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Ophthalmoscopy

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.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chang DF (2011). Ophthalmologic examinations. In P Riordan-Eva, ET Cunningham, eds., Vaughan and Asbury's General Ophthalmology, 18th ed., pp. 27–57. New York: McGraw-Hill.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofJanuary 9, 2013
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 09, 2013
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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