History including specific eye involvement, sudden vs. chronic loss, pain, redness and discharge, trauma, other symptoms, and medication use are vital.
Physicians should be comfortable completing an appropriate history and physical examination including general inspection, visual acuity, pupils, EOMs, visual fields, fluorescein, lids, IOP, slit lamp, and US.
Emergent consultation is required for acute angle closure glaucoma, retinal detachment, CRAO, open globe, endophthalmitis, chemical burn, infectious keratitis, and giant cell arteritis.
Urgent referral is needed for uveitis, vitreous hemorrhage, acute maculopathy, CRVO, and optic neuritis.
Keep in mind other etiologies of vision loss including ischemia, stroke, toxin, infection, and functional.