Red Reflex Assessment

The red reflex test is a non-invasive test that can identify early warning signs of serious eye conditions in children, such as cataract (white water), glaucoma (blue water) and retinoblastoma (childhood eye cancer). Your paediatric ophthalmologist will perform a red reflex test using an ophthalmoscope; a magnifying instrument with a bright light.

Preparation for the test

A detailed history will be taken by a nurse prior to the test. It summarises the birth history, any medical conditions, allergies and family medical history. The nurse will also assess the child’s vital signs and weight.

The paediatric ophthalmologist will need to dilate the patients pupils prior to the test; this allows a better view of the eye.

The eyedrops are given three times, with ten minute intervals between doses.
Once dilated the paediatric ophthalmologist will perform the assessment and will immediately discuss the findings with you.

What to expect after the procedure

Possible side effects of the dilating drops:

  • Temporary irritation
  • Some sensitivity to light
  • Allergic reaction such as red eyes and watering of the eyes

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