If a patient has a painful eye, is it from the cornea?

By using a drop of fluorescein you can identify defects in the normal ocular surface, for example

  • Corneal abrasion
  • Dendritic Ulcer
  • Subtarsal foreign body (causing fine linear abrasions)
  • Dry eye (speckled appearance)

Top tips:

  1. Examine without fluorescein first
  2. Use a drop of fluorescein. (as little as possible)
  3. Use a blue light where possible, (better than the green light)

The following images show the use of fluoroscein, the first shows a linear abrasion where a person has walked into a bush. The second shows a gentleman with a red left eye, who has a history of cold sores. Fluoroscein examination confirms a dendritic ulcer.

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