How It Is Done continued...
This exam takes 3 to 5 minutes. See a picture of a
direct ophthalmoscopic exam .
This type of eye exam
gives a more complete view of the retina than direct ophthalmoscopy. It is
usually done by an
- Your eyes will be dilated and you may be
asked to sit upright with your head on a chin rest in a darkened room.
- Your doctor will hold your eye open, shine a very bright light
into it, and examine it through a special lens.
- Your doctor may
ask you to look in different directions and may apply pressure to your eyeball
through the skin of your eyelids with a small, blunt instrument to help bring
the edges of your fundus into view.
This exam takes between 5 and 10 minutes. See a picture
of an indirect ophthalmoscopic exam .
How It Feels
ophthalmoscopy, you may hear a clicking sound as the instrument is adjusted to
focus on different structures in the eye. The light is sometimes very intense,
and you may see spots for a short time following the exam. Some people report
seeing light spots or branching images. These are actually the outlines of the
blood vessels of the retina.
ophthalmoscopy, the light is much more intense and may be somewhat
uncomfortable. Pressure applied to your eyeball with the blunt instrument also
may be uncomfortable. After-images are common with this test. If the test is
painful, let the doctor know.
When dilating eyedrops are used
Dilating drops may
make your eyes sting and cause a medicine taste in your mouth. You will have
trouble focusing your eyes for up to 12 hours after your eyes have been
dilated. Your distance vision usually is not affected as much as your near
vision, though your eyes may be very sensitive to light. Do not drive for
several hours after your eyes have been dilated. Wearing sunglasses may make
you more comfortable until the effect of the drops wears off. See the topic Dilated Eye Exam.
In some people, the dilating or anesthetic
eyedrops can cause:
Call your doctor immediately if you have severe and sudden
eye pain, vision problems (halos may appear around light), or loss of vision
after the exam.
Ophthalmoscopy is a test that allows a
doctor to see inside the back of the eye (called the fundus) and other
structures using a magnifying instrument (ophthalmoscope) and a light
- All of the structures inside the eye
appear normal. See a picture of a
normal retina as seen through an ophthalmoscope.