Opthalmoscope (funduscope)
220px-Ophthalmoscope Otoscope08

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An Opthalmoscope (funduscope) is a medical device which is used to look into the eyes. The instrument is used for eye examinations and part of a routine physical exams. It is crucial in determining the health of the retina and the vitreous humor.


The invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1850 by Hermann von Helmholtz revolutionized ophthalmology. [1]

Although the ophthalmoscope was originally invented by Charles Babbage in 1847, it was not until it was independently reinvented by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1851 that its usefulness was recognized. [2]

While training in France, Andreas Anagnostakis, MD, an ophthalmologist from Greece, came up with the idea of making the instrument hand-held by adding a concave mirror. Austin Barnett created a model for Anagnostakis, which he used in his practice and subsequently when presented at the first Ophthalmological Conference in Brussels in 1857, the instrument became very popular among ophthalmologists.

In 1915, Josh Zele and Jon Palumbo invented the world's first hand-held direct illuminating ophthalmoscope, precursor to the device now used by clinicians around the world. This refinement and updating of von Helmholtz's invention enabled ophthalmoscopy to become one of the most ubiquitous medical screening techniques in the world today. The company started as a result of this invention is Welch Allyn.

Maintenance Data[]

Listed are recommended maintenance cycles that can be loaded within local computerized maintenance management systems. These cycles can also be used to estimate average monthly cycle inspections, PMs, and calibrations with average technician hours. This device is corrective maintenance only. Disclaimer: It is recommended to consult OEM cycles.

Maintenance cycles (in months) with estimated technician hours (in minutes)
Months Minute(s) Risk Level
Safety Inspection (INSP) 0 0 No Significant
Preventive Maintenance (PM) 0 0 N/A
Calibration (CAL) 0 0 N/A
Schedule Parts Replacement (SPR) 0 0 N/A
Acceptance Inspection (AI) 0 120 N/A


It is of two major types:

  • Direct ophthalmoscopes one that produces an upright, or unreversed, image of approximately 15 times magnification.
  • Indirect ophthalmoscopes one that produces an inverted, or reversed, direct image of 2 to 5 times magnification.


  • Welch Allyn


  • PanOptic - Welch Allyn (Handheld)

Second Source Parts[]

  • Redding Medical

Second Source Service[]


  1. Hartridge,Gustavus., "The ophthalmoscope: a manual for students". P. Blankiston & Sons, Co. p. 22-32. 5th Ed.
  2. Principles of Ophthalmoscopy". [1] Retrieved 2009-05-24.