I’m a damn good doctor – but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Our collection of eye mnemonics for optometrists and ophthalmologists will help you remember all sorts of ocular related disorders, etiologies, and findings to improve your patient care (or maybe just pass boards!) 

The eye mnemonics are organized from anterior to posterior for easy sorting and memorization.  Click on ODCareer.com Eye Mnemonics for some of our favorites.  Enjoy!

670px Ericson Type II Conjunctivitis I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

 

ORBIT   4126398350 8d0846acf5 b2 150x150 I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Bones of the orbit with “Many Friendly Zebras Enjoy Lazy Summer Picnics

  • Maxillary
  • Frontal
  • Zygomatic
  • Ethmoid
  • Lacrimal
  • Sphenoid
  • Palatine

 

Orbital Foramen Structures with “Luscious French Tarts Sat Naked In Anticipation of Sex

  • Lacrimal nerve
  • Frontal nerve
  • Trochlear nerve
  • Superior branch of oculomotor nerve
  • Nasociliary nerve
  • Inferior branch of oculomotor nerve
  • Abducent nerve
  • Ophthalmic veins
  • Sympathetic nerves

 

Superior Orbital Fissure Nerves withLive Frankly To See Absolutely No Insult

  • Lacrimal nerve
  • Frontal nerve
  • Trochlear nerve
  • Superior division of oculomotor nerve
  • Abducens nerve
  • Nasociliary nerve (branch of ophthalmic nerve)
  • Inferior division of oculomotor nerve

 

Ocular findings of Graves Disease with “NO SPECS

  • No signs or symptoms
  • Only signs (lid retraction/stare)
  • Soft Tissue Involvement (eyelid edema, conj injection)
  • Proptosis
  • EOM Involvement
  • Corneal Involvement
  • Sight Loss (usually due to optic nerve involvement)

 

CONTACT LENS   670px Contact lens 14 I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Toric contact lens axis rotation “LARS

  • Left: Add
  • Right: Subtract

 

RGP Tear Layer Adjustment with “SAM FAP

  • Steeper, add minus
  • Flatter, add plus

 

CORNEA  670px Contacteye I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Keratoconus systemic associations with “ABCDEF”

  • Atopy
  • Bones (osteogenesis imperfecta)
  • Crouzon’s syndrome
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Ehler’s Danlos syndrome
  • Fingers (Marfan’s)

 

Remember Keratoconus with “CONES

  • Central scarring & Fleischer ring
  • Oil drop reflex / Oedema (hydrops)
  • Nerves prominent
  • Excessive bulging of lower lid on downgaze (Munson’s sign)
  • Striae (Vogt’s)

Stromal Dystrophies with “Marilyn Monroe Always Gets Her Men in Los Angeles City

  • Macular dystrophy – Mucopolysaccharide – Alcian blue
  • Granular dystrophy – Hyaline materials – Masson trichrome
  • Lattice dystrophy – Amyloid – Congo Red

 

Congenital cornea clouding with “STUMPED

  • Sclerocornea
  • Tears in Descmet’s membrane (“Buphthalmos(horizontal haab’s stria) & Birth trauma”)
  • Uterine infections e.g rubellosis
  • Mucoployscharidosis
  • Peter’s anomaly
  • Endothelial dystrophy (CHED)
  • Dermoid

 

Whorl Keratopathy associations with “ABCDEF

  • Arthritis (diclofenac)
  • Breast Cancer (Tamoxifen)
  • Cardiac (amiodarone)
  • Dementia / Depression (Chlorpromazine)
  • Enzyme deficiency (see F)
  • Fabry’s Disease

 

IRIS  670px Human Iris JD052007 I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome with “ICE

  • Iris Nevus (Cogan-Reese)
  • Chandlers
  • Essential Iris Atrophy

 

GONIOSCOPY  670px Gonioind I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Angle Structures with “I Can’t See This S***” or “I Can Still See The Sun Light

  • Iris
  • Ciliary body
  • Scleral Spur
  • Trabecular (meshwork)
  • Schwalbe’s Line

 

 Trabecular pigmentation causes with “PIGMENT

  • Pseudoexfoliation & Pigment dispersion syndrome
  • Iritis
  • Glaucoma (Post angle closure glaucoma)
  • Melanosis of angle (oculodermal melanosis)
  • Endocrine (Diabetes & Addison’s syndrome)
  • Naevus (Cogan-reese syndrome)
  • Trauma

 

SCLERA  670px Ericson Type II Conjunctivitis I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Blue sclera with “HOPES

  • High myopia
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
  • Ehlers-danlos syndrome
  • Scleritis(healed)
  • Bupthalmos

Posterior scleritis ocular findings with “POST SCLER

  • Proptosis
  • Ophthalmoplegia
  • Swelling of disc
  • Thickening of sclera (US/CT) & T sign (fluid in sub-Tenon’s space)
  • Subretinal exudates
  • Choroidal foLds
  • Exudative RD
  • Ring choroidal detachment

 

LENS  670px Cataract surgery I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

General cataract causes with “ABCDE”

  • Aging
  • Bang: trauma, other injuries (eg infrared)
  • Congenital
  • Diabetes and other metabolic disturbances (eg steroids)
  • Eye diseases: glaucoma, uveitis

 

Cataracts caused by drugs with “ABC’s

  • Amiodarone
  • Busulphan
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Steroids

 

Ectopia lentis causes with “ECTOPIC M&M

  • Eye degeneration (phthisis)
  • Choroidal tumours
  • Trauma
  • Overstretched zonules
  • buphthalmos / megalocornea
  • AR with Pupil ectopy
  • Isolated AR
  • Cystathione beta-synthase deficiency (homocystinuria)
  • Marfans
  • Weill-Marchesani syndrome

Congenital cataract causes with TORCH

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Other infections (HIV/coxsackie/syphillis/varicella)
  • Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes Simplex Virus 2

 

RETINA   4882107126 478be269b0 b I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Small choroidal melanocytic lesions with growth potential with “To Find Small Ocular Melanomas Use Helpful Hints Daily

  • Thickness > 2mm
  • Fluid (subretinal)
  • Symptoms (flashes/decreased VA/metamorphopsia)
  • Orange Pigment (Lipofuscin)
  • Margins < 3 mm from disc
  • Ultrasonagraphic Hollowness
  • Halo Absence on IVFA
  • Drusen Absence

 

Angioid Streak causes with “PEPSI Ham

  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum
  • Ehlers-Danlos
  • Pagets Bone Disease
  • Sickle Cell
  • Idiopathic (50%)
  • Homocysteinuria
  • Acromegaly
  • Marfans

 

Cherry red spot with “Cherry Trees Never Grow Tall

  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Trauma (Berlin’s edema)

 

Retinal Detachment treatment with the “6′S”

  • Sealing of retinal breaks
  • SRF drainage (SRF =Subretinal fluid)
  • Scleral buckling
  • SF6 pneumatic retinopexy
  • Sectioning vitreous (vitrectomy)
  • laSer prophylaxis

 

Retinoblastoma classification with “ABCDE

  • SmAll (<3mm)
  • Bigger (>3mm, macular, subretinal fluid)
  • Contained Seeds
  • Diffuse seeds (>3mm)
  • Extensive (>50% globe, opaque media, NVI)

 

OPTIC NERVE  670px NERVIOPTIC OD I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

Secondary Glaucomas with “NIPPLES

  • Neovascular
  • Iridoschisis
  • Pseudoexfoliation
  • Pigmentary
  • Lens (phacolytic/phacomorphic)
  • Endothelial/Iridocorneal syndromes
  • Seclusio pupillae (in iritis)
  • +Trauma (angle recession)

 

Neovascular Glaucoma etiology with “R(3)UBEOTIC

  • Retinopathy
  • Retinal vein occlusion (PDR, CRVO)
  • Retinal detachment
  • Uveitis
  • BRVO
  • Eale’s Disease
  • Ocular Ischemic Syndrome
  • Trauma
  • Intraocular tumours (choroidal melanoma)
  • Carotid Cavernous Fistula

 

Optic atrophy causes with “ICING

  • Ischaemia
  • Compressed nerve
  • Intracranial pressure [raised]
  • Neuritis history
  • Glaucoma

 

Optic neuropathy causes with “NIGHT TIC

  • Neuritis
  • Ischemic
  • Granulomatous(infiltration)
  • Hereditary
  • Traumatic
  • Toxic
  • Irradiation
  • Compressive

 

Optic neuropathy signs with “PLAC

  • Pale disc
  • Loss of visual acuity/Loss of red colour vision
  • Afferent pupillary defect
  • Central scotoma

 

BRAIN   670px Primary central nervous system B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma1 150x150 I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

The anterior pituitary hormones to the tune of Gilligan Island…

  •  ”MSH, ACTH, GH, LH, P, FSH & TSH are in the pituitary

 

The 12 Cranial Nerves (the clean version) with “Oh, Oh, Oh, To Touch And Feel Vintage Green Velvet, Ahh Heaven

  1. Olfactory
  2. OpticNerve
  3. Oculomotor
  4. Trochlear
  5. Trigeminal
  6. Abducens
  7. Facial
  8. Vestibular
  9. Glossopharyngeal nerve
  10. Vagus nerve
  11. Accessory/Spinal
  12. Hypoglossal nerve

***This is the clean version for our site:  see Wikipedia for other “dirty” versions of the cranial nerves***

 

Sensory vs Motor vs Both for 12 Cranial Nerves with “Some say marry money but my brother says big brains matters more

  1. Sensory-Olfactory
  2. Sensory-OpticNerve
  3. Motor-Oculomotor
  4. Motor-Trochlear
  5. Both-Trigeminal
  6. Motor-Abducens
  7. Both-Facial
  8. Sensory-Vestibular
  9. Both-Glossopharyngeal nerve
  10. Brains-Vagus nerve
  11. Motor-Accessory/Spinal
  12. Motor-Hypoglossal nerve

Counting the D’s in Duane’s Retraction Syndrome subtypes

  • Type 1: abDuction affected
  • Type 2: aDDuction affected
  • Type 3: abDuction and aDDuction affected

 

NYSTAGMUS

Congenital nystagmus with “CONGENITAL

  • Convergence & eye closure dampens
  • Oscillopsia absent
  • Null zone that is present,increases foveation time which results in increased acuity
  • Gaze position does not change the horizontal direction of nystagmus
  • Equal amplitude and frequency in each eye
  • Near acuity is good
  • Inversion of optokinetic response
  • Turning of head to acheive null point
  • Abolishes in sleep
  • Latent (occlusion) nystagmus occurs

 

Downbeat nystagmus causes with “DoWNBEAT”

  • Degeneration, Demyelination or Drugs (Lithium)
  • Wernicke’s Encephalopathy
  • Neoplasm or paraneoplastic cerebeller degeneration
  • Brainstem disease (Syringomyelia)
  • Encephalitis
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation
  • Trauma or Toxin

 

ODCareer.com FAVORITES!

Various etiologies for your differential diagnosis with “VINDICATE

  • Vascular
  • Infectious, Idiopathic
  • Neoplastic
  • Degenerative, Demyelination, Deficiency
  • Inflammatory
  • Congenital, Compressive
  • Autoimmune
  • Traumatic, Toxic
  • Endocrine

Small Choroidal Melanocytic lesions with growth potentialwith “To Find Small Ocular Melanomas Use Helpful Hints Daily

  • Thickness > 2mm
  • Fluid (subretinal)
  • Symptoms (flashes/decreased VA/metamorphopsia)
  • Orange Pigment (Lipofuscin)
  • Margins < 3 mm from disc
  • Ultrasonagraphic Hollowness
  • Halo Absence on IVFA
  • Drusen Absence

 

Angioid Streak causes with “PEPSI Ham

  • Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum
  • Ehlers-Danlos
  • Pagets Bone Disease
  • Sickle Cell
  • Idiopathic (50%)
  • Homocysteinuria
  • Acromegaly
  • Marfans

 

Cherry red spot with “Cherry Trees Never Grow Tall

  • Central retinal artery occlusion
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Trauma (Berlin’s edema)

 

Stromal Dystrophies with “Marilyn Monroe Always Gets Her Men in Los Angeles City

  • Macular dystrophy – Mucopolysaccharide – Alcian blue
  • Granular dystrophy – Hyaline materials – Masson trichrome
  • Lattice dystrophy – Amyloid – Congo Red

 

Secondary Glaucomas with “NIPPLES

  • Neovascular
  • Iridoschisis
  • Pseudoexfoliation
  • Pigmentary
  • Lens (phacolytic/phacomorphic)
  • Endothelial/Iridocorneal syndromes
  • Seclusio pupillae (in iritis)
  • +Trauma (angle recession)

 

Neovascular Glaucoma etiology with “R(3)UBEOTIC

  • Retinopathy
  • Retinal vein occlusion (PDR, CRVO)
  • Retinal detachment
  • Uveitis
  • BRVO
  • Eale’s Disease
  • Ocular Ischemic Syndrome
  • Trauma
  • Intraocular tumours (choroidal melanoma)
  • Carotid Cavernous Fistula

 

Thanks to fellow optometrists: Joan Browne, Trey Sullins, Dora Biby Davis, Christie Savering Mortenson, Melissa Nemmers Billings, Amanda Korth, Sergina M. Flaherty, Pamela Breum, Steven Udesky, Iwona Miltko,  Whitney McConkey, Meridith Musgrove, Masha Sk, Peter Shaw, Melissa Nemmers Billings,  Sarah Bell, Chris Dowd and Bill Potter for their input.

What’s your favorite ophthalmic mnemonic?  If we do not have it listed here please comment below with your favorite eye mnemonics and we’ll be sure to include them in the future!

 I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!

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zimbalist I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!
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Dr. Richard Zimbalist

Optometrist at Department of Veterans Health Administration
Dr. Richard Zimbalist is on staff at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri where he also serves as the optometry externship coordinator for the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Illinois College of Optometry.
zimbalist I’m a damn good doctor   but these eye mnemonics will make me better!
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About Dr. Richard Zimbalist

Dr. Richard Zimbalist is on staff at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri where he also serves as the optometry externship coordinator for the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Illinois College of Optometry.
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