Having an Examination under an Anaesthetic

An examination under anaesthetic, known as an EUA, is when doctors look closely at your eye but don’t necessarily operate on it.

 Examination under an anaesthetic

Doing the business

If your eye is to be examined in this way you will be admitted to a children’s ward, given a general anaesthetic and taken to the operating theatre for the EUA.

For more information please check out our General Anesthetic factsheet

EUAs are completed in a day. This means you will be admitted, examined and allowed to leave on the same day. 

Once the EUA has ended you will be taken to the recovery area.  When you wake up the nurse will bring your parents or carer to you. The doctor will then come and discuss the findings from the EUA and any future treatment you might need. Everyone is different, but usually you will need to remain on the ward for at least two hours after having an EUA. During this time you will be encouraged to drink fluids, eat some food and pass urine.

After the anaesthetic you may feel sick for the first 24 hours. You should still try to drink plenty of liquids during this period.  As long as you do so, it doesn’t matter too much if you eat very little for the first couple of days following the EUA, during which you may feel uncomfortable. When you get home, whoever is looking after you can give you regular pain relieving medicine to help ease some of this discomfort.

Does it work?

EUA are performed for a variety of reasons. Generally, an EUA is done when it would be uncomfortable for you to be examined whilst awake.  Because the general anaesthetic makes you fall asleep and lie still, the doctor is able to have a good look at your eye without interruption.

Trouble Spots

When doctors perform an EUA they sometimes discover a problem that requires an operation straight away. This is most likely for children who have glaucoma, where EUAs are regularly performed to check the pressure inside the eye. In such a case, the operation would be completed while you were still asleep due to the anaesthetic.


Article approved by Moorfields Children’s Information Group

Last reviewed: 08/10/08