Trauma Eye Exam

General Concept

  1. Eye should be examined in a logical, systematic fashion
  2. This exam outline is for non-Ophthalmologists
  3. This exam is truncated for traumatic eye injuries
  4. See specific disease cards for further information


  1. Mechanism of injury
  2. Nature of injuring object
  3. Circumstances of injury
  4. Past eye history
  5. Medical history


  1. Visual acuity is the "Vital sign" of the eye
  2. Light perception first
  3. Count fingers if possible
  4. Visual acuity next
  5. Ask about

External Exam

  1. Periorbital tissues
  2. Globe displacement
  3. Lids, Lashes
  4. If no contraindications, may evert lids


  1. Size and equality
  2. React to light
  3. Distorted shape

Eye Mobility

  1. Asses range of motion of all muscles
  2. "Follow my finger"

Anterior Segment
(A slit lamp exam is best for this)

  1. Conjunctiva
      • Ciliary (perilimbal) pattern in uveitis
        • Iritis, ant. cyclitis, iridocyclitis
  2. Cornea
  3. Anterior chamber
  4. Lens
  5. Posterior segment