Before the test:
- plan how you'll get to and from the test – do not drive, as your sight may be blurry for a few hours afterwards
- bring all the glasses and contact lenses you wear, along with contact lens solution
- bring sunglasses – everything can look very bright for a few hours after the test
- eat and drink as normal
You might want to bring someone with you, or ask someone to collect you after the test.
What happens during the test
- You'll be asked to read some letters on a chart first.
- Drops are then put in your eyes. These may sting for a few seconds. The drops make your sight blurry after about 15 minutes.
- When the drops start working, you'll be asked to look into a camera. The camera will not touch your eyes.
- 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:
- your sight may be blurry – do not drive until it goes back to normal
- everything can look very bright – wearing sunglasses can help
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.
Page last reviewed: 7 September 2022
Next review due: 7 September 2025