens overwear, and local infections. In some instances, red eye can represent a true ocular emergency that should be treated by an ophthalmologist. A comprehensive assessment of red eye conditions is required to preserve the patients visual function. Severe ocular pain, significant photophobia, decreased vision, and history of ocular trauma are warning signs demanding immediate ophthalmological consultation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-639
Number of pages25
JournalMedical Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Allergic
  • Conjunctiva
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Ocular inflammation
  • Ocular trauma
  • Red eye

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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