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Ophthalmoscope Facts


The ophthalmoscope needs to used in a darkened room at every exam. It is the "stethoscope" for the eyes. Every time a stethoscope is used to listen to your child's heart, an ophthalmoscope should be used to look in your child's eyes.

The doctor shines the light into the eyes for a red reflex of the retina. If they do not get a strong red reflex, this could indicate a problem and the child should be referred to an eye doctor immediately for further evaluation.

If the lights are not turned out, you will not get a true red reflex and the chances of seeing an eye disease are diminished greatly!

NOTE: This is how we all get to the eye doctor in time to save our vision. The ophthalmoscope needs to be used at all exams whether we are one day old or one hundred years old. At anytime in our lives we can start to develop an eye disease; this is how we detect it in time to hopefully save our vision.

All health care professionals have ophthalmoscopes and they need to be used at every exam in a darkened room for detection and referral. Joey's pediatrician never used an ophthalmoscope. If he would have taken a moment and looked at his 15 or 18 month well baby exam, Joey would have his eye, his vision and his life!
I did not know to ask…make sure this is happening for your children.

Sadly, we still have health care professionals not using their ophthalmoscopes; and many who remember to get them out do not turn out the lights…they are not using them correctly.


An infant's pupil is too small in diameter for the ophthalmoscope to detect. Therefore we need to do a simple, yet vital eye dilation exam. We are recommending this happen at birth, the six to eight week well-baby exam and one more at the six to eight month well-baby exam. These three eye dilation exams in the first half year of life will help to ensure healthy vision and life for our newborns and infants.

The nurse drops the eye dilation drop in the infants eyes after the baby is weighed. At the end of the well-baby exam when the eyes are dilated, the doctor turns out the lights and does the required exam. Therefore, it is no extra time to the pediatrician. It only takes ten seconds of time and costs pennies.

The Ophthalmoscope Rap

(For Joey)


Doctor, Doctor don’t be a dope,
Please use your ophthalmoscope

Take it out and shine that light
Straight to my eyes-you might save my sight!

An infant’s pupil is very small,
Have to use the eye drops….that’s all!

Early detection is the key,
And eye enucleations will be HISTORY!

Saving sight and saving lives,
Your ophthalmoscope really jives!

Ophthalmoscope,ophthalmoscope-GOTTA USE IT!!!!