Glossary

Amblyopia:

Ambylopia occurs in children when one eye has better vision than the other. If left untreated, the child’s vision does not develop correctly and the brain eventually ignores signals from the bad eye. This causes the vision to become worse, and eventually can result in permanent vision loss in one eye.

Astigmatism:

A condition in which the surface of the cornea is not spherical and causes a blurred image to be received at the retina. Slight degrees can cause headaches, fatigue and poor schoolwork. More serious degrees produce blurred vision at all distances.

Blepharitis:

Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelid margin, which can cause itching, scaling, irritation, and in some cases redness of the eye. The two most common types of blepharitis are seborrheic blepharitis and ulcerative blepharitis. Seborrheic blepharitis is a skin condition and is often accompanied by dandruff or by patches of dry, scaly skin on the scalp, eyebrows, forehead, nose, or behind the ear. Ulcerative blepharitis is caused by bacteria and is more severe. Hard crusty material is present around the eyelashes. When these crusts are removed they can leave small ulcers that can bleed, ooze or cause permanent scarring which may make the eyelashes grow back in the wrong direction or not at all.

Cataract:

Cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. This condition is extremely common, affecting more than half of all Americans age 65 and over and may be corrected through surgery.

Chalazion:

A chalazion is a cyst on the eyelid. It occurs when the opening of a Meibomian gland becomes plugged and oily material produced by the gland cannot drain properly. This causes an inflammatory reaction, and a lump on the eyelid results. It may disappear in time, or it may remain and enlarge. A chalazion can be annoying and uncomfortable, especially if it is large, but it is usually not serious.

Color Blindness:

Rare total color deficiency in which the colors of the spectrum are seen only as shades of white, gray and black.

Color Deficiency:

Inability to distinguish some colors and shades; occurs when the color-sensitive cone cells in the retina do not properly pick up or send normal color signals to the brain.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye):

Conjunctiva is a thin membrane which covers the white of the eye (the sclera) and lines the insides of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The tiny blood vessels dilate, giving the eye a pink or red appearance.

Corneal Abrasions:

The cornea is the clear front covering of the eye. It is very sensitive and delicate tissue. The outermost layer of the cornea is called the corneal epithelium. A scratch or injury to the surface of the cornea is called a corneal abrasion or erosion. This is often painful. The cornea can be injured by excessive rubbing of the eye, by a damaged contact lens, by a fingernail, or by any other material that comes in contact with the eye.

Corneal Ulcers:

Corneal Ulcers are open sores on the cornea, often caused by infections.

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES):

Your eye is normally coated at all times with a thin film of tears. This is an important part of the physiology of the eye and is necessary for health, comfort and clear vision. Dry eye occurs when not enough tears are produced, or when the chemistry of tears is changed.

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Diabetic Retinopathy is a progressive condition occurring in some individuals who suffer from diabetes. It affects the small blood vessels in the retina. In the early stage, the tiny blood vessels in the eye weaken and develop small bulges that may burst and leak into the retina. As the condition progresses, new abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina that can break easily causing bleeding into the eye and clouding vision.

Floaters and Flashers:

Floaters and flashers are common symptoms described most frequently as spots, bugs or cobwebs moving through the field of vision. Although annoying, they are not serious and in many circumstances gradually become less noticeable.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a common eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds inside the eye. This increased pressure can damage the optic nerve. Without treatment, Glaucoma can cause permanent blindness. It is typically hereditary and may not show up until later in life.

Hyperopia: (aka Farsightedness)

The inability to see things clearly that are up close. A vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly.

Keratoconus:

Progressive thinning of the central cornea, resulting in a bulging outward and the formation of a rounded cone; produces moderate to severe corneal distortion and increase in myopia; can cause corneal scarring, requiring corneal transplantation to restore vision.

Myopia: (aka Nearsightedness)

The inability to see things clearly at a distance. A vision condition in which near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects do not come into proper focus. Occurs if your eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, so the light entering your eye is not focused correctly. It is a very common vision condition that affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population.

Macular Degeneration:

Macular Degeneration occurs when the macula, the small central portion of the retina, deteriorates. This process often occurs over a period of time, and is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over 60.

Ocular Migraine:

An Ocular Migraine occurs when there is a sudden tightening (or constriction) of blood vessels in the eye, reducing the flow of blood. An Ocular Migraine causes temporary vision loss or distortion in one eye, and is usually accompanied or followed by a headache. Most Ocular Migraines last less than five minutes.

Photophobia (Light Sensitivity):

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is an intolerance to light. With photophobia, any type of light, such as sunlight, fluorescent light or incandescent light can be bothersome. In some cases, only bright light is irritating, while in more extreme cases, any light can cause discomfort.

Ptosis (Droopy eyelids):

Ptosis, or droopy eyelids, is a condition where one or both of the upper eyelids may not be able to be raised completely.

Retinal Detachment:

Retinal Detachment is a very serious condition that occurs when the retina pulls away from its supporting tissue. This is often caused by injury, high levels of nearsightedness or diabetic retinopathy and can cause permanent vision loss if it is not repaired quickly.

Retinal Vein Occlusion or Retinal Vein Blockage:

Retinal Vein Occlusion or Retinal Vein Blockage occurs when the veins carrying blood from the retina back to the heart are blocked. A Retinal Vein Occlusion or Retinal Vein Blockage can cause leaking of the blood and vision loss.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP):

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a rare, inherited disease where the light sensitive cells of the retina slowly and progressively deteriorate, eventually causing blindness.

Strabismus (Crossed Eyes):

Strabismus, or Crossed Eyes, occurs when both eyes do not move together to gaze at an object and instead one eye may look in or out, or turn up or down. This condition varies in severity. In some cases, surgery is required to correct.

 


The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your eye doctor’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your eye doctor or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.