Frenzel goggles

Timothy C. Hain, MD•Page last modified: May 1, 2022

There are two types of Frenzel goggles -- optical and video. The content on this page discusses optical frenzels. The video frenzel goggles are far preferable, but they cost substantially more than the optical versions (Baba, 2004). See this page for the various vendors of video frenzel goggles.

Conventional optical Frenzel goggles.

Frenzel goggles are extremely useful in evaluation of patients with vestibular disorders. In essence, they consist of the combination of magnifying glasses (+20 lenses placed in front of the patient), and a lighting system. When Frenzel's goggles are placed on the patient, and the room lights darkened, nystagmus can easily be seen because the patients eyes are well illuminated and magnified, and because fixation is removed as the patient can hardly focus through magnifying glasses on a dark room.

Hermann Frenzel's a German physician(Gejrot, 1994) , should not be confused with Augustin-Jean Fresnel, a French physicist. Fresnel is known for his work with optics, and his name is associated with a type of magnifying lens. Fresnel lenses are used in Frenzel's goggles, in the GN-otometrics design (see below).

Video Frenzels are much better than optical Frenzels

ENG display Video-Frenzel goggles.

In the authors medical practice in Chicago Illinois, we use video Frenzels. A single image of the eye fills the entire screen of a 30 inch monitor. This allows one to see very small amounts of nystagmus from across the room. Such video-eye movement recording systems, called "video Frenzels", are usually preferable to optical Frenzel goggles. Video systems provide a mechanism of recording the examination and also are more educational for patients, spouses and students. Video goggles eliminate vision entirely, compared to Frenzel goggles which merely obscure vision. They also provide the capability of showing much larger images. These are very important advantages. The superiority was pointed out by Baba et al (Baba, 2004).

Anyway, there are six sources of the optical Frenzel glasses that I am aware of which are discussed below: goggles

These optical goggles are made by, and they originate in Russia. They can be purchased from, which is in Russia.. These are reasonable goggles, with a few design differences. The illumination is with LEDs. The device is powered with a battery in the front, just under the power switch. They do not require a power supply and have no danger of being burnt out, but the battery has to be changed periodically.


There are several variants of "Frenzel" glasses, (quotes intended), that are simply spectacles.

Spectacle variant Frenzels
Frenzel spectacles of Dhonde and Khadilkar (2020).

One example is shown above -- these are simply 20 Diopter lenses mounted in conventional glases. A similar implementation is that of Strupp et al, (2014) called "M-glasses". While better than nothing, we think the enclosed devices above are all superior.

Do it yourself Frenzel goggles