By Dr.Gehad elnahri
Ophthalmology is one of the disciplines where proper symptomatology plays an important role in reaching a diagnosis.
There are FEW groups of symptoms concerning the eye yet we fail to teach our students how to handle eye-symptoms and we neglect to educate patients of how to complain properly.
Many times the patient is more alarmed by eye-redness or headache more than visual loss and the presence of 2 eyes frequently masks severe losses in one eye.
Ocular symptom groups are:
1)Loss of Visual acuity; sudden, acute and gradual
2)Vision related-phenomena as diplopia, glare, metamorphopsia, photopsia, scotoma, nyctalopia etc
3)significant pain and headache in the eye
4)symptoms of surface irritation as lacrimation, FB sensation, redness and photophobia
5)symptoms of external appearance as ptosis, proptosis, squint, masses etc
Always educate your patient to put himself into one or maximum 2 of these groups and ask him specifically if he doesn't. Sometimes you have to re-allocate the patient after initial exam into for example "loss of vision group" because he failed to categorize himself.
We hope that one day patient's are health aware enough to complain properly, as the proper complaint is half the diagnosis
Each symptom group warrants a separate post.
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