By Goh Jiah Ying, Optometrist, International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, Singapore

Dr Joy Chan, Medical Director and Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist from International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, gave a lecture on the “Management of Red Eye” to a group of pharmacists from Guardian on 3 August 2017. The educational event was held at The Colonial@Scotts.

Red eye is a very common symptom associated with many eye conditions and stems from a wide variety of causes. Many patients who suffer from red eye often consult a pharmacist first on the usage of eye drops to treat it. Therefore, it is essential for pharmacists to be familiar with the different causes of red eye and their management.

Dr Chan kicked off the talk by discussing the common causes and highlighted important signs and symptoms associated with red eye where an urgent referral to an ophthalmologist is required, such as acute angle closure glaucoma and corneal ulcer. She gave a detailed description of each condition and emphasized the key management principles for each of them.

Dr Chan went on to discuss other more minor conditions such as dry eye, which is an extremely common amongst the elderly. Dry eye can be safely treated with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops which are readily available at many pharmacies. Hence, it is important for pharmacists to be aware of the different types of lubricating eye drops so that they are able to cater to different forms of dry eye. There are other treatment options available for dry eye such as topical hyaluronic acid, cyclosporine eye drops and minor procedures such as punctal plugs.

The session concluded with a hearty breakfast and a lively question and answer session where Dr Chan answered queries from the pharmacists.