What is fundoscopy


A Fundoscopy, also Ophthalmoscopy or Fundoscopy called, is carried out to Diseases of the eye, but also other diseases like high blood pressure, one Brain tumor or Diabetes mellitus to recognize. The doctor looks at the fundus with the help of a light source and a lens or mirror. The investigation only lasts a few minutes and usually runs painless and without side effects (save results directly online).

What is an ocular fundus?

A fundus is one ophthalmological examination. The first ophthalmoscopies were performed as early as the 19th century. The fundus oculi and the anatomical structures located there can be viewed with the aid of simple optical instruments. This includes the Retina, the Head of the optic nerve (papilla)also called the blind spot, arterial and venous blood vessels and the Yellow spot (macula). An ophthalmoscopy can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Retinal detachment (ablatio retinae)
  • Inflammation of the retina (retinitis)
  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Damage to the optic nerve
  • Tumors
  • High blood pressure / arteriosclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Brain tumors

During a wrinkled retina suggests retinal detachment Bulges and swellings of the optic nerve head indicate increased intracranial pressure and thus a brain tumor. Narrowed vessels and Fluid build-up suggest high blood pressure. Also Bleeding, Swelling and Pigment changes are signs of illness.

How does an ocular fundoscopy work?

A fundus of the eye only takes a few minutes. Just before the examination will be given to the patient eye drop that dilate his pupils (mydriatic). The diagnostic procedure cannot be carried out if there is bleeding or other clouding of the lens of the eye or the cornea. A distinction is made between direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

At a direct fundus the doctor sees with the help of a electric ophthalmoscope through the pupil to the back of the eye of the patient. The ophthalmoscope consists of a concave mirror, a bright light source and a viewing hole. The doctor positions himself close in front of the patient and brings the ophthalmoscope, which is attached to a rod, between his and the eye to be examined. The concave mirror ensures a 16x magnification of the fundus. As a result, the doctor only recognizes parts of the examination subject during direct ophthalmoscopy.

At a indirect fundus the doctor works with one Converging lens and a light source such as a so-called one Head ophthalmoscope. This is a lamp that is attached directly to the doctor's head using a device. While the light source should be about 60 cm away from the patient's eye, the converging lens is held at a distance of about 5 cm in front of the examination subject. The fundus is now with an approx 4.5 times magnification recognizable, whereby the doctor can get a better overall picture than with a direct ophthalmoscopy. However, the picture is upside down.

What are the risks of an ocular fundus?

An ocular fundus is largely in progress painless and risk-free from. Unpleasant sequelae can only occur through the dilating eye drops. Due to the dilation of the pupils, which can last up to a few days, the patient is temporary disabled. Sensitivity to light and blurred vision are one of the effects of the drops, but they subside by themselves. Rarely does it happen Increase in intraocular pressure.

When is an ocular fundus examination necessary?

An ocular fundus should be performed whenever a patient has over optical hallucinations like flashes of light, soot rain or black shadows complains when it's too Visual disturbances or that complete loss of vision comes at Eye flicker or Injuries to the eye. Various diseases increase the risk of eye degeneration. This includes in particular Diabetes mellitus. A permanently high blood sugar level can block the blood vessels in the eye. In this case, the retina is no longer supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. The receptors located there die off and the eyesight is impaired. These limitations are often not noticed for a long time. Therefore, diabetics should have an ocular fundus examination performed regularly. This also applies to patients who attend High blood pressure and other heart or circulatory diseases Suffer. Furthermore, an ophthalmoscopy is arranged before eye operations. Premature babies belong to the risk group for degenerative diseases of the eye and should therefore be examined regularly.

What is the cost of an ocular fundus?

If there is a medical indication for an ocular fundus examination, the health insurance pays the costs for the investigation. An exception to this is the so-called Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. This is a process that creates a digital image of the eye that enables a three-dimensional view. In this way, both doctor and patient can see the fundus of the eye extensively. The pupil-dilating eye drops are not required for this. Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy is not covered by health insurance companies. The costs incurred vary from doctor to doctor.


Dietze, H. (Ed.) (2015). The optometric examination. Georg Thieme Verlag, pp. 290ff.

Hahn, G.-A. (Ed.) (2012). Course textbook ophthalmology. Georg Thieme Verlag, p. 108ff.

Pleyer, U. (Ed.) (2014). Inflammatory eye diseases. Springer Verlag, p. 351.

Reim, M., Kirchhof, B., Wolf, S. (2004). Diagnoses at the fundus, Georg Thieme Verlag.

Important NOTE: This article contains only general information and descriptions on the subject of an ocular fundus. It is not suitable for self-diagnosis or self-treatment and under no circumstances can it replace a doctor's visit.

If you click on these buttons, you consent to your data being transmitted to the respective social networks and, if necessary, stored there. You can find out more under "i".