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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 180-183

Virtual consultation for red eye: Accuracy assessment in a primary care center

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Al Murabba PHC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Ophthalmology, King Saud Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Ophthalmology, Tabuk University, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raseel A Awad
Al Murabba PHC, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/meajo.meajo_306_21

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PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of teleexamination of red eye by a trained general practitioner (GP) compared to the gold standard (in-office consultation by an ophthalmologist). METHODS: This was a study of diagnostic accuracy. We included consecutive male or female patients aged ≥6 months who presented to a primary care clinic in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with red eye. All the patients were initially evaluated by a trained GP using a standardized checklist and consulted virtually with an ophthalmologist. This was followed by an in-office eye examination conducted at a well-equipped ophthalmology clinic by a well-trained ophthalmologist. Data were analyzed using STATA 17.0 (StataCorp LLC, College Station, TX, USA). RESULTS: A total of 54 patients with red eye presented to the primary care clinic during September–November 2021 and were initially examined virtually and then in-office. The mean age of the patients was 39.72 ± 21.70 years (range 5–90 years). Thirty-three patients (61.1%) were males. The most common cause of red eye was conjunctivitis (46.3%) followed by dry eye (31.5%). There was a significant association between viral conjunctivitis and age (P < 0.001), and between dry eye and age (P = 0.002). Tele eye examination accurately identified the etiology of red eye in all 54 patients. CONCLUSION: Telemedicine has the potential to correctly diagnose patients with red eye and can result in a substantial decrease in the number of people visiting the health-care centers.

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