With an Ophthalmoscope, light is shone into the eye and the retina and the optic nerve is examined. This is called as Examination of the Fundus. This is what the eye-doctor sees when he peeps into your eye! Through the transparent cornea, into the dark interior.
The Fundus Exam
When he looks into the eye with the Ophthalmoscope, he sees a orange glowing interior. That is the retina. The retina is actually transparent. It appears bright because of blood vessels in the choroid layer below. It is like looking at your ear against the bright sunlight. The yellow circle is the Optic Nerve, the cable of vision! A red, shiny dot attracts attention. That is the macula.
If indicated, the exam of periphery of the retina is done with an Indirect ophthalmoscope. The ophthalmologist wears this instrument on the head and focuses the light into the eye with a lens held in his hand. This is usually done in a dark room.