oa South African Family Practice - Office skills for the general practitioner : CPD

Volume 48, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



Eye disorders are relatively common. Often the initial presentation is to a general practitioner. With a few basic tools for eye examination, a general practitioner would be able to conduct an adequate ophthalmic examination and appropriately refer cases requiring specialist care. <br>Assessment of visual acuity using a snellen chart and a pinhole can exclude refractive errors. A penlight is an inexpensive yet indispensable tool in the assessment of pupillary response, external structures as well as the anterior segment of the eye. <br>Superficial ocular foreign bodies are relatively common. With a good technique for eyelid eversion, these foreign bodies can be easily removed. Using fluorescein stain and cobalt blue light one can appreciate corneal epithelial defects. <br>Glaucoma is a sight threatening condition that can be effectively screened for, by using a schiotz tonometer and appropriate referrals made if the intraocular pressure is > 21 mmHg or if the optic disc is cupped. <br>Direct ophthalmoscopy may be difficult but with a systematic approach and a few simple guidelines one would be able to adequately evaluate the posterior segment.

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