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Fluorescein angiography is one of the fundamental imaging techniques in the eye. It is a test that helps in the differentiation of retinal disease and is used to determine if laser treatment of the retina is required.

The test takes about 20 to 30 minutes. A contrast medium called Sodium Fluorescein is injected into a vein in the arm. The dye travels quickly through the body’s circulatory system, and is photographed in black and white as it travels through the eye. The same camera used for fundus photography is employed for this procedure. Two special filters are used to limit the image to the color of light being emitted from the fluorescent dye.

About twelve seconds after the injection, the dye appears in the arteries of the retina. Over a two to five second period, the dye travels through the very small vessels, or capillaries, and fills the veins. Ten minutes after the injection, the dye has mostly evacuated from the eye, having stained the optic nerve head. Pictures are taken throughout and assessed for further treatment planning.

Possible side effects

You may get:

  • A wave of nausea (feel sick) and occasionally be sick 30 to 60 seconds after the injection, especially if you have had a heavy meal before the test. For this reason, it is a good idea not to have a heavy meal before your appointment
  • Sneezing
  • A strange taste at the back of your mouth after the injection
  • The injection site can be painful if the dye leaks from the vein into the surrounding tissue
  • A mild headache.
  • An allergic reaction. Please let the doctor know if you have multiple allergies or have had a severe allergic reaction before




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