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What happens during fluorescein angiography?

Fluorescein angiography takes about 10 minutes and is usually done on an outpatient basis – meaning you can go home the day of the test. However, please allow 1.5 – 2 hours as it takes some time for your eyes to dilate (widen) prior to the actual test.

Prior to your test we will give you eye drops to dilate your eyes. Your vision will be blurred. Your consultant will inject fluorescein dye into a vein in your arm or hand. The dye will circulate around your body and highlight the blood vessels in the back of your eye.

Using a special camera your consultant will take pictures of the back of your eye. The test is not painful. Try to keep your eyes still and open despite the brightness of the camera light.  

After fluorescein angiography

You will not be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home. Your vision may remain blurred until the effect of the eye drops has worn off. The fluorescein dye is yellow and your skin may have a slight yellow colour for a day or two. Your urine will be bright yellow the day after your test.  

You should not drive for at least 6 hours after your fluorescein angiography. Avoid any bright sunlight for 48 hours. Wear sunglasses if you are exposed to sunlight.

Most people return to normal daily activities very soon after fluorescein angiography. As will any procedure there could be complications such as:

  • Allergic reaction to fluorescein dye
  • Blurred vision
  • Slight nausea or a warm sensation when the dye is injected

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