This is a very safe, noncontact examination of the inside of the eye and retina. The instrument used is a small handheld device called an ophthalmoscope. The head of the tool contains many lenses and projects light through a variably sized aperture. This is attached to a handle that serves as the power source. The beauty of the ophthalmoscope is that it uses the eye as a simple magnifier producing a magnified image for the eyecare physician to view.
To obtain the best results from this analysis, lights in the exam room are generally dimmed allowing the pupil to maximally dilate. If the pupil is still too small, a topical mydriatic solution may be used to aid in dilation. The patient is then asked to fixate on a target. By varying the lenses, the distance from the patient’s eye, and aperature size; the doctor can survey the iris, crystalline lens vitreous, retina, and optic disc.