Definition of Slit Lamp Examination

Slit Lamp Examination is the examination of the outer eye using a bright light focused into an elongated slit in combination with a biomicroscope. The examination takes place in a darkened room, with the person sitting on one side of the slit lamp and the ophthalmologist on the other side.

The ophthalmologist moves the light across the surface of the eye to examine the inner eyelids, sclera, cornea, iris, and lens. The ophthalmologist may also put drops in the eyes to dilate the pupils, then use the slit lamp to examine the structures at the back of the eye, such as the retina and optic nerve, as well.

The bright light of the slit lamp is sometimes uncomfortable as it passes across the eye, especially with dilated pupils that allow the full intensity of the light to enter the inner eye. The examination takes only a few minutes.


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