Should I have my eye examined?

What is the purpose of the examination with the ophthalmoscope?

With an ophthalmoscope, 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 papilla is where the optic nerve exits into the eye socket.

With ophthalmoscopy, the ophthalmologist can detect abnormal changes in the fundus.

How is an ophthalmoscope performed?

With an ophthalmoscope, the fundus is illuminated with a lamp. Shortly before the examination, a drug is dropped into the eye, which expands the pupils. This gives the examiner a better overview. As a result, the patient usually sees a little blurred for a few hours, so he should only return to road traffic or carry out work that strains the eyes after normal vision has been achieved.

There are two types of ophthalmoscopy: direct and indirect. For direct ophthalmoscopy, the doctor uses an electric ophthalmoscope with a magnifying glass and a built-in lamp, the ophthalmoscope. It brings the ophthalmoscope close to the patient's eye and shines through the pupil into the interior of the eye. The image of the fundus appears upright and enlarged. Different lenses are built into the ophthalmoscope, which can be connected upstream in order to compensate for ametropia of the examiner and the patient.

For the indirect ophthalmoscope, the doctor uses a converging lens and also needs an additional light source. He holds the lens a certain distance in front of the patient's eye, with the other hand he keeps the light source pointed at the eye. The magnification is lower than with direct mirroring, but the overview is better.

For which diseases is an ophthalmoscope performed?

Eye diseases, such as suspected retinal detachment or damage to the optic nerve, can be detected by an ophthalmoscope.

In the case of certain internal diseases, it is also particularly important to check the fundus regularly, as they can damage the eyes. These include in particular diabetes (diabetes mellitus), high blood pressure (hypertension) and vascular calcification (arteriosclerosis).

The importance of this examination by the ophthalmologist should not be underestimated, as poorly controlled diabetes, for example, can have fatal consequences and can even lead to blindness. Therefore, patients who suffer from such a disease should take preventive measures and have the fundus checked regularly.

Are there any known risks involved in this examination?

An ophthalmoscope is one of the standard examinations of the ophthalmologist and there are usually no risks associated with it for the patient. However, the doctor must determine whether there are reasons that do not allow the use of medication to dilate pupils.

After the administration of pupil-dilating eye drops until their effect has completely subsided, participation in road traffic, operating machines or other activities that are particularly stressful for the eyes, such as working on a monitor, should be avoided.