An Ophthalmoscope, also known as a Fundoscope, is a handheld medical diagnostic device used to inspect the retina, fundus and other interior structures of the eye.
Ophthalmoscopes are used during eye examinations to screen for eye disease or other health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. They may also be used as part of a routine physical examination.
General Practitioners, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists may all use an Ophthalmoscope with the most common Welch Allyn models being the Coaxial, PanOptic and Pocket Ophthalmoscope.
An Ophthalmoscope contains a number of components to allow the practitioner to view the fundus clearly.
Viewing Window: Allows the physician the view the fundus of the eye
Brow Rest: For best viewing, the brow rest typically presses gently against the practitioners’s brow or eye glasses
Lens Wheel: Rotating changes the lens which alters the focal point. The greater the number of lenses, the more focused the view. Pocket sets typically offer 17-28 lenses. Full size instruments can provide over 60 lens options. Lens are measured in diopeters and typically available in + and –
Illuminated lens viewing window: Displays the selected lens to the practitioner
Power Switch: Pocket sets typically have a simple on/off power switch. Full size sets feature a reostatic power switch to permit control of light intensity
Battery Handle: May be AC powered, rechargeable battery or alkaline. Typical voltages are 2.5v (most common in pocket sets) and 3.5v in full size premium sets
The Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope is the leading Ophthalmoscope model on the market. It has a 5 times greater view of the back of the eye and an increase of 26% in magnification. It provides a significantly larger view of the retina with significantly less skill required. Thanks to it’s advanced design and features, prices for the Welch Allyn PanOptic Opthalmoscope Head start from $717.54 ex GST.
Pocket sized Ophthalmoscopes have the simplest amount of features thanks to their smaller, more compact size. They offer a narrow range of filter options yet are highly portable and durable. Prices for Welch Allyn Pocket Ophthalmoscopes start from $183.08 ex GST.
With the 3.5V Coaxial and PanOptic models, you have the choice of Halogen HPX or SureColor LED globes depending on your budget and clinical needs.
The first ophthalmoscope was invented by English mathematician Charles Babbage (1792-1871) in 1847. Babbage gave the device to a physician for testing, but it was laid aside and forgotten. Four years later, German physician and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) developed his own version of the ophthalmoscope. Helmholtz was unaware of Babbage’s instrument but because he had better luck making his device known, Helmholtz is often credited as the sole inventor.