Dec 1, 2011

A Synopsis of Ophthalmic Instruments

The branch of medicine accommodating the study of all the aspects of the eye is known as ophthalmology. Hence, an ophthalmologist is a professional specialized in surgical and medical eye problems. Like any other science, the scope and capacity of ophthalmology also corresponds to the capability of a number of instruments, clubbed as ophthalmic instruments.

There are many commonly used ophthalmic instruments which many of us can relate to, and there are many not-so-common instruments as well which come into play rarely during complex eye based surgeries. A list of all such instruments is mentioned as below:

  • Spectacles
  • Contact lenses
  • Tonometers
  • Many types of knives
  • Different types of speculum
  • Phoropter
  • Different types of needle holders
  • Forceps
  • Entropion clamp
  • Cystitome
  • Nettleship's punctum dilator
  • Vectis
  • Canula
  • Castroveijo's calipers
  • All types of scissors
  • Bone punches
  • Rougine
  • Retractor
  • Lid plates
  • Surgical scalpel
  • Bowman's lacrimal probe
  • Lens expressor
  • McNamar's spoon
  • Charts for vision
  • Iris repository
  • Red green goggles
  • Strabismus hook
  • Prisms
  • Pin-hole
  • Placido's disc
  • Retinoscope

The list is endless, and can accommodate many other instruments. Spectacles and contact lenses which are used to correct errors of eyes, are often considered a part of ophthalmic solutions but a majority of scientific journals put these into the segment of ophthalmic instruments. Later there are certain instruments which are clubbed as a group but have many sub-segments (types) available.

These include knives, needle holders, speculum, forceps etc. Types of knifes include von graefe's cataract knife, tookes' knife, crescent knife while common needle holders include silcock's needle holder, arruga's needle holder and barraquer's needle holders. Commonly used forceps are artery forceps, fixation forcep, plain dissecting forceps, Iris forceps, elschnig's intracapsular forceps, colibri forceps, capsulotomy forceps etc.

While the field of speculum’s get categorized as universal eye speculum, guarded eye speculum and wire speculum. As each instrument has a specific requirement, purchasing is often done in sets. Sets are 2 pieces of each instrument while a single unit of infrequently used instruments.

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