Basic Eye Exam

The basic eye exam consists of three general components:

  • "Vital Signs" of ophthalmology
  • Slit Lamp Exam (anterior exam)
  • Funduscopic Exam (posterior exam)

Basic Eye Exam Equipment

Ophthalmoscope - Direct and Indirect

direct ophthalmoscope image
It is an instrument about the size of a small flashlight (torch) with several lenses that can magnify up to about 15 times. This type of ophthalmoscope is most commonly used during a routine physical examination of the eye.

Ophthalmoscope - Indirect

indirect ophthalmoscope image
An indirect ophthalmoscope constitutes a light attached to a headband, in addition to a small handheld lens. It provides a wider view of the inside of the eye. Furthermore, it allows a better view of the fundus of the eye, even if the lens is clouded by cataracts.  An indirect ophthalmoscope can be either monocular or binocular.


This Volk G4 Gonio lens is one example of many varieties of available gonio-lenses used at the slit lamp for examination of the angle of the eye. This aids in screening for conditions such as narrow angle glaucoma.

OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)

Optical Coherence Tomography, used for retinal and optic disc imaging.

Muscle Light



Retinoscope works on a principle called Foucault's principle. Basically it indicates that the examiner should simulate the infinity to obtain the correct refractive power. Hence a power corresponding to the working distance is subtracted from the gross retinoscope value. Static retinoscopy is performed when the patient has relaxed accommodative status viewing a distance target; dynamic retinoscopy is performed when the patient has active accommodation from viewing a near target.

  • Lens (volk 20, 90, etc.)
  • Slit Lamp
  • Tonopen
  • Near visual acuity card
  • Prisms