Slit Lamp Examination
How It Is Done continued...
A test called fluorescein staining may be done along with
a slit lamp examination.
- During this test, your doctor applies a dye called
fluorescein as an eyedrop or as a paper strip that is gently touched to the
inside of your lower eyelid. The dye dissolves in your tears, coats your
cornea, and collects temporarily in any scratches or other abnormal areas. The
rest of the dye is washed away by your tears.
- Your doctor shines a light onto your eye. The fluorescein dye shows up under
the light, allowing the doctor to see scratches, ulcers, burns, or
areas of irritation from an infection or dryness.
A slit lamp examination takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
How It Feels
There normally is no discomfort involved
with a slit lamp examination.
Dilating drops may make your eyes
sting and cause a medicine taste in your mouth. You will have trouble
focusing your eyes for up to 12 hours after your eyes have been dilated. Your
distance vision usually is not affected as much as your near vision, though
your eyes may be very sensitive to light. Do not drive for several hours after
your eyes have been dilated. Wearing sunglasses may make you more comfortable
until the effect of the drops wears off.
Anesthetic drops usually
wear off in about 30 minutes.
In some people, the dilating or anesthetic
eyedrops can cause:
Contact your doctor immediately if you have severe and
sudden eye pain, vision problems (halos may appear around light), or loss of
vision after the examination.
The slit lamp exam uses an instrument that
provides a magnified, three-dimensional (3-D) view of the different parts of
Slit lamp examination
- The eyelashes, eyelids, and lining of
the eyelids (conjunctiva) look normal.
- All of the structures inside
of the eye look normal.
- Changes are found in the
cornea , such as an irregularly shaped cornea or a
corneal scratch (abrasion), ulcer, or infection
- A foreign body,
such as a metal fragment, is found.
- Infection, such as
conjunctivitis , is found.
- Bleeding is seen
iris and cornea (hyphema) from a sudden break in a
blood vessel or as a result of an injury to the eye.
- Signs of glaucoma are seen.