Clinical Tip: Corneal exams: Kill two birds with one stain

November 1, 2005

When staining the cornea with fluorescein to look for abrasions or a foreign body, I anesthetize it at the same time. Here's how: I fold the fluorescein strip longitudinally and pour tetracaine ophthalmic solution into the resulting groove. The tetracaine mixes with the stain and carries it along as I drip the medication into the conjunctival sac or over the medial canthus and into the eye. In this way, I avoid two separate procedures.

When staining the cornea with fluorescein to look for abrasions or a foreign body, I anesthetize it at the same time. Here's how: I fold the fluorescein strip longitudinally and pour tetracaine ophthalmic solution into the resulting groove. The tetracaine mixes with the stain and carries it along as I drip the medication into the conjunctival sac or over the medial canthus and into the eye. In this way, I avoid two separate procedures.

Amar Dave, MDOttawa, Ill.