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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 source.

  • All of the structures inside the eye appear normal.

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Inability to remain still during the exam.
  • Eye problems, such as incomplete pupil dilation, cataracts, or cloudiness of the liquid inside the eyeball.

What To Think About

  • Other eye tests may be done routinely along with ophthalmoscopy, including vision testing and tonometry testing for glaucoma.
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopy is a more difficult procedure and requires greater skill and more specialized equipment than direct ophthalmoscopy, so it is generally done by ophthalmologists and optometrists.
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopy has several advantages over direct ophthalmoscopy:
    • It allows better visualization of the inside of the eye when a cataract is present.
    • It provides a three-dimensional (3-D) view of the back of the eye, allowing a more detailed view of certain eye conditions (such as growths, optic nerve swelling, or retinal detachment).
    • It allows a wider view of the back of the eye.
  • If your doctor suspects a problem with the blood vessels in your eye, a test called eye angiography may be done. This test uses fluorescein dye and a camera to photograph blood vessels in the eye. To learn more, see the topic Eye Angiogram.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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