Skip to main content
Home » What's New » How Retinoscopy Works

How Retinoscopy Works

On occasion, particularly when doing an eye exam on small children the eye doctor will focus a light in the eyes. But why? Such as test is used to help determine the refractive error of your eye, and it's called a retinoscopy exam. Whether you're near or farsighted, or you have astigmatism, examining the reflection of light off your retina is a test your eye doctor can employ to see if you need eyeglasses.

How well your eyes are able to focus during the exam is the most important thing we look for. When light shines into your eye using a retinoscope, a reddish orange light reflects off your retina, through your pupil. We call this the red reflex. We use the light to measure your focal length, or in layman's terms, it will calculate the precise angle of refraction of light off your retina. And this is what tells us how well your eye is able to focus. If it becomes clear that you are not focusing well, that's where the lenses come in. We hold a number of lenses with varying prescriptions in front of your eye to see which one rectifies your vision.

Your retinoscopy exam is generally conducted in a darkened room. To make your eyes easier to examine, you'll generally be instructed to keep your eyes fixed on an object behind the doctor. Because a retinoscopy exam doesn't require you to read eye charts, it's also a particularly useful way to determine an accurate prescription for kids who might struggle with speech, or others who might be speech-impaired.

Welcome to Texas State Optical Northline

Welcome to Texas State Optical Northline

Welcome to TSO Northline

Choose an Appointment with:

Dr. Cruz

Dr. Molina