Retinoscopy (movement of shade)

Part of our service is the objective determination of refractive errors (objective refraction determination) with the retinoscope. 


The light of the retinoscope is guided over the pupil, while the wandering reflex is observed as a shadow of the ocular fundus. Within a brief period of time, a wealth of information is obtained this way. In the video clip shown, the eye appears to move, which however is seen this way only because the camera is connected to the light source of the retinoscope. In this case, the shadow appears in the lower part distorted, due to an irregular deformation of the cornea.


Based on the brightness and the direction of the movement as well as the regularity of the shadow, the type, the extent and the regularity of an existing refractive error can be determined. The observation of the light transmission of the refractive media, cornea, ocular lens and vitreous body yields additional valuable Information.

Download video: MP4 format

In this case, retinoscopy makes the opacities of the lens visible. © Video: E. Gentile

For infants, small children and people with only limited communication abilities this may be the only possibility to detect the visual impairment and to determine the requisite correction.



The videos shown were recorded and made available by Ms. Eveline Gentile, the leading orthoptist at the ophthalmological clinic of the University of Bern.