Retinal angiography is when your ophthalmologist takes photos of your retina and choroid. He or she can get a better view of your eyes with these pictures. This helps them find certain eye diseases, track changes over time and target problem areas.
To see your blood vessels in your retina, your ophthalmologist uses fluorescein, a yellowish dye.
To look at your choroid, your ophthalmologist uses a dye known as indocyanine green (ICG). This is because green is visible through the cells that coat the choroid.
What Happens During Retinal Angiography?
Retinal angiography is usually done in your ophthalmologist’s office. It often takes about 30 minutes. Here is what will happen:
As the dye passes through your retina and choroid, a special camera takes photos. These images help your ophthalmologist see any problems or where to focus treatment.
Your physician will put drops in your eyes to dilate (widen) your pupil.
A colored dye is injected in a vein, normally in your arm. It takes 10-15 seconds for the dye to travel through your body. The dye eventually reaches the blood vessels within your eye.
What To Expect After Retinal Angiography
You should have someone else drive you home from the office after retinal angiography. Your vision will be hazy for a few hours. This is from the eye drops used to dilate your pupils. Try to avoid bright lights because your eyes will be sensitive. It is recommended to bring sunglasses to your appointment.
Retinal Angiography Risks And Side Effects
When you look at objects, they may seem dull or tinted. This side effect goes away in a couple minutes. Your skin may look a tinge of yellow. This happens because the dye travels to all your veins in your body. Your skin will return to its normal color within hours. Your urine may look orange or dark yellow for about 24 hours after angiography. This is because your kidneys will filter the dye from your blood. You may feel a burn on your skin if dye seeps during the injection. This side effect goes away within a few minutes.
A colored dye is injected into the arm, where it travels to the blood vessels in your retina. A special camera takes photos of these retinal vessels when they are lit up with dye. This way your eye doctor can visualize where there may be problems. He or she also may use these images to help guide treatment.
If you have any issues with your eyes or your vision, speak with your ophthalmologist. He or she is committed to protecting your eyes.
Although it is not very common, you could have an allergic reaction to the dye. People who are allergic to fluorescein dye may get hives or itchy skin. Very rarely, an individual may have breathing or other serious problems. Your doctor can treat allergic reactions with pills or shots.
People who are allergic to iodine may react to the ICG dye. Before your retinal angiography, tell your ophthalmologist if you are allergic to objects with iodine in them. These include shellfish and the dyes used to take X-rays.