In order to examine the retina (the back of the eye) more closely, your ophthalmologist may use a diagnostic technique called Fluorescein Angiography.

A harmless (vegetable-based) fluorescent dye is injected into a vein in your arm, where it travels throughout the blood vessels in your body, illuminating them. As the dye passes through the blood vessels in the eye, a special camera takes photographs of the retina tracking the blood flow.

Fluorescein angiography helps your ophthalmologist see what is happening in your retina, highlighting any abnormalities that may be present. The images from fluorescein angiography help your doctor decide on the best course of treatment for your condition. The procedure will also be performed to monitor progression of your condition and the effectiveness of treatment. It is used most often to monitor two conditions: Age–Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and the effects of Diabetes on the eyes.


  • Special drops will be put into your eye to make your pupil dilate (open).
  • Your ophthalmologist will insert a small needle into a vein in your arm and inject the dye.
  • At the same time, a Technician will take pictures of your retina. The camera used will shine a dim blue light into your eye, which causes the dye traveling through the blood vessels in the retina to "light up" . A series of pictures will be taken, which your ophthalmologist reviews later.

You may experience some of the following symptoms after fluorescein angiography:

  • Your eyes may be sensitive to light due to the dilation of your pupils. Bring sunglasses with you to your appointment.
  • Your vision may be blurry due to eye drops you received. It is a good idea to have someone drives you home afterwards.
  • Your vision may appear darker or have a colored tint due to the flash of the camrera. This will last only a few minutes.
  • After the fluorescein dye is injected, your skin may turn yellowish for several hours.
  • Because your kidneys remove the dye from the body, your urine will be very bright yellow for up to 24 hours following the test.

copyrite: American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Eye M.D. Association