What is the difference between direct and indirect ophthalmosopes (ophthalmoscopy)?

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This is a summary of the differences between direct and indirect ophtalmoscopes (ophthalmoscopy). I searched the internet for a page that answer this question adequately, but did not find any. Luckily, I found the answer in a book entitled: “Textbook of opthalmology” (2nd edition, 2001) by E. Ahmed. This is a tabulation of the differences mentioned in this book only. I didn’t use any other source.

Update 15/01/2014:
This post is now a famous one in my Blog. It brings me a lot of visits (4465 visists so far). I need to thank the doctor who asked me to research this topic. Dr. Khalil Alsalem thanks a lot 🙂

Direct Ophthalmoscopy Indirect ophthalmoscopy
Magnification About 15 times 5 times when a +13D condensing lens is used
Diameter of the field of observation\view Smaller (about 10o in diameter) Wider (about 37o in diameter)
Brightness There is relatively low brightness There is relatively greater brightness
Structures seen Central retina only Peripheral retina seen (by using a scleral depressor in addition to the indirect ophthalmoscopy itself)
Image of the fundus that is seen Virtual & erect image Real & inverted image
Stereopsis Image formed is not stereoscopic Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy provides better stereopsis
Retina anterior to the equator Not well seen (seen with difficulty) Seen better
Scleral indentation Difficult Can be easily done in binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy
Visualization in hazy media Poor Better

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MINU on 08/03/2012 at 17:09



  2. Posted by hala on 02/08/2013 at 19:30

    Really useful! Thanks I totally appreciate the effort. I assure you will “make a difference” on my exam tomorrow : )


    • Ha ha ha ha… This is one of the funnies comments I have ever received! By the few word you wrote, I assure you that you made a difference! Very funny! 🙂

      For your passing by, I guess I should thank you professor who is the one who probably made you search about this topic! Best of luck in your exam!


  3. Posted by firah on 04/24/2013 at 18:24

    Yea, im searching this too for my final exam last semester and im coming back today for my assignment huhuh thanks a lot for posting this!


  4. Posted by rth on 06/11/2013 at 18:22

    I hope i saw it yesterday before exam..it would be so helpful 😦 thank u anyhow..its my fault


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