Common causes of red eye presenting in northern Iran
INTRODUCTION The red eye is one of the commonest reasons for presenting to the eye clinic. Red eye due to serious conditions that may threaten patient's vision require early detection and referral to ophthalmologists for prompt care. The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence and causes of red eye amongst patients' attending the eye clinic over a two year period from 2004 to 2005. METHODS The eye clinic register was used to determine the total number of new patients attending the eye clinic and those found to have red eye. The information retrieved included patients age, sex, laterality of the condition and cause of red eye. RESULTS During the review period 4723 new patients were seen in the eye clinic and 693 patients (14.8%) had red eye. There were 356 males and 337 females (M:F= 1.1:1). Sixty three percent of the patients were below the age of 20 years. The common causes of red eye were allergic conjunctivitis in 40%, microbial conjunctivitis in 17%, corneal ulcer 11% and inflamed pterygium in 11%. CONCLUSION Red eye is a common cause of presentation to the eye clinic. Most of the common causes of red eye in our environment are treatable.