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Eye Health Center

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Retinal Imaging

How To Prepare continued...

If you wear contact lenses, you may want to take your eyeglasses with you.

Tell your doctor if:

  • You are or might be pregnant or are breast-feeding. The dye used in an angiogram may harm the fetus. The dye also can pass to a baby in breast milk.
  • You have any health problems, including glaucoma.
  • You are taking any medicines, including over-the-counter medicines and herbs or other supplements.
  • You are allergic to any medicines, including dilating eyedrops.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

Retinal imaging tests are done in a hospital or doctor's office by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

For some tests, the doctor will first use eyedrops to widen, or dilate, your pupils. You'll sit and wait for about half an hour for the drops to take effect.

For most tests, you'll sit in a chair facing the camera. You'll place your chin on a chin rest. And you'll brace your forehead against a bar to keep it still.

Keep your mouth closed, open your eyes as wide as you can, and stare straight ahead. You can breathe and blink normally while the camera photographs or scans your eyes.

It only takes a few minutes to take the pictures.


Before an angiogram, a dye is injected into your vein.

  • An IV needle is placed in a vein in your arm, and the dye is injected. It takes only a few seconds for the dye to be visible in the blood vessels in your eyes.
  • Photos are taken as the dye enters the eyes.
  • This test usually takes about 30 minutes.

Eye ultrasound

Eyes closed: You sit in a chair with your eyes closed. The doctor puts ultrasound gel on your eyelid. Then he or she gently moves a small ultrasound wand against your eyelid.

Eyes open: Eyedrops are used to numb your eyes. The doctor moves the ultrasound wand against the front surface of your eye.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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