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Differential Diagnosis of Pediatric Conjunctivitis (Red Eye).

RUPPERT, SUSAN D. RN, CCRN, FNP, PhD
Nurse Practitioner:
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Abstract

Because eye injuries and diseases may potentially result in serious vision impairments, accurate diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmic conditions are imperative. A symptom common to eye impairments is conjunctivitis, or red eye, a commonly seen manifestation in an ambulatory pediatric population. Because conjunctivitis is caused by various etiologies, clinicians must derive a differential diagnosis. This article examines possible causes of conjunctivitis after the neonatal period in this population. Differential diagnosis is dependent on a complete history, distinct physical findings, and use of adjunct diagnostic tests. Treatment, which depends on a sound differential diagnosis, should be targeted according to the cause of the problem.

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