Skip to main content
Book an Eye Exam Call (804) 285-7638
eyeglasses-wall-display-on-a-slant
Home » Your Eye Health » Eye Exams » Common Tests » Retinoscope

Retinoscope

A retinoscope is a handheld device used by eyecare professionals to determine whether your eyes are “20/20,” or have difficulties in seeing things up close or far away.
 
By shining a light back and forth across your eye, eye doctors are able to determine (usually with great accuracy) if your vision needs corrective lenses by “dialing” the retinoscope so that the light focuses properly at the back of the eye on the retina.
 
This simple procedure is called a retinoscopy.
 
During a retinoscopy, if light focuses in front of or behind your retina, you have what is called a “refractive error” of the eye. This means you may have difficulty seeing things up close (farsightedness) or difficulty seeing things in the distance (nearsightedness). And means you likely need prescription lenses or contact lenses.
 
Many times, your eye doctor can determine your exact prescription by using only a retinoscope, though other equipment during an eye exam will be used to completely study your eye health, and verify any refractive errors that require you to get glasses or contact lenses.

How does a retinoscope work during retinoscopy?

Retinoscopy is a relatively quick and pain-free procedure, though your eyes may water or tear up slightly when exposed to the light within the retinoscope.
 
Other high-tech equipment like autorefractors are becoming more common as well, as they take retinoscopy measurements automatically in just a few seconds.
 
The retinoscope is a handy examination tool that can automatically detect a possible vision problem. A retinoscopy can be especially good for young children or people with special needs who might have problems accurately describing “what’s wrong” with their vision.
 

Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice.

For the safety of our patients, our team, and the community, P.E.C. is complying with that recommendation. We are currently rescheduling annual eye examinations for patients without problems.

Our doctors are continuing to see patients with urgent and emergent eye problems.

Temporarily, our office is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Please call 804-285-7638 before coming to the office so that we can address your questions and concerns on an individual basis.

If you are picking up contact lenses or eyewear, we would be happy to bring them to your car. We can also mail your contact lens supply without shipping charges.

After business hours, if you have an eye emergency, please call 804-205-7628 to speak to one of our doctors.

Stay safe. We very much look forward to seeing you in the future.

Patterson Eye Clinic