March 17 20:27 2019 Print This Article

Examination of the retina (the light-sensitive lining of the back of the eye) by means of a viewing instrument called a retinoscope, which is similar to an ophthalmoscope but is more sensitive and provides higher magnification. The interior of the back of the eye is sometimes called the optic fundus, so this examination has the alternative name fundoscopy. Retinoscopy is used to diagnose various retinal disorders – including retinal detachment – and to observe the retinal blood vessels and the beginning of the optic nerve. The retina is the only place in the body where blood vessels and nerves can be directly inspected. The retinal blood vessels reflect many blood vessel disorders, including changes caused by atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and diabetemellitus.

Clinical Use

  • Retinoscopy is especially useful in prescribing corrective lenses for patients who are unable to undergo a subjective refraction that requires a judgement and response from the patient.
  • Retinoscopy is also used to evaluate accommodative ability of the eye and detect latent hyperopia.
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