The ophthalmoscope is a simple, but effective instrument used to examine the interior of the eye. It was invented in 1851 by Herman von Helmholtz (1821-1894). It works by the user placing their eye in the path of light reflected from the back of the subject’s eye, this allows them to see the retina. Helmholtz used glass plates angled at 45 degrees to reflect sunlight into the eye.
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