If a patient presents with a recent onset red eye and is complaining of intense pain, sometimes the diagnosis can be made from the history and signs/symptoms. However, in certain cases, it might be helpful to infer the diagnosis simply from instilling certain drops. If Proparacaine, an anesthetic, provides relief for the patient, it’s likely a corneal abrasion. On the other hand, if the patient is relieved from instillation of Tropicamide, which immobilizes the iris sphincter and ciliary muscle, then it is likely a subclinical uveitis.
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