An eye speculum is a tool that is used to keep the patient’s eyelids apart during surgery or an eye examination. The necessity of an eye speculum depends on the nature of the operation or examination and the patient’s condition as well.
There are different kinds of eye speculums. Some speculums are made to last and can be used repeatedly - with proper sanitizing in between uses, of course. Other speculums are meant to be disposable. These kinds of eye speculums are usually reserved for situations wherein proper disinfection of the tools is not always possible, such as remote medical missions and the like. Whether or not an eye speculum is disposable, it is normally made of lightweight material and is designed to ensure maximum comfort for the patient. Commonly used materials for eye speculums are plastic, titanium, and aluminum.
An eye speculum is often used for major eye surgery. Some procedures include laser treatment, surgery for glaucoma treatment, and corneal transplant. In these cases, it is imperative that the patient’s eyelids are consistently out of the way. Since an eye speculum works in such a way that there is contact between the tool and the patient’s eyeball, moisturizing eyedrops are applied at regular intervals in order to further ensure comfort on the patient’s part.
For regular or routine examinations, the eye speculum may not always be used.
Some people have thought of using an eye speculum to assist in the insertion of contact lenses, but this is not one of the possible uses of this tool.