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Fluorescein Dye Dry Eye Test

What is a Fluorescein Test?

This test uses special eye drops that contain a yellow-orange dye. With the use of a blue light, the drops allow the specialist to identify any foreign bodies in the eye, damage to the cornea and to diagnose specific conditions such as dry eye syndrome.

How is the test carried out?

The test is carried out by your GP, Optometrist (optician) or Ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor). Using a small eyedropper the specialist will put a few drops of the yellow-orange dye into your eye. The dye is not permanent and will not change the colour of your eye. You will then be asked to blink several times, so that the dye spreads evenly over the surface of your cornea.

A blue light is then shone into your eye. The light causes the dye to glow green and the specialist can then see any damage or abrasions. Also your tears can be seen more clearly, allowing them to determine how quickly your eyes start to dry out.

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Do I need to prepare for the Fluorescein Test?

You do not need to prepare for the test, however, if you wear contact lenses or glasses you will need to remove them first.

How will the Fluorescein Test feel?

At first you may feel a slight stinging sensation when the dye is first applied. However, after a few moments you should no longer feel uncomfortable. The surface of your eye may also have a yellow-orange tint but this is not permanent and will fade in a short amount of time.

How long will the test take?

The test is quite quick and should only take a few minutes.