Mnemonics in Ophthalmology

Compiled by Dr. Parthopratim Dutta Majumder
Published Online: April 1st, 2021 | Read Time: 6 minutes, 42 seconds

In this section, we tried to gather all the mnemonics of ophthalmology, which we think will be of great benefit for our readers especially the students of Ophthalmology. However, the database is now in its infancy. So, if you have any mnemonics on ophthalmology, told by your teacher, friends, please send it to me at

Remember Keratoconus with the help of 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)

Remember Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome with ICE

Iris Naevus
Chandler Syndrome
Essential Iris Atrophy

Remember Behcet's Disease with the help of ORAL UPSET

Occlusive periphlebitis
Anterior uveitis
Leakage from retinal vessels
Ulceration (aphthous/genital)
Pustules after skin trauma (Pathergy test)
Scratching leaves lines (dermatographism)
Erythema nodosum

Remember posterior scleritis with POST SCLER

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

Remember causes of Choroidal neovascular membrane with HAMMAR

Multifocal Choroiditis
Rupture of the choroid

Remember the causes of trabecular pigmentation with PIGMENT

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

Remember sterilization in ophthalmology with ABCDEFG

CHEMICALS like Alcohol (Rectified spirit), Isopropyl alcohol/CIDEX: 2% Glutaraldehyde
DRY HEAT temperature of 150°C is used for 90 minutes
ETHYLENE OXIDE for sterilization of IOL etc.
FUMIGATION of operation theatre/ FORMALIN vapour
GAMMA-IRRADIATION: Gamma rays from Cobalt-60

Remember the refractive indices of ocular media with 8303 (from anterior to posterior)

cornea 1.38
aq humour 1.33
lens 1.40
vit humour 1.33

Remember the types of colour blindness with TuB PaR DoG




Remember the causes of lid retraction with 4 MP

4M=Myasthenia Gravis,Marcus Gunn jaw winkling syndrome,Myotonic causes like dystrophica myotonica.Metabolic cuses like uraemia,cirrhosis

4P=Perinauds syndrome,Parkinson's Disease/Progressive supranuclear palsy,Ptosis of other eye,Palsy (aberrant III crnaial nerve regeneration)

Remember content & veins draining the Cavernous Sinus with Rule of 3

3 Afferent veins:Sphenoparietal sinus (Vault veins), Supf Middle cerebral Vein (Brain), Ophthalmic vein (Orbit)
3 Efferent Veins:Superior petrosal sinus, Inferior Petrosal Sinus, Communicating vein to pterygoid plexus
3 Contents;Cranial Nerves (III,IV, V1,V2 & VI)
3 Areas Drain into it:Vault Bones, Brain (Cerebral Hemisphere), Orbit
3 Nerves:Motor(III,IV,VI),Sensory (V1,V2), Sympathetic

Remember the causes of pseudotumor cerebri with " Idiopathic IDEA"


Infections-Otitis media,mastoiditis,viral infections, etc

Drugs-Steroid withdrawal, Vitamin A intoxication, Nalidixic acid,amiodarone,cyclosporin,minocycline

Endocrine-obese, amennorrheic woman of childbearing age, Hypoparathyroidism


Remember the causes of downbeat nystagmus with DoWNBEAT

Degeneration,Demyelination or Drugs (Lithium)

Wernicke's Encephalopathy

Neoplasm or paraneoplastic cerebeller degeneration

Brainstem disease (Syringomyelia)


Arnold-Chiari malformation

Trauma or Toxin

Remember angle structures with "I Can See Till Schwalbe's Line"

Iris root

Cilliary Body

Scleral spur

Trabecular Meshwork

Schwalbe's Line

Remember the ocular structures derived from neuroectoderm with MORE

Muscles of pupil
Optic Nerve
Retina (with RPE)
Epithelium of Iris
Epithelium of Cilliary Body

Remember the structures derived from surface ectoderm with S1L2E3

Skin of Eyelids and its derivatives viz. cilia, tarsal glands, conjunctival gland
Lacrimal Gland,
Epithelium of Conjunctiva,
Epithelium of Cornea,
Epithelium of lacrimal passage

Remember Stromal dystrophies with Marilyn Monroe Always Gets Her Man in LA City

Macular dystrophy
Alcian blue

Granular Dystrophy
Hyaline material
Masson's Trichrome

Lattice Dystrophy
Congo Red

Remember the drugs causing cataract with ABCD


Remember the causes of Uniocular diplopia as ABCD

Behavioral: psychogenic
Dislocated lens

Remember microtropia with 3 A


Angle small

Absent central field (Central suppression scotoma)

Remember characteristics of congenital nystagmus with CONGENITAL

Convergence & eye closure dampens

Oscillopsia absent

Null zone that is present,increases foveation time which results in increased acuity

Gaze poisition doesnot 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

Remember "DWARF" for describing Nystagmus

Direction=plane of movement-horizontal,vertical

Waveform= Pendular or Jerky

Amplitude= fine or coarse

Rest=At primary position or gaze evolked

Frequency= How often the eye moves

Remember the characteristics of Perinaud's Dorsal Midbrain Syndrome with "CLUES"

Convergence retraction nystagmus

Lightnear Dissociation

Upgaze paralysis

Eyelid retraction

Skew deviation

Remember ocular features of acromegaly with ACROM

Angiod streaks

Chiasmal syndrome


Optic atrophy,papilloedema

Muscle enlargement

Remember the systemic features of Marfan syndrome with MARFANS

Mitral prolapse

Aortic dissection

Regurgitant aortic valve

Fingers long (arachnodactyly)

Arm span>height

Nasal voice (high arched palate)

Sternal excavation

Remember the ocular features of Marfan’s syndrome with CLUMPS

Cupping (glaucoma)


Upward lens subluxation


Cornea Plana

Sclera blue

The article was published in 2007
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