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Test: Slit-lamp Examination

The slit lamp is used to examine structures at the front of the eye: the transparent cornea, which covers the front part of the eye; the coloured iris; the lens; and the front chamber, which lies between the cornea and the lens. The slit lamp produces a long, narrow beam of brilliant light that is focused onto the eye. Although the examination is painless, eye drops used to dilate the pupil may make your vision blurred for a few hours afterwards. Ophthalmologists may also sometimes use a slit lamp with a special lens placed in front of your eye to examine structures in the back of the eye, such as the retina.

During the examination

As the ophthalmologist moves the light beam across your eye using a control lever, a headrest and chin support keep your head still.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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