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Using Eye Anatomy to Recall Key Diagnoses: The Rule of 2’s


eye anatomyOur latest ALiEM Card introduces the “Rule of 2’s,” a simple method that uses eye anatomy to help you recall some of the major ocular diagnoses! It builds a framework for your physical exam and will help you include or eliminate some of the more common ocular conditions.

The Rule of 2’s is easy to remember: 2 eyes, 2 major diagnoses to consider for each ocular layer, as you move anterior to posterior.

ALiEM Cards: Eye Anatomy and Key Diagnoses

See for yourself at Eye Anatomy and Key Diagnoses – Rule of 2’s

Puja Gopal, MD

Puja Gopal, MD

PGY3 Resident
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago
Puja Gopal, MD

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Jeremy Voros, MD

Jeremy Voros, MD

ALiEM Cards Lead Developer
2015-16 ALiEM-AgileMD Design Fellow
Attending Physician
St. Mark's Hospital
Salt Lake City, UT
  • Christian Rose

    Just wondering: should Glaucoma be on the list?

    • Puja Gopal

      Hi Christian,

      Thanks for the great question! The eye diagnoses mentioned above
      are certainly not all-inclusive and are meant rather to provide a starting
      point and general framework for approaching eye complaints. There were several
      categories we ended up omitting for this very reason as we quickly realized it
      was impossible to cover all the major diagnoses and maintain the clarity and integrity
      of the card.

      That being said, acute angle glaucoma is most certainly an
      important differential diagnosis to keep in mind. One of the ways I like to
      remember it is in terms of increased pressure: with increased intraocular
      pressure I remember glaucoma and with increased intracranial pressure I
      remember papilledema.

      Hope that helps!