Ophthalmoscopy is a method of examining the fundus. This term refers to the inner surface of the eyeball, which is not visible without the ophthalmoscope.
During the ophthalmoscopy, the doctor can see through the pupil the different structures of the fundus, such as the retina, choroid and the supplying blood vessels as well as the so-called papilla. The optic disc is the point where the optic nerve emerges into the eye socket.
With ophthalmoscopy, the ophthalmologist can detect pathological changes in the fundus.
How is an ophthalmoscope performed?
During ophthalmoscopy, the fundus is illuminated by a lamp. Shortly before the examination, a drug is dripped into the eye, which puts the pupils wide. This gives the examiner a better overview. As a result, the patient usually sees a few hours a bit blurry, so he should only return to normal traffic after the return to normal or participate in work that affects the eyes.
There are two types of ophthalmoscopy: direct and indirect. For direct ophthalmology, the doctor uses an electric ophthalmoscope with a magnifying glass and a built-in lamp, the ophthalmoscope. He brings the ophthalmoscope close to the eye of the patient and shines through the pupil into the interior of the eye. The image of the fundus appears upright and enlarged. In the ophthalmoscope, different lenses are installed, which can be connected upstream, to compensate for the defective vision of the examiner and the patient.
For indirect ophthalmoscopy, the doctor uses a convex lens and also requires an additional light source. He holds the lens at a certain distance in front of the patient’s eye, with the other hand he holds the light source directed to the eye. The magnification is lower than indirect mirroring, but the overview is better.
In which diseases is an ophthalmoscope performed?
Eye disorders, such as suspected retinal detachment or optic nerve damage, can be detected by eye-reflection.
For certain medical conditions, it is also particularly important to regularly examine the fundus, as they can damage the eyes. These include in particular diabetes (diabetes mellitus), high blood pressure (hypertension) and vascular calcification (atherosclerosis).
The importance of this examination by the ophthalmologist should not be underestimated, since, for example, a poorly controlled diabetes can have fatal consequences and can even lead to blindness. Therefore, patients suffering from a similar disease should be prevented and regularly have their eyes checked.
Are risks known in this investigation?
Ophthalmoscopy is one of the ophthalmologist’s standard tests, and as a rule, this does not pose any risk for the patient. However, the doctor must determine whether there are reasons that do not allow the use of pupil-dilating drugs.
After the administration of pupil-dilating eye-drops until their effects have entirely disappeared, the participation in traffic, the use of machines or other activities that are particularly demanding on the eyes, such as work on the screen, should be avoided.