Diagnostic Testing: Fluorescein Angiography (FA)
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WHAT IS FLUORESCEIN ANGIOGRAPHY OR "FA"?
This is a diagnostic procedure that allows the study of the circulation of the retina and choroid in normal and diseased states. A special camera is used to take a series of photographs of the retina after a small amount of yellow dye (fluorescein) is injected into a vein in your arm.
This test takes only a short time and causes little discomfort.
WHY IS THIS TEST DONE?
Your eye care provider will use this test to check for abnormal blood vessels or swelling and to find out if the flow of blood is normal in your retina. The retina is the lining at the back of the eye that senses light coming into the eye. You may be at risk for problems with your retinas if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, sickle cell disease, or other health problems. You may have this test during a checkup if your eye care provider suspects problems with your retina. This test can also be used to see if certain treatments are working.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THIS TEST?
Your eyes will be dilated with eye drops. You will be seated in front of a special camera. You put your chin on a chin rest, and your forehead against a support bar to keep your head still during the test. An orange dye is injected into a vein in your arm through a needle. The dye travels from your arm to your eyes in a few seconds. Photos are taken quickly as the dye moves through the blood vessels in your eyes. The test can take up to a half hour or more. The photos can show problems in the back of the eye.