A refreshing, systematic approach to eye pain, arguably one of the most commonly presenting symptoms and one that can be fraught with diagnostic challenges and management dilemmas for the busy clinician. There is a scarcity of books covering this particular topic.

The book draws from the experience of the author and contributor (an ophthalmologist and a neurologist) who bring their own differing perspectives to each of the 43 case reports presented. These case reports are subdivided into four groups:

  • ophthalmic disorders causing eye pain with normal ocular examination
  • ophthalmic disorders causing eye pain with abnormal ocular examination
  • neurological disorders causing eye pain with relatively normal examination
  • neurological disorders causing eye pain with abnormal ocular or neurological examination

An introductory table of signs and symptoms helps with differential diagnosis and the appendices include guidance notes on taking a relevant history, a proposed examination routine, and theoretical background about the pathophysiology of eye pain.

Each case report is delivered in a standard format with history of the presenting illness, tabular layout of the examination findings, followed by discussions from an ophthalmic and neurological perspective. The brief follow-up paragraph and clear figures showing relevant anatomy, external imaging and diagnostic scans are very informative.

As the cases are discussed, the reader is lead through the risk factors and potential complications associated with the most likely diagnoses and there are recommendations for ancillary tests and investigations to aid the decision-making process. The follow-up section for each case describes and illustrates the subsequent results of supplementary tests with the management and outcome for the final diagnosis.

This publication provides a useful source of material in a compact volume and is written in a very easily readable format. An excellent addition to the departmental library and highly recommended reading for ophthalmologists, neurologists, optometrists, ophthalmic-trained nurses and orthoptists in primary and secondary care including emergency assessment units. Based on its broad appeal, presentation style and value-for-money, this book certainly deserves to be rated as 5 out of 5.

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Shirley Hancock

Special interest in anterior and posterior ophthalmic imaging. Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

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