IMG_0087How do you capture the image of the eye on slit lamp exam either for the patient or your ophthalmology consult? It’s often easier to show someone a photo rather than trying to describe that atypical dendritic lesion, degree of corneal edema, or pattern of corneal abrasion.

You, however, don’t have the expensive camera attachment (nor a SLR camera for that matter).

Trick of the Trade

Take a photo with your mobile phone camera
  • Position the patient comfortably at the slit lamp.
  • Using the viewfinder lens, focus the image of the patient’s eye.
  • Step away from the slit lamp without moving the slit lamp or the patient.
  • Place the camera lens from your iPhone (or other mobile phone camera) up against the viewfinder where your eye was.
  • Take the photo.

There are several commercial iPhone adapters which help stabilize the iPhone (see second photo above), but I get reasonable high-quality images without them.

Thanks to Dr. Matt Silver (Kaiser San Diego) for the tip and Dr. David Duong for being the eye model.


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Founder of ALiEM @aliemteam #PostitPearls
Michelle Lin, MD