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A 30-year-old male asked:

Can direct ophthalmoscope detect most of retinal tears or detachments (if not all)? the doc i will see will have a direct one and not indirect.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Burns
Emergency Medicine 38 years experience
Direct exam: Magnifies better (15x vs 5x) but has limited field of view and the brightness is less as well as seeing only the central retina as opposed to a broader, brighter view with indirect exam which also can see peripheral retina. Additionally, the view with indirect provides for better stereopsis (both eyes) which adds to depth perception. These are some of the differences.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 53 years experience
Not the best: Retinal detachments and vitreous syneresis are usually detected with and hand held or head mounted ophthalmoscope. The slit lamp looks only at the front 1/4 of the eye and would only see an extremely large detachment..
Dr. Tim Conrad
Dr. Tim Conrad commented
Ophthalmology 35 years experience
The peripheral retinal can also be examined with a goldmann lens at the slit lamp. I do this to look at areas of interest under higher magnification. The direct ophthalmoscope is really an archaic tool that is rarely used by ophthalmologists today,.
Dec 12, 2013

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