Retinoscope and Ophthalmoscope How They Differ

Retinoscope & Ophthalmoscope are one of two most important and well-known devices used by the professional eye doctors, to study your eyes and spot the general health issues, if any. 


It’s an instrument used by such professionals to study the refraction of light within the eye and figure- out if you are farsighted, nearsighted, and if you require power-glasses.
The test carried-out using Retinoscope is called Retinoscopen also skiascopy – even as it may be speedy, easy, and precise and require little cooperation from the patient.

The retinoscope aims light straight into your eye, even as the reddish light reflects through your pupil and off your retina, to calculate your focal length, or in other words, to calculate the precise angle of refraction of light off your retina, to help the doctor know how well your eye can focus.


Also known as fundoscope, funduscope, it’s an instrument that your doctor, optometrist, or ophthalmologist uses to take a look into the back or the interior of your eye. With it, they can see the retina (the eye part which detects light and images), the optic disk (where the optic nerve carries the data to the brain), and blood vessels.

The test done using the instrument is called Ophthalmoscopy (also called fundoscopy). It helps the doctor to spot and evaluate the signs of retinal detachment or eye diseases, such as glaucoma, for example. Your doctor may also perform the test if he figures-out that you suffer from High Blood (HB) pressure, diabetes or, for that matter any other diseases that affect the blood vessels.

How the Two Differ 

While the eye doctors use the two used for nearly similar purposes, there are some notable differences between the two and also in the purposes for which they use these two tools.

Let’s Check Some of These! 

  1. Both the retinoscope and the ophthalmoscope allow the inspection of the fundus and of the “red reflex.” The clear red reflex is more helpful for ophthalmoscopy, while the indistinct red reflex is chiefly used for retinoscopy.
  2. Ophthalmoscopy requires the examiner’s retina to fuse with the retina being studied, while the examiner’s retina fuses with the peephole of the retinoscope in retinoscopy.
  3. Retinoscopy requires an efficient source of light that may be speedily moved off the visual axis. The ophthalmoscope can’t offer this kind of beam. Conversely, the retinoscope can’t give enough light of the retina to make it helpful for ophthalmoscopy.
  4. While the former helps you doctor know if you suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness, or if you require glasses to manage these issues; the latter helps him to figure-out if you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.


Retinoscope & Ophthalmoscope are two vital and familiar tools used by professional eye doctors to examine your eyes. Some notable differences between the two exist and also in the purposes for which they are used. For example, while the former helps the treating doctor to know if you suffer from farsightedness, nearsightedness, or if you require glasses; the latter helps him to know if you are in the grip of high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.