Common Faults in Ophthalmoscope and How to Prevent Them

An ophthalmoscope be it direct or indirect type is handy tool in eye-care delivery services and its portable and contains lenses, mirror and bulb and as such handle with respect.  To have the best experience with this device, proper care and maintenance are of necessity. Consider the points below to ensure that your ophthalmoscope gives you years of dependable service.

Common Faults:

Rusted rheostat; broken switch; Stained Optics; Broken or Misaligned lenses; Dimmed or darkened bulb surface; Power box and cable (this concerns the indirect ophthalmoscope),

One of the most common problems of ophthalmoscope especially, battery operated is the electrical contacts due to come as results of leaving batteries in the handle or battery compartment for a long time thereby corroding the contacts and spoil it. The corrosion could affect the rheostat or the pin contacts or both. Most times you could get the ophthalmoscope working by cleaning the corroded parts with alcohol or spirit. To clean the contacts you need to access the switch/control unit and this done by following a simple instructions‘how to dismantle a direct ophthalmoscope.

To forestall this problem:

Periodically check the condition of the batteries in your ophthalmoscope, making sure there is no sign of corrosion or oxidation. Always replace both batteries when changing them; alkaline batteries are good for your battery handles and if you will not use this instrument for an extended period of time, remove the batteries and store it within its protective case.

Replacing both batteries at the same time will ensure the bulb last longer, however with the new LED bulb technology in this ophthalmoscope, the defects in any of the used battery has little effect except to prevent corrosion to the contacts and switch systems.

Clean the exterior of your ophthalmoscope;

With a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution and soak a lint-free cloth. Wipe down the exterior of the ophthalmoscope head and handle, cleaning all external surface areas. Take care to prevent excess liquid from seeping into the components. I have cleaned many ophthalmoscope with mild soap solution and well wiped clean dry with water moistened lint free cloth . Best practice is to prevent damages to the aesthetic of the instrument. You can substitute isopropyl alcohol with commonly used, EPA- registered hospital disinfectant wipes for cleaning purposes if desired, but yield to users’ instructions from the manufacturers.

Cleaning the Optical Surfaces:

It is important to note that solution residue on the magnifying lenses may decrease device performance, carefully wipe clean all excess cleaning fluids from the surfaces of the lenses. You may clean the lenses of the instrument head cleaned with a lint-free cloth or lens paper.

You could prepare a mild soap solution and soak the optics in it (after you might have dismantled the ophthalmoscope) for proper cleaning after which you thoroughly rinse them after which you get them cool dry air.

When not in use, keep the instrument in the case provided.