What happens

Before the test:

You might want to bring someone with you, or ask someone to collect you after the test.

What happens during the test

  1. You'll be asked to read some letters on a chart first.
  2. Drops are then put in your eyes. These may sting for a few seconds. The drops make your sight blurry after about 15 minutes.
  3. When the drops start working, you'll be asked to look into a camera. The camera will not touch your eyes.
  4. Pictures are taken of the back of your eyes. There will be a bright flash when a picture is taken.

Your appointment will usually last about 30 minutes.

After the test

You can go home when the test is finished.

For up to 6 hours after the test:

You will not get your test result on the day.

You'll get a letter about your result within 6 weeks.

Urgent advice: Go back to where you had the test or go to A&E if:

  • your eyes become very painful
  • your eyes turn red
  • your sight is still blurry after 6 hours

These side effects are very rare, but need to be checked quickly.

Find your nearest A&E

Page last reviewed: 7 September 2022
Next review due: 7 September 2025