What is a Retinoscope used For?

Uses of Retinoscope | What is a Retinoscope used for?

Optometrists make use of a Retinoscope when it comes to testing the objective refraction. This is an instrument that is used to irradiate the internal eye. Other uses of Retinoscopes include observing and measuring the light rays as these are reflected by the retina. Using this instrument, an optometrist can perform the objective examination of an eye. This way, it works in the form of an organic optical instrument. If an optometrist wants accurate refraction for a patient, then they need to do a number of subjective tests, where the opinion of a patient on the effect of chosen lenses will be required.

Uses of Retinoscope
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How a Retinoscope Performs Retinoscopy?

A Retinoscope plays a great role while performing the retinoscopy technique. This technique is also known as sciascopy. It is a technique, which determines the refractive error of an eye in an objective manner, such as nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatism. Under this technique, the need for glasses of a patient can also be determined and all of this process is being done with the help of a Retinoscope. The test can be accurately and quickly performed, but with minimal assistance from a patient. 

A Retinoscope, a handheld instrument, projects a ray of light into an eye. When the beam of light is moved horizontally and vertically across the eye, an optometrist (examiner) detects the movement of the reflected light from the eye’s back. This type of reflection is known as the red reflex. An optometrist then brings lenses in front of an eye. This way, when the power of the lenses fluctuates, there is a corresponding alteration in the pattern and direction of the pattern. An optometrist keeps altering the lenses until reaching the power of the lens that shows the refractive error of a patient.

Three Types of Retinoscopy are Performed by a Retinoscope, these are:

  • Static retinoscopy
  • Dynamic retinoscopy
  • Near retinoscopy

Each type of retinoscopy is different from one another and performs in a different way.

When Retinoscopes are used?

This instrument is used when the retinoscopy needs to be performed. This technique is needed to perform when an examiner wants to know the refractive error in kids, developmentally delayed adults, etc. Such instruments also have a role to play when it comes to performing the retinoscopy for those persons, whose behavior restricts their ability to be supportive with others and have mental disabilities. People who are mute or deaf and unable to understand what they speak, are being examined by an examiner with the use of a Retinoscope.

To determine the refractive error in patients, retinoscopy can be done with other refraction techniques such as subjective refraction and auto-refraction. This technique with the combination of other refraction techniques is particularly beneficial in infants and very young children. A Retinoscope is also used to detect some eye diseases such as corneal or cataract capacities that can impact the vision ability of a person, as well as the refraction examination. Performing retinoscopy using a Retinoscope for every individual that you want to examine, will quicken the refraction, as well as, more effective and accurate.

Other uses of Retinoscope

There are some other applications, which are being done by a Retinoscope. These are mentioned below:

  • To find the opacities of ocular media
  • To determine the aberrations of lens and cornea
  • To determine some retinal disorders

For determining different refractive errors in patients, there are two types of retinoscopes, such as:

  • Spot Retinoscopes: These are equipped with an ordinary light globe that provides a spot or patch of light.
  • Streak Retinoscopes: These have a special globe, which offers a streak or a line of light.

Retinoscopy (About the Retinoscopy, Types and Uses)


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