Slit-lamp examination

Slit-lamp examination

Slit-lamp examination

A slit-lamp examination is an examination of the front (anterior) parts of your eye — the cornea (clear membrane in front of the central part of the eye), the lens (part of the eye that focuses light), and the iris (the coloured part of your eye). A slit lamp, which is a special instrument that includes a light source and a magnifying lens, is used to look for signs of eye injuries, problems with the cornea (such as ulcers, abrasions, and infections), cataracts (when the lens becomes “milky”), and swelling (e.g. scleritis and conjunctivitis). A slit lamp can also be used when removing foreign bodies. Before the examination, the doctor may use eye drops to dilate your pupil; he may also put some drops into your eye to stain the cornea temporarily so that it is easier to identify certain conditions, particularly ulcers.

What is it?
A slit-lamp examination is an examination of the anterior (front) parts of your eye, using a slit lamp, which is a special instrument that includes a light source and a lens.

A slit-lamp examination is usually conducted in an ophthalmologists (eye specialist) rooms and it takes less than 30 minutes.

Why is it done?
Slit-lamp examination is used to examine the anterior parts of the eye, including:

  • The cornea (clear membrane in front of the central part of the eye)
  • The lens (part of the eye that focuses light)
  • The iris
  • Corneal ulcers, abrasions, infections, and other problems
  • Eye injuries (blunt or penetrating trauma)
  • Cataract (where the lens becomes opaque)
  • Various conditions characterised by inflammation (swelling) such as scleritis and conjunctivitis

A slit lamp is often used to magnify the front of the eye when removing foreign bodies.

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is necessary.

During – how the test is done
You sit down and rest your chin and forehead on the slit lamp frame, to make sure you sit still. The doctor will then shine a light into your eye and look through a special lens. He may put some drops into your eye, to stain the cornea temporarily – this makes it easier to identify certain conditions, particularly corneal ulcers. In most cases the doctor will also use eye drops that dilate your pupil.

After the test
Your eye will be an orange/yellow colour for a short while after the test but this will disappear quickly. You will have blurred vision and be sensitive to light for a few hours after the test, as a result of the pupil-dilating drops.

Risks and Compilations
There are no risks associated with this procedure.

Short Description
A slit-lamp examination is an examination of the front (anterior) parts of your eye — the cornea (clear membrane in front of the central part of the eye), the lens (part of the eye that focuses light), and the iris (the coloured part of your eye).

Keywords
slit-lamp examination, eye examination



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