A pen light might be a tiny gadget, but it is one of the essential diagnostic tools for all medical practitioners. These are specialized flashlights. It is because pen lights are indispensable, convenient, portable, and bright. However, pen lights may also be used by people who want to keep one at home in case an emergency arises. For you to choose the correct pen light and how to check pupils with a pen light, this is the ultimate guide for you. This article discusses what a pen light is, and all you need to know about a pen light.
How to Check Pupils with a Pen Light
A pen light is a pen-inspired mini flashlight like the name suggests. The typical pen light is five to six inches long and only runs on AA or AAA batteries. They are often made out of LED (light-emitting diode) or miniature halogen lightbulbs. Pen lights can illuminate a specific single area with its bright light, unlike a regular flashlight that can illuminate more extensive areas. For nurses and medical professionals, pen lights are used as a diagnostic tool. Being a versatile tool that it is, police officers and mechanics also use these in their line of work.
If you are still wondering how to check pupils with a pen light, here is how you do it the easiest way:
- First, you need to darken the room.
- Test the pupils for a direct response (reaction of the pupil) and consensual response (response of the opposite pupil). Hold the pen light at about 20 inches (51 cm) away from the patient’s eyes to direct the light at the eye from the side.
- Perform test accommodation by placing your finger about 4 inches (10 cm) from the bridge of the patient’s nose.
- Ask said patient to look at your finger. After this, his eyes should converge, and the pupils should constrict.
This is the step-by-step instructions on how you can perform a pupil check on your own. The response of the pupil should determine the patient’s condition. Make sure that you do this correctly and carefully.
Benefits of Owning a Pen Light
If you are wondering why pen lights often outshine a flashlight, here are some of the benefits offered by this mighty tool.
- Easy to carry – Pen lights look like your regular pen, and they are also lightweight. You can just easily tuck them into your pocket to carry around all day. They weigh so light that you won’t even know you are carrying them. Their slim profile will not stretch out the fabric of your clothes.
- Fits into small spaces – Aside from the pupils, pen lights may also be used to assess symptoms in the throat and mouth. These are small areas, so it can be challenging to fit a regular-sized flashlight in there. Once you explore more of these pen lights, you will discover that some of them have a depressor. This is to have a more unobstructed view of the throat when you peer on it.
- Targeted illumination – Even in a bright room such as a well-lit doctor’s office, most areas of the body – such as the ears and throat—might still be obscured by the shadows. Pen lights are designed only to highlight the areas you need to examine and nothing more.
- Perfect level of brightness – If you have already attempted to shine a regular flashlight before your eyes, you have probably been blinded temporarily. This is because a flashlight has more lumens than your eyes can handle. A lumen is a unit of measurement for the amount of brightness produced by light. Lumens are not to be confused with watts, which is the amount of energy it requires to power the light. Pen lights are intended to provide the right amount of lumens in provoking pupil response among patients. For short, your eyes will not get blinded if someone uses a pen light to check it.
Other Uses of a Pen Light
If you are wondering about the essential tasks of a pen light, here are some of its uses:
Assessing Pupil Response
As mentioned earlier, pen lights are used to evaluate how fast the pupils constrict when exposed to bright light. You can see medical professionals swinging the pen light from eye to eye. This is to make sure that the pupils constrict the same and to check other conditions that come with it.
Examining wounds in the throat or mouth area
The overhead light in a doctor’s office is not strong enough to illuminate these injuries for a complete assessment. Pen lights are perfect tools in locating these hidden injuries.
Illuminating a patient’s room
When patients have to stay in the hospital overnight, they would probably need to be checked at night by the nurses. Using a pen light for illumination instead of the overhead lights is a courteous way of checking up on these patients when they are sleeping.
Looking through drawers
A pen light also comes in handy when you have to search through a dark room or cabinet. This will give you enough illumination to look into dark nooks and crannies.
That wraps up the basic pointers you need to know on how to check pupils with a pen light. It may sound easy, but doing it in an actual circumstance can be difficult. The size of your pupils directly reflects the state of your mind and body. This may determine whether you are fearful, angry, in pain, under the influence of drugs or in love. Moreover, it may also determine certain medical conditions. Nevertheless, a pen light is a versatile use, and one can use even for non-medical purposes. Find out more about first aid.