Denmark became one of the first countries in the world to establish ophthalmology as a specialist field of medicine in its own right in 1888 as a result, among other things, of the invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1850. Ophthalmoscopes are used to examine the interior of the eye, especially the retina, which was made possible by this instrument due to its integrated light source. (Introduced by the German ophthalmologist and physicist, Hermann von Helmholtz, his “eye mirror”, as he called it, contained lenses and a concave, perforated mirror.)
By tradition, in Denmark, practitioners in the field of ophthalmology are medical specialists who practice in their own private clinics and at general and specialist hospitals. But in relation to research in diseases of the eye, a more interdisciplinary research field is emerging, which is also eligible for funding within the Foundation’s ophthalmological programme.