Good Hope, Heartlands, and Solihull Eye Clinics

Fluorescein angiography & Photography

David Kinshuck

What is Fluorescein angiography?

This is a test which allows the blood vessels at the back of the eye to be photographed as a fluorescent dye is injected into the bloodstream via your hand or arm. this test is primarily needed to help the doctor make a diagnosis, so treatment can be arranged. Also, it keeps a permanent record of the vessels at the back of the eye    an example

How is the test performed?

  • Your pupils will be dilated with eye drops.
  • An injection of yellow dye is given into a vein in your arm.
  • A series of photographs is taken as the dye enters the vessels at the back of your eye.

Dilating Pupils

Very occasionally the drops last 3 days, but usually they last 1 hour with maximum effect, and are 80% better after 3 hours. Reading or close work may still be slightly difficult after this. Using sunglasses while your pupils are dilated is very helpful indeed.

Are there any side-effects?

  • During the injection you may feel warm or experience a hot flush. This only lasts seconds then disappears. 
  • Your skin will be pale yellow and your urine coloured fluorescent green. This is entirely normal and may take two days to wear off.
  • Very occaionally people fell a little sick.

Can I eat and drink before the test?

Yes. It is advisable to eat a light meal before the test. If you have diabetes you must ensure you have had enough to eat.

Should I take my normal medication?

Yes, all your regular medication should be continued. You will be asked before the test what medication you are taking.

Should I inform you of my past medical history?

Yes, this is very important. Also inform us of any allergies that you may have. If you think that you may be pregnant, please inform the nursing/medical staff.

When will I get the results of the test?

Sometimes an appointment will be made for you to see the doctor in the eye clinic, at other times you will be given the reult the same day.

Can I drive home?

No. The drops and bright light from the camera will blur your vision for a short time. Please arrange for another adult to collect you from the hospital and escort you home.

Retinal Photography (routine photography, without angiography)

For this your pupils will need to be dilated with eye drops, so you should not drive. If you do drive, staff may have to refuse to put drops in your your eye and cancel the procedure. Dilating your pupils stops you reading, and lights become very bright, especially sunlight. Some people do drive, especially if they wait an hour or two after the drops are put in, so they wear off a little, but this is not ideal.