In today’s day and age, thanks to the advancement in medical sciences at our disposal eye conditions are easily diagnosed and treated. Gone are the days when peering in with a torch was the only way to look into the eye and diagnose diseases. Here we have compiled a list of some of the essential optical tools that are a must if you are looking to start your optometry practice.
Top Optical Tools for a new Optometry Practice
1. Slit Lamp
A necessary instrument in the optometry practice, a slit lamp is nothing but a microscope with a thin slit-like light source. The primary purpose of a slit lamp exam is to examine external features of the eye and the anterior portion of the eye. The areas that get examined with this instrument are the eyelids, iris, and cornea.
A device which blows a puff of air at the eyeball, this device is used to measure intraocular pressure (IOP). It is important to measure the IOP to diagnose conditions like glaucoma that are increasingly common. It is like a practical glaucoma screening test.
Probably one of the most critical optical tools in an optometrist’s clinic, the ophthalmoscope is used to examine the interior of the eyeball. This device helps to look for eye diseases like retinal detachment, diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy, macular degeneration, etc. as it is useful in examining the retina. The patient’s pupils are dilated with the help of eye drops to enable a better retinal examination.
4. Snellen Chart
Anyone who has had an eye exam recognizes this chart. It’s the one with a big E followed by lines of progressively smaller letters below it. It is used to measure visual acuity of a person and diagnose myopia and hypermetropia.
A Phoropter is another common eye examination tool. Its primary function is to determine whether a patient has myopia or hyperopia, i.e., Shortsightedness and Long Sightedness. There are slots in the phoropter wherein you can insert different lenses with different powers. The patient has to confirm which lens makes their sight clearer, making it a very personal optical tool.
This is the sophisticated and automated version of the phoropter. The autorefractor is a device used to measure the refractive error of the eyes. The patient has to look into a machine that contains an image which goes in and out of focus automatically. The device is capable of taking precision readings and determining when the image is formed precisely on the retina.
7. Vision Screener
The vision screener is a high-performance computerized tool to identify major visual problems quickly. It screens for a gamut of eye conditions and doesn’t even require dilation of the pupil. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to use, making it a must in every optometrist beginning practice.
The retinoscope is used to identify the refractive error in the eyes and to determine the exact power of the lenses. It has a hole in the center through which the eyes get examined. It also consists of a mirror that shines light into the patient’s eyes.
9. Retinal Camera
It is used to capture an image of the interior of the eye, i.e., the retina. It’s a low powered microscope with a camera on it. Different parts of the retina can be seen when different filters are adjusted in the camera. It’s an advanced tool to diagnose retinal conditions that are increasingly common today.
These are some of the most common optical tools that are a must in any new and flourishing optometry clinic.