Can you make the diagnosis?

Jennifer and her friend are having lunch. Jennifer’s friend notices that Jennifer’s left eye is red and asks her about it.

Jennifer shares that she has been having eye pain on the left for the last week, and also having some blurry vision and blind spots. She thinks her eye irritation is from her hay fever.

What should Jennifer’s friend advise her to do?

  1. See an eye doctor or go to the ER
  2. Tell her to take allergy medicine
  3. Tell her she may have pink eye, so she should be on antibiotic drops
  4. Tell her to put cool wash cloths on the eye


If you chose 1. See an eye doctor or go to the ER, you are right!

Jennifer may have glaucoma based on her symptoms.

Glaucoma is a condition that damages the eye’s optic nerve. It is caused when pressure is too high in the eye from fluid build-up.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness.

Symptoms of glaucoma can include blind spots, tunnel vision, headache, eye pain, blurred vision, eye redness, and vomiting.

Regular eye exams are recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

If you are under 40 years old: Every 5-10 years

If you are 40-54 years old: Every 2-4 years

If you are 55-64 years old: Every 1-3 years

If you are over 65 years old: Every 1-2 years


Allergies would be unlikely to cause symptoms in just one eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a possibility, but doesn’t usually cause changes in vision, and is usually associated with eye discharge.


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