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

This is a summary of the differences between direct and indirect ophthalmoscopes (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 table 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 visits 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 observationview 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

Last updated by at .

Do you want to share anything with the world? You can write comments in the box below using Facebook or in the box following that using any email address.



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

Comment using any name and any e-mail address (if you want to receive notifications of new comments or posts, then please check the respective checkboxs):

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.