Purpose: To categorize the appearance of the normal upper palpebral conjunctiva using a grading scale and to investigate interobserver agreement with a grading scale modified to include decimal increments.
Methods: Upper palpebral conjunctival appearance of 96 non-contact lens wearing subjects aged 18 to 75 years was assessed using a photographic grading scale that has a generic (zero to four) scale to score redness and roughness of the palpebral conjunctiva.
Results: Median redness and roughness was about 1.25 units. About 5% of subjects had redness or roughness >2.0 units. Interobserver agreement improved during the study. By the end of the study, the standard deviation of the discrepancy scores was 0.12 to 0.19 units.
Conclusions: Upper palpebral conjunctival redness or roughness >2.0 units are unusual. The grading scale can be used successfully with decimal rather than integer scale increments. For experienced clinicians, a change in grade of > or =0.5 units may be significant.