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.
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.
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