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Optometry Exam Room Equipment

Taking a Closer Look at the Most Common Optometry Exam Room Equipment

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It’s not a secret optometry exam room equipment and the entire field has evolved over the years. What originated as a profession centered on dispensing eyeglasses and vision care has morphed into a more holistic treatment center.

Much of this change has been driven by technological improvements in the optometry exam room equipment. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common optometry equipment utilized in exam rooms across the globe.


The phoropter is a manual device utilized during eye exams to determine eyeglass prescriptions and gauge refractive error, which is how a lens must be shaped and curved to correct the patient’s vision to a normal state.

In most instances, your patient will sit behind the phoropter — looking through it to view an eye chart. During the exam, you’ll adjust settings and change lenses, while asking the patient for feedback on which settings deliver the best vision.

Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopes

The binocular indirect ophthalmoscope is a headset you’ll wear to observe the patient’s entire retina and access a wider field of view — in comparison to a direct ophthalmoscope, which will be explained later.

Instead of projecting only one element of the eye, the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope projects three, which allows you to get a 3D rendition of the eye’s interior. Simply put, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes allow for a more thorough examination. Some of the top binocular indirect ophthalmoscopes are:

Direct Ophthalmoscope

Direct Ophthalmoscopes are handheld, simple diagnostic ophthalmic instruments. It’s comprised of a light source, a concave mirror, a simple handle, and an eyepiece for you to conduct an examination. This device allows you to see the inside of the patient’s fundus of the eye and is critical to determining the health of the optic disc, retina, and vitreous humor. Unlike the indirect ophthalmoscope, the direct ophthalmoscope provides a limited view of the back of the eye.


Contrary to what many believe outside of the field, a retinoscope isn’t the same as a direct ophthalmoscope. The retinoscope is used to shine light into the patient’s eye, so you can view the retina’s reflection. During retinoscopy, the light is moved across the pupil back and forth.

Retinoscopes are very useful in prescribing corrective lenses for patients who may have trouble giving feedback orally to you. This device is also helpful for determining how well a patient’s eyes work together. At Keeler, we offer a full range of cutting-edge retinoscopes, including:

Retinal Camera

Eye care physicians use retinal cameras to photograph the back of the patient’s eye, which includes the retina. This essential diagnostic device is helpful in documenting your patient’s eye disease. Similar to many other cameras, the retinal camera produces a bright flash when produced.

Contact, Digital, and Non-Contact Tonometers

The Tonometer is an essential piece of optometry exam room equipment used to measure the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the patient’s eye, which is essential to detecting glaucoma. In more detail, a tonometer measures the production of the aqueous humor liquid found inside of the eye and how well it drains into the tissue surrounding the cornea. While there are different types of tonometers, they all work to accomplish the same diagnostic goal.

Digital tonometers and standard contact tonometers will actually touch the patient’s eye. Examples of digital and standard contact tonometers include:

Non-contact tonometers use a puff of air to measure the IOP and do not touch the patient’s eye. Examples of non-contact tonometers include:

Hand-held tonometers offer an added level of flexibility and mobility in testing the patient’s IOP. Examples of hand-held tonometers include:


Simply put, a lensometer is a critical instrument utilized to determine the power of a patient’s existing set of glasses. Specifically, opticians utilize this device to understand eyeglass prescriptions.


The pachymeter is a hand-held device utilized to measure the depth of the thinnest point of the patient’s cornea. In addition to the back and front surface topography, the thickness of the patient’s cornea is one of the most vital safety factors involved in laser refractive surgery.

Together the pachymeter and topography device delivers accurate data and ensures the patient’s thickness is within acceptable safety limits. Some of the most popular pachymeters include

Contact Keeler for the Top Optometry Exam Room Equipment

If you’re looking for the best, most cutting-edge optometry exam room equipment, Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. For more than 100 years, we’ve continually innovated with the purpose of helping eye care professionals deliver exceptional results.

Contact Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments today.

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.