1880 Sismet Road Mississauga, ON L4W 1W9, Canada

+1 905-212-9482


Fundus Autofluorescence Photography (FAF) is one of the latest ophthalmic tests designed to examine and diagnosis specific diseases and conditions of the retina and optic nerve. FAF is a non-invasive diagnostic test. This means that no drugs or procedures are involved in the test, and no part of the instrument comes into contact with the eye. Therefore, it presents no risk at all to the eye or the general health of the patient who is having the test. The test involves taking photographs of the inside of the eye with a special camera utilizing specific wavelengths of light.

FAF is based on the scientific principle of Fluorescence which occurs when a substance absorbs light of a specific wavelength and then emits lights of a different wavelength. It is the same principle that allows fluorescent light bulbs to work. If a light of a specific colour shines on a fluorescent material, it will reflect or emit light of a different specific colour. An instrument is then used to measure the amount of emitted light, and this allows very precise imaging and measurement of the amount of material that is present. Some compounds and chemicals that naturally occur inside the human body have the ability to fluoresce. Fluorescent cameras can non-invasively measure the amount of these compounds inside the parts of the body. Inside some of the cells of the retina is a compound called Lipofuscin. Lipofuscin accumulates inside some of the retinal cells as a waste product as a result of either natural aging or some disease processes. Lipofuscin fluoresces and emits a yellow-orange light when it is stimulated by a specific colour of blue light. The FAF measures the amount of Lipofuscin inside the cells of the retina. It produces images of the retina that show how much Lipofuscin is present in certain parts of the retina. This detects parts of the retina that are damaged or unhealthy. Several other compounds found inside the eye can also be measured using FAF.

FAF is particularly useful for diagnosing and monitoring Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). In the early stages of the Dry form of AMD, Lipofuscin accumulates in the RPE cells below the retina. This is because the retina cells are unhealthy and they produce an abnormally high amount of waste products. The RPE cells with high amounts of Lipofuscin will be very bright on the FAF images. This means that the overlying retinal cells are damaged from AMD. When the damage becomes very severe and the retina cells begin dying, the FAF will show very dark signals since the cells are no longer functioning. FAF therefore can detect the degree of damage in the retina from AMD. It can also estimate the risks of progression of dry AMD.

FAF is very useful for detecting evidence of previous damage to the retina from various causes. Often such damage is not detectable by direct observation and other diagnostic tests. The FAF can detect damage at the cellular level even if it is very subtle. It can detect evidence of previous blood vessel leaks in the retina, even if the retina appears normal to direct observation. Such detection is important in preventing further damage to the retina. As well, the FAF can diagnose certain optic nerve diseases that cannot be definitively diagnosed by any other methods.

FAF is one of the most important new retinal diagnostic tests. It is extremely safe and effective at detecting a variety of serious retinal and ocular diseases.

An example of an FAF camera system
An FAF image of the retina
showing areas of retinal cell damage
FAF image of a retina with
damage from Dry AMD
Colour photo of the retina showing
no blood vessel leakage
FAF image of the same retina showing evidence
of previous damage from blood vessel leakage
FAF image of the same retina showing evidence
of previous damage from blood vessel leakage


Our specialized team of doctors and state-of-the-art facility
are available at two convenient locations

1880 Sismet Road Mississauga,
ON L4W 1W9, Canada

+1 905-212-9482

2630 Rutherford Rd #105, Vaughan,
ON L4K 0H2, Canada

+1 (905) 212-9482

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