Identifying and treating for the appropriate red eye in pediatrics and beyond

Nidhi Rana, OD, discusses key highlights from her AAOpt 2022 presentation on pediatric red eye.

Nidhi Rana, OD, of Wills Eye Hospital, shares highlights from her discussion titled, "Pediatric red eye," which she presented during the 2022 American Academy of Optometry meeting held in San Diego.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hello I'm Dr. Rana, I work at Wills Eye Hospital and a private practice, University Children's Eye Center in Philadelphia and in New Jersey. I'm lecturing on pediatric red eye.

I chose the topic because I thought it was very relevant since a ton of us see red eyes, whether we do adult care or pediatric care. Red eye is very common in the practice. And I think checking on the red eye, seeing what the red eye is all about, nipping it earlier so that way, you know, you can take good care of your patient is super important.

From this lecture, I hope our students if they're attending them, or my colleagues will actually get a lot out of it. One, to be able to differentiate between different red eyes, to be able to see what's important, what should be treated aggressively.

Say for example, you have a patient with herpes simplex virus cornea issue going on. I think in that case, the treatment should be done very aggressively because kids have a very high inflammatory response. And because they have higher inflammatory responses, it's very easy for them to get a corneal opacification or a corneal scarring. And that would mean that they would then become or have a risk for developing amblyopia. Which again, in kids, we know, it's not the right thing we want. So I think that should like trigger the brain cells for our doctors and students, and help guide them to see this better.

I think for the patient care becomes very important. The kids that we see are our future. And I went into the profession because I want them to see better I want them to see the best they can see for the rest of their lives. And I think that starts very young. If I'm able to keep their eye nice and healthy, if I'm able to keep their eye that can see really well, I think this is very important. And I think amblyopia is prevalent and children should be recognized much earlier and a lot of times it is preventable. So we as doctors, if we take the best care for our patients, that is important to me, and I know it's important to our children out there as well.

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