A fluorescein dye disappearance test is used in children
and adults to find out whether
tears are draining normally from the eyes into the
One drop of a special dye (fluorescein) or a
paper strip containing the dye is placed between the eyelid and the
After 10 to 15 minutes, the doctor looks in your eye using a
blue light. The light can detect very small amounts of fluorescent dye. The
doctor may also use the light to look in your throat and inside your
Normally, tears sweep the dye out of the eye and into the
tear ducts. If dye stays in the eye, the tear duct may be blocked.
Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the covering of the eyeball and inside of the eyelid). This inflammation may lead to redness, tearing, discharge, itching, and pain. Pinkeye is also called conjunctivitis.
Both eyes are usually tested and compared during this test, which is done
after other exams have not clearly shown that the duct is blocked.
A baby may fuss and cry during this test. Parents are often asked to hold
and soothe their child while he or she is being tested.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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