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Eye Essentials for Every Doctor

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Eye Essentials for Every Doctor is a pocket-sized, symptom-based book on ophthalmology. The content in this excellent medical resource is designed to guide non-specialists towards efficient and safe …

Eye Essentials for Every Doctor is a pocket-sized, symptom-based book on ophthalmology. The content in this excellent medical resource is designed to guide non-specialists towards efficient and safe diagnosis, and onward referral where necessary.

Chapters in this revised edition are organised around common presenting symptoms and incorporate helpful colour illustrations. Beginning from the presenting complaint - red eye, loss of vision or floating spots, for example - this concise ophthalmology text incorporates diagnostic flowcharts to guide readers towards correct diagnosis and management.

As well as dealing with specific eye symptoms, Eye Essentials for Every Doctor offers guidance on how to examine an eye patient, how to identify a patient in need of eye disease screening and basic eye procedures.

This is the ideal ophthalmology textbook for the non-specialist whose main priority is to detect serious eye disease. Eye Essentials for Every Doctor is therefore an excellent addition to the bookshelves of GPs and GP registrars in training, clinical-year medical students on GP rotation, JMOs in emergency departments, optometrists, nurse practitioners and AMC candidates.


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  • 1. List of diagnostic flowchartsChapter 3 Visual lossTransient visual loss 43Sudden or rapidly progressive visual loss 46Gradual visual loss 61Chapter 4 The red eyeOne red eye, decreased vision 83One red eye, normal vision 91Two red eyes, normal vision 92Chapter 5 Eye traumaEye trauma 108Chapter 6 Turned eye/double visionTurned eye in children 132Double vision in adults 139Chapter 7 Abnormal appearance of the eye or eyelidsEYESpot on the eye surface 154Unequal pupils 157White pupil and/or no red reflex 163Nystagmus (continually moving eyes) 165Proptosis (eye(s) pushed forwards) 167Abnormal optic disc on ophthalmoscopy 168EYELIDSEyelid lump 179Abnormal eyelid position 183Red swollen eyelids on one side 188Skin rash around the eye 191
  • 2. EYE ESSENTIALSFOR EVERY DOCTOR
  • 3. EYE ESSENTIALSFOR EVERY DOCTORAnthony Pane MBBS (Hons) MMedSc FRANZCOConsultant Ophthalmic SurgeonQueensland Eye InstituteBrisbane, AustraliaPeter Simcock MB ChB DO FRCP MRCP FRCOphthConsultant Ophthalmic SurgeonWest of England Eye UnitRoyal Devon and Exeter HospitalExeter, UKEdinburgh London New York Oxford Philadelphia St Louis Sydney Toronto 2005
  • 4. Churchill Livingstone is an imprint of Elsevier Elsevier Australia. ACN 001 002 357 (a division of Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd) Tower 1, 475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW 2067This edition © 2013 Elsevier AustraliaUK ISBN 9780443101120This publication is copyright. Except as expressly provided in the Copyright Act 1968and the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000, no part of this publicationmay be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted by any means(including electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording orotherwise) without prior written permission from the publisher.Every attempt has been made to trace and acknowledge copyright, but in some casesthis may not have been possible. The publisher apologises for any accidentalinfringement and would welcome any information to redress the situation.This publication has been carefully reviewed and checked to ensure that the content isas accurate and current as possible at time of publication. We would recommend,however, that the reader verify any procedures, treatments, drug dosages or legalcontent described in this book. Neither the author, the contributors, nor the publisherassume any liability for injury and/or damage to persons or property arising from anyerror in or omission from this publication.National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication DataAuthor: Pane, Anthony.Title: Eye essentials for every doctor / Anthony Pane, Peter Simcock.ISBN: 9780729540834 (pbk.)Subjects: Eye--Examination. Eye--Diseases--Diagnosis.Other Authors: Simcock, Peter.Dewey Number: 617.7Commissioning Editor: Michael ParkinsonProject Development Manager: Hannah KennerProject Manager: Nancy ArnottDesign Direction: George AjayiCover design: Avril MakulaCover photograph copyright Tatiana MakotraIllustration Manager: Bruce HogarthIllustrators: Jane Fallow and AntbitsPrinter: Griffin Press
  • 5. CONTENTS vContents List of diagnostic flowcharts Inside front cover Acknowledgements vi Introduction vii How to use this book ix 1. Staying out of trouble with eyes 1 2. How to examine an eye patient 10 3. Visual loss 38 4. The red eye 78 5. Eye trauma 106 6. Turned eye/double vision 128 7. Abnormal appearance of the eye or eyelids 150 8. Watery, itchy or gritty eyes 197 9. Other eye symptoms 20510. Who needs screening for eye disease? 21811. Basic eye procedures 225 Further reading 230 Index 231
  • 6. viAcknowledgements We would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the book: Jason Smith, Sue Masel, Matt Masel and Lawrie Hirst for their careful proof reading and excellent suggestions; at Elsevier, Michael Parkinson for picking up the book and Hannah Kenner for her energy and professionalism in its production; and my wife Kath for her endless patience, support and encouragement. Anthony Pane My parents Mae and Reg and my wife Sarah for their support and Ray MacLeod, Medical photographer, West of England Eye Unit, for his hard work in helping with the photographs Peter Simcock
  • 7. viiIntroduction As a medical student, hospital doctor or general practitioner you can’t be expected to know everything. Ophthalmology is only one of many specialties, each with its own list of rare and unpleasant diseases you are sternly told you ‘can’t afford to miss!’ You usually have minimal examination time and little or no equipment. Despite this, many of your patients have eye complaints and rely on you for appropriate management. What do you do? This book is a symptom-based guide to ophthalmology for the non-ophthalmologist. Many eye books list disease by anatomical site, but patients don’t present saying ‘I have a disease of my optic nerve’. Instead, they walk into your office and complain of blurred vision. Each of the main chapters in this book concentrates on a different presenting symptom, and contains: G An overview of the problem. G Critical points highlighting important management issues. G Diagnostic flowcharts. G An approach to use for the patient sitting before you, including questions to ask and signs to look for. G A brief discussion of the symptoms, signs and management of the relevant common eye diseases. Some chapters include special features: G Chapter 1 Staying out of trouble with eyes – contains practical guidelines to help you avoid serious mistakes in your everyday practice. G Chapter 2 How to examine an eye patient – outlines a time-efficient way to assess eye patients. G Chapter 10 Who needs screening for eye disease? – a guide to which of your patients require regular eye screening. G Chapter 11 Basic eye procedures – details common practical eye procedures.
  • 8. viii INTRODUCTION Ophthalmic diagnosis is often difficult, even with the luxury of time and the appropriate technology. However, even a brief history and examination with basic equipment can be enough to identify the general nature of most eye diseases. We hope this book helps.
  • 9. ixHow to use this book Medical students: read the chapters in order. General practitioners: G If you’re already good at eye examination: skip Chapter 2. G Short of time? Read Chapters 1 and 10 then have a look at the overview, flowcharts and photographs in the other chapters. G Keep the book handy for quick reference in the clinic. Emergency department doctors: G If you’re already good at eye examination: skip Chapter 2. G Short of time? Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5 and 11 are particularly important for you. Please note: G There are thousands of eye diseases, about which millions of pages have been written. A brief book such as this relies on massive over-simplification and there are many rare eye diseases not discussed here at all. G Writing for such a wide audience means starting ‘from the basics’; we acknowledge that many readers will already be highly knowledgeable about some of the areas covered (more advanced texts are suggested in the Further Reading). G This book is not intended to be a substitute for thorough clinical training. The best way to learn ophthalmic diagnosis and management is by sitting in clinics with an experienced ophthalmologist. G In this book, ‘ophthalmic referral’ or ‘ophthalmic assessment’ means referral to an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) or ophthalmic emergency department. G Often, ‘real life’ cases aren’t as clear-cut as on the printed page; if in doubt, refer.
  • 10. CHAPTER 6TURNED EYE/DOUBLEVISIONCHAPTER CONTENTS TURNED EYE IN CHILDREN 130 OVERVIEW 130 Critical points: turned eye in children 130 Squint terminology 131 Ophthalmic management 131 Diagnostic flowchart 6.1: turned eye in children 132 Approach to a child with a turned eye 133 IDIOPATHIC CHILDHOOD DEVIATIONS 136 Idiopathic esotropia 136 Idiopathic intermittent exotropia 137 Idiopathic vertical deviations 137 OTHER CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD STRABISMUS 137 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTS 138 OVERVIEW 138 Critical points: double vision in adults 138 Diagnostic flowchart 6.2: double vision in adults 139 Ophthalmic management 140 Approach to an adult with double vision 140 BRAIN DISEASES 142 NERVE DISEASES 142 Third nerve palsy 142 Fourth nerve palsy 145 Sixth nerve palsy 146 128
  • 11. CHAPTER CONTENTS 129CHAPTER CONTENTS—cont’d EYE MUSCLE DISEASES 147 Myasthenia gravis 147 Thyroid eye disease 147 ORBIT DISEASES 149 BLIND EYE 149
  • 12. 130 TURNED EYE IN CHILDREN TURNED EYE IN CHILDRENOVERVIEW A 6-month old child brought to you with an inward-turned eye most likely has idiopathic infantile (‘congenital’) esotropia. There is a small chance, however, that the child actually has a brain tumour that has caused a sixth nerve palsy, or that the eye has turned because it is blind from a malignant intraocular retinoblastoma. Hence every child with a ‘turned eye’ (strabismus or ‘squint’) requires prompt ophthalmic referral. The second important reason for early referral of childhood squints is that if an eye is turned for even a few weeks early in life, or a few months in later childhood, the visual area of the developing brain develops fewer connections with the ‘turned’ eye than with the ‘straight’ eye. This results in amblyopia (often called ‘lazy eye’). In amblyopia, the eyeball itself is normal; it is the connections in the visual cortex that are poorly formed. Amblyopia can cause permanent blindness of the turned eye if it is not detected and treated early. Unlike adults with new-onset squint, children with early-onset squints who are old enough to talk do not complain of double vision: this is because the young brain learns to ‘ignore’ the turned eye.‘Turned eye’ in children Critical points G A child of any age with strabismus (‘turned eye’) has a sight- or life-threatening condition until proven otherwise and needs prompt referral. Childhood tumours of the brain and eye often present with a turned eye. G Never ‘observe’ a child with strabismus – it is very rare for a child to ‘grow out of it’. Delay in ophthalmic referral can result in permanent visual loss from amblyopia (‘lazy eye’).
  • 13. OVERVIEW 131SQUINT TERMINOLOGY There are many terms related to squint. A few of the basic ones are: G Terms for normal eye movements: Q adduction: eye looking in towards the nose Q abduction: eye looking out towards the ear Q elevation: eye looking up Q depression: eye looking down. G Horizontal squints: Q eye turned in: esotropia Q eye turned out: exotropia Q both of these can be constant or intermittent; they can always affect one eye or alternate between the two eyes. G Vertical squints: Q one eye higher: hypertropia Q one eye lower: hypotropia.OPHTHALMIC MANAGEMENT The basic management of childhood squint by ophthalmologists is step-wise: 1. Exclude a serious underlying cause. 2. Correct refractive error, if present, with glasses. 3. If one eye is persistently turned and has poor vision from amblyopia, patch the ‘straight’ eye to force the turned eye to form normal connections with the brain’s visual cortex and reverse amblyopia. Patching might be needed part-time for months or years, and requires close ophthalmic supervision. 4. Once maximum visual improvement in the amblyopic eye has been attained, perform squint surgery to align the eyes. Patching might need to continue after surgery.
  • 14. 132 TURNED EYE IN CHILDRENDIAGNOSTIC FLOWCHART 6.1: TURNED EYE IN CHILDREN Eye deviation with the patient looking straight ahead? Eye turned in Eye turned out Vertical Oblique (esotropia) (exotropia) (eye turned up (both horizontal or down) and vertical) Idiopathic Idiopathic Partial third Idiopathic intermittent vertical nerve palsy infantile esotropia extropia deviations or Multiple nerve accommodative Partial third Fourth nerve palsies esotropia nerve palsy palsy Combined Sixth nerve palsy Partial third idiopathic (partial or complete) nerve palsy deviations Plus all of these deviations can also be caused by: • blindness of one or both eyes • extraocular muscle disease • orbital disease, including tumours • brain disease Examination clues to the cause: • restriction of eye movements in any direction (both eyes dont move fully in all directions): brain, nerve, muscle or orbit disease is possible. Restriction of movement can be very subtle and difficult to detect (e.g. in fourth nerve palsy or partial third or sixth nerve palsies) • enlarged pupil that reacts poorly to light: suspect third nerve palsy • ptosis (drooping upper lid): suspect third nerve palsy or muscle disease • proptosis (eyeball pushed forwards): orbital inflammation or tumour • red eye: orbital inflammation or tumour • head tilted towards one shoulder: suspect fourth nerve palsy • other neurologic signs: brain or nerve disease
  • 15. OVERVIEW 133APPROACH TO A CHILD WITH A ‘TURNED EYE’ ASK ASK G How and when was the problem noticed? G Which eye turns? G Is the turn constant or intermittent? G Do the parents think the child can see? (as appropriate for age) – most children can: Q keep eye contact with their parent at age 6 weeks Q show interest in bright objects at 2–3 months Q fix and follow objects with their eyes at 3–4 months. LOOK FOR LOOK FOR 1. Can the child see, and can they see equally out of both eyes? 2. If there is an eye ‘turn’ (squint, strabismus), what direction is the deviation? 3. Does each eye move fully in all directions? 4. Is there anything wrong with the eyes apart from the squint (e.g. cataract, retinal tumour, optic nerve disease)? 5. Is there anything wrong with the child apart from the squint (e.g. developmental delay, neurological or metabolic disease)? CAN THE CHILD SEE WITH BOTH EYES OPEN? G Observe the child while you’re talking to the parents. G 3–4 months or older: Q can the child fix and follow a toy? Q will the child pick up small sweets or toys? G Older children: Q can the child identify small pictures or read the visual acuity chart? DO THE TWO EYES SEE EQUALLY WELL? G Try to repeat the above tests with one eye covered at a time (this is often difficult). G Does the child object equally to covering each eye? (he or she won’t mind having a blind eye covered as much as a ‘good’ eye). EYE ALIGNMENT LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD G Observation. Q with the child looking at you or a torch, does one eye seem to be turned? In which direction?
  • 16. LOOK FOR 134 TURNED EYE IN CHILDREN Fig. 6.1 The cover test. G Cover test (this can be difficult in young children) (Fig. 6.1): Q with the child looking straight ahead at an interesting target, cover the right eye (you can use your hand, a piece of cardboard, etc.) – look at the left eye the whole time Q if the left eye moves when you cover the right eye, the left eye is the turned eye Q if it moves out, it was turned in (esotropia) Q if it moves in, it was turned out (exotropia) Q if it moves down, it was turned up (hypertropia) and so on Q uncover the right eye Q now cover the left eye – look at the right eye the whole time Q if the right eye moves when you cover the left eye, the right eye is the turned eye. EYE MOVEMENTS (3–4 MONTHS OR OLDER) G With both eyes open, have the child track a slow-moving toy from side to side and up and down. G Try to repeat this one eye at a time, with the other eye covered with the parent’s hand or a patch. G Does each eye move fully in all directions? RED REFLEX G If the red reflex is absent on one or both sides, cataract, retinoblastoma tumour or other serious disease could be present and requires urgent referral.
  • 17. OVERVIEW 135 RELATIVE AFFERENT PUPILLARY DEFECT (RAPD)G See p. 25 for details of how to test for this. The presence of a relative afferent pupillary defect is indicative of serious retinal or optic nerve disease. OPHTHALMOSCOPYG Try to see the optic discs: are they normal? Is there swelling?G This is often difficult in young children.G In general, don’t use dilating eye drops for children; special concentrations of drops will be used by the ophthalmologist if necessary.
  • 18. 136 TURNED EYE IN CHILDREN IDIOPATHIC CHILDHOOD DEVIATIONS G These are a collection of common childhood strabismus syndromes of unknown cause, which usually occur in otherwise healthy children. G A child presenting with any of these syndromes requires semi- urgent ophthalmic referral. G They are diagnoses of exclusion, after underlying eye, nerve and brain disease have been looked for and ruled out (this can usually be done clinically by an experienced ophthalmologist, but sometimes other tests are necessary).IDIOPATHIC ESOTROPIA (ONE EYE IS TURNED IN) G Idiopathic infantile esotropia (‘congenital’ esotropia) (Fig. 6.2): Q first noticed by parents before 6 months of age Q usually there is no significant refractive error Q correction with surgery. G Accommodative esotropia: Q onset usually 2–4 years of age Q hypermetropic (‘long-sighted’) refractive error Q prescription of glasses may partly or completely correct the squint. G Diseases that can mimic idiopathic esotropia: Q partial or complete unilateral or bilateral sixth nerve palsy Q blind eye Q brain disease.Fig. 6.2 Idiopathic infantile esotropia.
  • 19. IDIOPATHIC CHILDHOOD DEVIATIONS 137Fig. 6.3 Idiopathic childhood exotropia.IDIOPATHIC INTERMITTENT EXOTROPIA (ONE EYE ISTURNED OUT) (Fig. 6.3) G Onset as an intermittent deviation after 2 years of age. G Correction with surgery if it becomes frequent or constant. G Diseases that can mimic intermittent exotropia: Q partial third nerve palsy (limited adduction of one eye) Q blind eye Q brain disease.IDIOPATHIC VERTICAL DEVIATIONS G These include dissociated vertical deviation and Brown’s syndrome (please see one of the texts in ‘Further reading’ for details). G Diseases that can mimic idiopathic vertical deviations: Q partial third nerve palsy, fourth nerve palsy Q blind eye Q brain disease. OTHER CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD STRABISMUS G Blind eyes in children tend to turn (often resulting in an esotropia or exotropia). G Any of the causes of adult strabismus can also occur in children, for example: Q brain tumours can present with any type of squint Q orbital tumours can present with a squint Q infectious or inflammatory disease can result in third, fourth or sixth nerve palsies. G Children can be born with a congenital palsy of the fourth nerve – this often presents as a head tilt (the child does this to compensate for the visual tilt produced by the palsy).
  • 20. 138 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTS DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTSOVERVIEW Adults with a turned eye will present to you complaining of double vision (diplopia – seeing two images of everything). The only exceptions to this occur if there is poor vision in one eye, if the squint has been present since childhood or in complete third nerve palsy in which a complete ptosis occludes the eye. Most adults with double vision have significant eye muscle, nerve or brain pathology. Examples include thyroid eye disease, myasthenia gravis, palsies of the ocular motor nerves and complex eye movement problems from brainstem disease. Third, fourth or sixth cranial nerve palsies are often ‘ischaemic’ in the elderly (due to diabetes, hypertension or temporal arteritis), but cannot be assumed to be so without a careful work-up. In particular, partial or complete third nerve palsy in an adult is often due to an expanding cerebral arterial aneurysm, which could rupture and kill the patient unless diagnosed and operated on immediately. Every adult with new-onset double vision requires urgent ophthalmic referral. Adults (and children over the age of 9) do not develop amblyopia (‘lazy eye’) if one eye is constantly turned. However, constant double vision can be very annoying, makes driving illegal and often interferes with the patient’s life.Double vision in adults Critical points G New-onset double vision in a patient of any age is a life- threatening cerebral aneurysm until proven otherwise – all require urgent (same-day) ophthalmic referral. G Never prescribe spectacle prism for double vision of unknown cause unless the patient has been assessed by an ophthalmologist. Brain tumours are a common cause of gradual- onset diplopia. G If a patient over 50 has transient or persisting double vision, ask about symptoms of temporal arteritis (see p. 216).
  • 21. OVERVIEW 139DIAGNOSTIC FLOWCHART 6.2: DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTS Eye deviation with the patient looking straight ahead? Eye turned in Eye turned out Vertical Oblique (esotropia) (exotropia) (eye turned up (both horizontal or down) and vertical)Sixth nerve palsy Partial third Fourth nerve Partial or complete(partial or complete) nerve palsy palsy third nerve palsy Partial third Multiple nerve nerve palsy palsies Plus all of these deviations can also be caused by: • myasthenia gravis • thyroid eye disease • orbital disease, including tumours • brain disease Examination clues to the cause: • restriction of eye movements in any direction (both eyes dont move fully in all directions): brain, nerve, muscle or orbit disease is possible. Restriction of movement can be very subtle and difficult to detect (e.g. in fourth nerve palsy or partial third or sixth nerve palsies) • enlarged pupil that reacts poorly to light: suspect third nerve palsy • ptosis (drooping upper lid): suspect third nerve palsy or myasthenia gravis • lid retraction (upper lid too high): thyroid eye disease • proptosis (eyeball pushed forwards): thyroid eye disease, orbital inflammation or tumour • red eye: active thyroid eye disease, orbital inflammation • head tilted towards one shoulder: suspect fourth nerve palsy • weakness of facial or body muscles: myasthenia gravis • other neurologic signs: brain or nerve disease
  • 22. 140 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTS OPHTHALMIC MANAGEMENT The basic management of adult squint by ophthalmologists is step-wise: 1. Exclude a serious underlying cause. 2. Treat the underlying cause if possible. 3. If no treatable cause is found (e.g. in ‘ischaemic’ sixth nerve palsy), relieve the double vision while awaiting recovery – by patching or prism spectacle lens. If no recovery in 6–12 months, eye muscle squint surgery may be considered. APPROACH TO AN ADULT WITH DOUBLE VISION ASKASK PRESENTING COMPLAINT G When was the double vision first noticed? G Was the onset sudden or gradual? (sudden onset is often ischaemic; gradual onset might be a tumour, although there are exceptions to this). G Is it constant or does it vary depending on time of day? (if worse at night or when tired: could be myasthenia). SPECIFIC QUESTIONING G Is there pain in or around the eye? G Are there any neurological symptoms, e.g. headache, vertigo, limb weakness or numbness? G Are there any symptoms of systemic myasthenia gravis? (e.g. drooping eyelids late in the day, limb muscle weakness, problems swallowing or breathing). G If the patient is over 50, check for symptoms of temporal arteritis. (see p. 216). PREVIOUS MEDICAL HISTORY G Risk factors for ‘ischaemic’ nerve palsy, e.g. diabetes, hypertension, smoker? (however, this does not mean that a nerve palsy found in such a patient is ischaemic). LOOK FORLOOK FOR 1. Does the patient have normal vision in each eye? 2. Which eye is turned, and what direction is the turn with the patient looking straight ahead? 3. Do both eyes move fully in all directions? 4. Is there anything wrong with the eyes apart from the squint?
  • 23. OVERVIEW 1415. Is there anything wrong with the patient apart from the squint? Ask LOOK FOR whether the patient has any other neurological symptoms; if so, do a full neurological examination. VISUAL ACUITY VISUAL FIELDSG Pituitary tumours can present with a squint (and a bitemporal hemianopia on visual field testing). ORBITAL SIGNSG Proptosis (eyeball pushed forwards) – in thyroid eye disease and orbital tumours.G Conjunctival redness and swelling – in acute thyroid eye disease or other inflammatory disease. EYELIDSG Ptosis (drooping upper eyelid) can be a sign of: Q partial or complete third nerve palsy Q myasthenia gravis Q Horner’s syndrome (mild ptosis only) Q orbit disease (e.g. tumour – usually also with proptosis)G Eyelid retraction (upper lid too high; +/– lower lid too low): Q common in thyroid eye disease (giving the eye(s) a ‘staring’ appearance). PUPIL SIZE AND REACTION TO LIGHT AND DARKG A large pupil that constricts poorly to light can be a sign of third nerve palsy.G A small pupil that dilates poorly in the dark can be a sign of Horner’s syndrome. RELATIVE AFFERENT PUPILLARY DEFECT (RAPD)G If present, retinal or optic nerve disease is present. EYE ALIGNMENT AND MOVEMENTG Assess as described for ‘childhood squints’ (see p. 133). OPHTHALMOSCOPYG Are the optic discs normal? Is there bilateral optic disc swelling? (could be a brain tumour). SYSTEMIC AND NEUROLOGIC EXAMINATIONG As needed.
  • 24. 142 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTSBRAIN DISEASES Brain tumours, multiple sclerosis (MS) and stroke are all common causes of double vision in adults. Diseases affecting the brainstem can cause several types of strabismus: for example: G Internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO): Q right internuclear ophthalmoplegia: when the patient tries to look left the right eye can’t move all the way in to the nose (adduction deficit); the left eye moves out towards the left ear normally but oscillates horizontally (abducting nystagmus) Q vice versa for left internuclear ophthalmoplegia. G Gaze palsies: Q these are limitations of voluntary eye movement to one side, e.g. neither eye may be able to look to the right.NERVE DISEASES The third, fourth and sixth cranial nerves between them supply all six extraocular muscles of each eye: G Third nerve: superior rectus, inferior rectus, medial rectus and inferior oblique; plus the levator muscle (which elevates the upper lid) and the pupil constrictor muscle (which makes the pupil constrict to light). G Fourth nerve: superior oblique. G Sixth nerve: lateral rectus.THIRD NERVE PALSY CAUSES G Compression of the third nerve by aneurysm or tumour. Q can occur in adults of any age Q an expanding posterior communicating artery aneurysm is a common cause of partial or complete third nerve palsy – this can kill the patient within hours of onset of the double vision if it is not detected and treated before it ruptures (Fig. 6.4). G Ischaemia of the nerve: overall the most common cause of third nerve palsy in adults. Q atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension Q temporal arteritis (this is a less common but more serious cause – think of this in patients over age 50).
  • 25. NERVE DISEASES 143Fig. 6.4 Right partial third nerve palsydue to compression of the third nerveby a right posterior communicatingartery aneurysm (right picture, arrow).The only abnormality on examinationwas decreased elevation of the righteye on looking up; other movementsand the pupil were normal. G Inflammation of the nerve: e.g. viral infections or post-viral autoimmune reaction. G Raised intracranial pressure. G Trauma. SYMPTOMS G Horizontal, vertical or oblique diplopia. G In some patients, ‘drooping’ upper eyelid (ptosis) – if complete and occluding the eye, the patient will not complain of diplopia. SIGNS G A third nerve palsy can be partial (some function remains in one or more of the muscles supplied by the nerve) or complete (all function has been lost). G A complete third nerve palsy is easy to diagnose. G Partial third nerve palsies can mimic other types of strabismus and be difficult to diagnose. G Partial third nerve palsy can show one or more of: Q exotropia – with decreased adduction Q vertical deviation (hypertropia or hypotropia) – decreased elevation or depression
  • 26. 144 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTS Q oblique deviation – a combination of exotropia and vertical deviation Q the upper lid may be normal or show ptosis (drooping upper lid) Q the pupil may be normal, slightly dilated, or very dilated (if dilated, it also reacts poorly to light). G Complete third nerve palsy (Fig. 6.5) signs: Q complete ptosis (eyelid completely closed) Q eye deviated outwards (exotropia) and usually also slightly downwards (hypotropia) Q the eye can’t move ‘up, down or in’ at all Q the pupil may be normal, or dilated and unreactive to light G Note: ‘pupil-sparing’ third nerve palsies: Q it used to be said that if an eye with a third nerve palsy had a normal pupil (rather than a dilated pupil, i.e. that if the nerve palsy was ‘pupil sparing’) the patient did not require neuroimaging because the cause was ischaemic and not compressive Q however, aneurysms and tumours can cause ‘pupil-sparing’ third nerve palsies and partial progressive palsies, when the pupil is initially ‘spared’ but later involved Q for this reason all patients with third nerve palsy should be urgently assessed by an ophthalmologist, regardless of the state of the pupil.Fig. 6.5 Left complete left third nerve palsy: complete ptosis and inability toadduct, elevate or depress the left eye. In this case the left pupil was dilatedand unreactive to light.
  • 27. NERVE DISEASES 145 MANAGEMENT G Urgent ophthalmic referral for careful examination +/– further investigation (including urgent neuroimaging to detect aneurysm or tumour if required).FOURTH NERVE PALSY SYMPTOMS G Vertical, oblique or ‘tilted’ double vision. SIGNS G Fourth nerve palsy can be very difficult to detect clinically; most non-ophthalmologists say that it looks to them that the eyes ‘move normally’. Often, the diagnosis cannot be made without careful examination (including cover test and prism measurements) by a practitioner experienced in eye-movement disorders. G The patient will often have a head tilt to the side opposite the palsy. CAUSES G Idiopathic congenital. G Trauma (often mild closed head injury without loss of consciousness). G Compression – by a brain tumour. G Ischaemia – atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes or temporal arteritis. G Inflammation or infection. MANAGEMENT G Urgent ophthalmic referral for further examination and investigation.
  • 28. 146 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTSFig. 6.6 Left sixth nerve palsy. Top left: a left esotropia looking straight ahead.Bottom pictures show that all eye movements are normal except that the lefteye cannot abduct when patient tries to look left. This nerve palsy was theonly clinical sign of a left sphenoidal meningioma (top right MRI scan, arrows).SIXTH NERVE PALSY SYMPTOMS G Horizontal diplopia. SIGNS G Esotropia with limitation of abduction of the eye. CAUSES G Ischaemia (diabetes, hypertension, temporal arteritis). G Compression by a brain tumour (Fig. 6.6). G Inflammation. G Trauma. G Raised intracranial pressure of any cause can cause a unilateral or bilateral sixth nerve palsy. MANAGEMENT G All require urgent ophthalmic referral for further examination +/– investigation.
  • 29. EYE MUSCLE DISEASES 147EYE MUSCLE DISEASES G There are many diseases of the extraocular muscles, the commonest of which is thyroid eye disease. G Myasthenia gravis is not strictly a disease of the muscles themselves (it is a disease of the neuromuscular junction), but is included here because it causes muscle dysfunction. G Both myasthenia and thyroid eye disease can mimic any pattern of strabismus. G Looking at the eyelids can help: Q if the upper lid is retracted (too high), thyroid eye disease is likely Q if the upper lid is drooping (ptosis – too low), myasthenia is a possibility.MYASTHENIA GRAVIS G Auto-antibodies attack the neuro-muscular junction. G Drooping upper eyelid/s (ptosis) and/or double vision (diplopia) can occur. G Often variable, changing from day to day and during each day (worse at night or when tired). G The ptosis might increase if you ask the patient to look up at the ceiling for 2 minutes. G Non-ophthalmic symptoms can include: Q arm or leg weakness and easy fatigue Q problems swallowing or breathing (symptoms of severe disease – can be fatal). G Urgent ophthalmic referral. G Managed in conjunction with a neurologist.THYROID EYE DISEASE G Thyroid eye disease (Fig. 6.7) is a common complication of Graves’ disease (idiopathic hyperthyroidism). G The eye disease seems to run a course independent to the thyroid disease, and occur before, during or after the period of hyperthyroidism. G The clinical signs are due to enlargement and inflammation of the extraocular muscles and inflammation of the other orbital tissues.
  • 30. 148 DOUBLE VISION IN ADULTSFig. 6.7 Thyroid eye disease. SYMPTOMS G (Often) double vision. G Visible change in eye appearance (the eyes seem more prominent due to lid retraction and proptosis). G Discomfort/gritty eyes. G (Rarely) blurred vision – this requires urgent assessment because it could be due to: Q compressive optic neuropathy (the enlarged muscles compress the optic nerve at the orbital apex – severe proptosis does not have to be present for this to occur) Q corneal exposure, if proptosis is severe. SIGNS One or more of: G Any pattern of strabismus, with restriction of ocular movement in any direction (most commonly esotropia or hypotropia). G Conjunctival swelling and redness. G Eyelid swelling. G Upper and lower eyelid retraction (gives a ‘staring’ appearance). G Proptosis (‘bulging’ eye(s) – eyeballs pushed forwards). G Signs of complications: Q exposure corneal ulcer if severe proptosis Q decreased visual acuity, decreased colour vision and relative afferent papillary defect if compressive optic neuropathy.
  • 31. EYE MUSCLE DISEASES 149 MANAGEMENT G All patients with symptomatic thyroid eye disease need ophthalmic follow-up. G Any patient with Graves’ disease complaining of blurred (rather than just double) vision requires urgent ophthalmic referral to exclude compressive optic neuropathy.ORBIT DISEASES G Orbit tumours or inflammation of any cause can cause double vision. G Proptosis (eyeball pushed forwards) is usually present but can be subtle or even absent. CAUSES G Infection, e.g. orbital cellulitis (see p. 189). G Non-infectious orbital inflammation. G Tumours: Q benign or malignant, any age Q can mimic inflammation or infection.BLIND EYE G Blind eyes can turn in adults, as well as in children. G Although blind eyes in children can turn in or out, in adults they tend to turn out (‘sensory exotropia’). The patient does not usually notice double vision because of the poor vision in the turned eye.

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