Glossary

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)


Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) - Decreased vision in one or both eyes without detectable anatomic damage to the eyes' visual pathways. Usually uncorrectable by eyeglasses or contact lenses.
 

Astigmatism


Astigmatism - Optical defect in which refractive power is not uniform in all directions. Light rays entering the eye are bent unequally by different meridians. This prevents the formation of a sharp image focus on the retina. Slight, uncorrected astigmatism may not cause symptoms, but a large amount may result in significant blurring and headaches.
 
 

Blepharitis


Blepharitis - Inflammation of the eyelids, usually with redness, swelling and itching.
 

Blepharoplasty


Blepharoplasty - Plastic surgery on the eyelids. Blepharoplasty may be performed to correct ptosis (sagging eyelids), remove fatty bulges around the eyes and eliminate hanging skin from the eyelids.
 

Cataract


Cataract - Opacity or cloudiness of the crystalline lens that may prevent a clear image from forming on the retina. Surgical removal of the lens may be necessary if visual loss becomes significant with lost optical power replaced with an intraocular lens contact lens or aphakic spectacles cataracts may be congenital or caused by trauma, disease or age.
 

Cataract Surgery


Cataract Surgery - The standard cataract surgery is performed in an Ambulatory Surgery Center or a hospital. The most common form of cataract surgery today is Phacomemulsification. With the use of an operating microscope your surgeon will make a very small incision in the surface of the eye or near the cornea. A thin ultrasound probe, which often is confused for a laser, is inserted into the eye and uses ultrasonic vibrations to dissolve the clouded lens. The tiny particles are then suctioned out with the same probe. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is placed into the thin capsular bag that the cataract occupied.
 

Chalazion


Chalazion - Inflamed lump in a meibomian gland (in the eyelid). Inflammation usually subsides, but may need surgical removal. Sometimes called an internal hordeolum.
 
 

Conjunctivitis (Pink eye)


Conjunctivitis (Pink eye) - Inflammation of the conjunctiva. Characterized by discharge, grittiness, redness, and swelling. Usually viral in origin but may be bacterial or allergic; may be contagious.
 

Cornea


Cornea - Transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Most of an eye's optical power.
 

Crystalens®


Crystalens® - Trademarked specialty cataract lenses designed to function like a natural human lens providing clear vision without glasses over a wide range of far-to-near activities, like reading street signs to reading a book.
 

Cycloplegic Refraction


Cycloplegic Refraction - Assessment of an eye's refractive error after lens accommodation has been paralyzed with cycloplegic eye drops.
 

Diabetic Retinopathy


Diabetic Retinopathy - Spectrum retinal changes accompanying long-standing diabetes mellitus. Early stage is background retinopathy, which includes the growth of abnormal new blood vessels (neovascularization) and fibrous tissue.
 
 

Diopter


Diopter - Unit to designate the refractive power of a lens.
 
 

Dry Eye Syndrome


Dry Eye Syndrome - Corneal and conjunctival dryness due to deficient tear production, predominantly in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Can cause foreign body sensation, burning eyes, filamentary keratitis, and erosion of the conjuctival and corneal epithelium.
 

Floaters


Floaters - Particles that float in the vitreous and cast shadows on the retina. Seen as spots, cobweb, spiders, etc. Occurs normally with aging or with vitreous detachment, retina tears, or inflammation.
 
 

Glaucoma


Glaucoma - Group of diseases characterized by increased intraocular pressure resulting in damage to the optic nerve fibers. A common cause of preventable vision loss. May be treated by prescription drugs or surgery.
 
 

Hyperopia (farsightedness)


Hyperopia (farsightedness) - Focusing defect in which an eye is underpowered. Thus light rays coming from a distant object strike the retina before coming to sharp focus, blurring vision.
 

Intraocular Pressure


Intraocular Pressure - Fluid pressure inside the eye. The assessment of pressure inside the eye with a tonometer. Also called tension.
 
 

IOL (Intraocular Lens)


IOL (Intraocular Lens) - Plastic lens that may be surgically implanted to replace the eye's natural lens.
 

Kerataconus


Kerataconus - Degenerative corneal disease affecting vision. Characterized by generalized thinning and cone-shaped protrusion of the central cornea, usually in both eyes. Hereditary.
 
 

LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis)


LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) - Type of refractive surgery in which the cornea is reshaped to change its optical power. A disc of cornea is raised as a flap then an excimer laser is used to reshape the intrastromal bed, producing surgical flattening of the cornea. Used for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
 

Lens


Lens - The eye's natural lens. Transparent, biconvex intraocular tissue that helps bring rays of light to a focus on the retina.
 

Low Vision


Low Vision - Level of vision that is 20/70 or worse (perfect visual acuity is 20/20), and cannot be fully corrected with regular glasses. According to the World Health Organization, the following are the classifications of visual impairment:
  • 20/30 to 20/60 is near-normal vision
  • 20/70 to 20/160 is moderate low vision
  • 20/200 to 20/400 is severe low vision
  • 20/500 to 20/1000 is profound low vision
  • Less than 20/1000 is near total blindness
  • No Light Perception is total blindness
 

Macular Degeneration


Macular Degeneration - Deterioration of the macula resulting in loss of sharp central vision. Generally there are 2 types; dry which is more common and wet in which new blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood.
 
 

Monovision


Monovision - A treatment for Presbyopia in which the dominant eye is focused for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye is focused for near to intermediate vision. Can be accomplished with contact lenses, refractive surgery or intraocular lenses.
 

Myopia (nearsightedness)


Myopia (nearsightedness) - Focusing defect in which the eye is overpowered. Light rays coming from a distant object are brought to focus in front of the retina. Requires a minute lens correction to weaken the eye optically and permit clear distance vision.
 
 

Diplopia (double vision)


Diplopia (double vision) - Perception of two images from one object.
 
 

Ophthalmologist


Ophthalmologist - Physician (MD) specializing in diagnosis and treatment of refractive, medical and surgical problems related to eye disease and disorders.
 
 

Optometrist


Optometrist - Doctor of Optometry (OD) specializing in vision problems, treating vision conditions with spectacles, contact lenses, low vision aids and vision therapy, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases.
 
 

Presbyopia


Presbyopia - Refractive condition in which there is a diminished power of accommodation arising from loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens as occurs with aging. Usually becomes significant after age 45.
 
 

ReSTOR®


ReSTOR® - Trademarked unique technology cataract lenses that can provide quality vision throughout the entire visual spectrum - near through distance - with increased independence from reading glasses or bifocals.
 

Retina


Retina - Light sensitive nerve tissue in the eye that connects images from the eye's optical system into electrical impulses that are sent along the optic nerve to the brain. Forms a thin membranous lining of the near two-thirds of the globe.
 
 

Toric Lens


Toric Lens - A contact lens in which either or both of the optical surfaces have the effect of a cylindrical lens, usually in combination with the effect of a spherical lens. Often worn by patients with astigmatism.
 

Visual Acuity


Visual Acuity - Assessment of the eyes ability to distinguish objects details and shape using the smallest identifiable object that can be seen at a specified distance (usually 20 feet).
 
 

Visual Field


Visual Field - Full extent of the area visible to an eye that is fixating straight ahead.
 

YAG Laser


YAG Laser - Laser that produces short pulsed, high-energy light beam to cut perforate, or fragment tissue.

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