An ophthalmoscope is an instrument used to examine the retina and vitreous. Ophthalmoscopy requires dilating the pupils with drops to give the doctor the best view inside the eye.

There are two types of ophthalmoscopes: direct and indirect. The direct is a hand-held instrument with a battery powered light source. It also has a series of lenses that can be dialed in to focus the doctor’s view of the retina. The direct ophthalmoscope is useful for examining the central retina.

The indirect ophthalmoscope can be used to examine the entire retina. This instrument is worn on the doctor’s head. While looking through the instrument’s magnifying glasses, a special lens is placed in front of the patient’s eye, allowing the doctor to see the retina clearly.

St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute provides this on-line information for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice.  Information published on this St. Luke's website is not intended to replace, supplant, or augment a consultation with an eye care professional regarding the viewer/user's own medical care.  St. Luke's disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages that could result from use of the information obtained from this site.

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