By: medekomadmin

Is Retinoscopy the same as Ophthalmoscopy?

February 2, 2023

Retinoscopy is a method to test the refractive error of the retina in the eye (farsighted, near-sighted etc) and ophthalmoscopy is a technique to measure the back part of the eye which includes blood vessels, retina, and optical disc. So, both retinoscopy and ophthalmoscopy allow examination of the fundus but they are different. 
  • Retinoscopy requires an effective light source which is not required in ophthalmoscopy illumination. 
  • Retinoscopy does not provide sufficient illumination to the retina.
  • In ophthalmoscopy, the examiner's retina must be conjugate to the retina being examined and in retinoscopy, the examiner's retina becomes conjugate to the retinoscope's peephole.
  • Red reflex (text for examining opacity in visual axis such as cataract) can be done by both but clear red reflex is beneficial for ophthalmoscopy and the blurred red reflex is for retinoscopy.
Retinoscopy requires a retinoscope which emits light into the patient’s eyes and observes the patient’s reflection of the retina. Retinoscopy is generally performed during a routine check-up by an optometrist to check whether patients have myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism and recommend them suitable lenses. This procedure is so easy, quick, and reliably accurate and requires a minimum response from the patients. Different parts of the retinoscope and how it is performed?
  • Head – The head consists of the light source with an observation aperture (peephole), a mirror and condensing lens for concentrating the light.
  • Tail-It consists of a handle, a power source of the light and a battery.
During the procedure, with the help of retinoscope light is emitted into the eye. As the light moves vertically and horizontally across the eye, the examiner observes the motion of the light reflected from the retina of the eye. The way light is reflected will determine whether a patient can see clearly or if they have myopia(near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism. The optomerist then introduces different lenses in front of the eye. So, the power of lenses changes along with the direction and pattern of the reflection until they get a power lens which corrects the refractive error of the patient. Other than retinoscopy, there are two other methods by which we can determine the refractive error i.e., Auto-refraction is a method of retinoscopy where patients are kept still and allow to look at the image for several seconds for obtaining the measurement and the second method is subjective refraction which helps to improve the results of retinoscopy or autorefraction. In this, patients’ participation is required when they tell which series of the lens is providing clear vision.     -Muskan Jain