The fluorescent eye test is useful in determining if there is a scratch or other problem with the surface of the cornea. It can also be used to detect foreign bodies on the surface of the eye, and determine if there is an injury to the eye or eye infection. The test is performed by administering dye onto the eye's surface. After the dye has thoroughly covered the eye a cobalt blue light is then directed on the eye. The light causes the dye to glow green. Abnormalities in the corneal epithelium will cause the dye to stain that region.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.