I’ve been using a direct ophthalmoscope in community eye care practice for 20 years and was wondering if there are any other options.

I too have used a direct ophthalmoscope for many years. Recently I’ve had the chance to try a Welch Allyn PanOptic Ophthalmoscope.

It provides a 25-degree field of view as opposed to 5 degrees from a regular direct ophthalmoscope.

A 26% increase in magnification makes retinal details clearer and easier to see.

A halogen light provides true tissue colour and a consistent long-lasting performance.

Its optics produces a shadow-free spotlight, and easier entry into undilated pupils.

It has six apertures:

Micro-allows quick entry into small, undilated pupils.

Small-provides excellent view of the fundus through an undilated pupil.

Large-for general examination of the eye through a dilated pupil.

Cobalt blue-used with fluorescein dye to view small lesions, abrasions and foreign objects on the cornea.

Red-free filter-filters out red light for easy identification of veins, arteries and nerve fibres.

Dynamic focus – smoothly and precisely adjust the focus from -25 to +20 dioptres, adjustable via easy-to-reach focussing wheel.

Patient eyecup comfortably establishes and maintains proper viewing distance and screens out ambient light.

Greater working distance and ergonomic design for maximum comfort and ease of use.

Variable illumination strength via the handle rheostat dial.120 minutes of on-time per charge, twice that of standard NiCad handles.

Half the weight of standard 3.5V handles.

It’s a very neat package, easy to hold and easy to use. It does make a good substitute for a direct ophthalmoscope.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

If you like EyeTools Questions of the Day…

Children’s Eye Examinations
How to Run a Successful Low Vision Clinic
How to Run a Successful Optometry Practice



– Optometry students
– Pre-registration and novice optometrists
– Optometrists returning to work
– Junior eye doctors
– Dispensing opticians and orthoptists preparing for refraction exams
– Contact lens opticians, clinical assistants and eyecare educators

Improve your optometry skills with introductory & specialist instruction videos, topical live & recorded expert webinars, presentations and book reviews.

Start with the first section, ‘Pre-refraction procedures’ free, then choose a monthly or yearly subscription. To see English captions, click the CC button on any video.