Ophthalmology Terms That You May Not Know
Our knowledgeable team at Yaldo Eye Center shares the definitions of some common ophthalmology terms that you may not be familiar with:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration – AMD, as the condition is often referred to, is the deterioration of the eye’s macula (a small area of the retina).
Astigmatism – This is an abnormality in the eye that prevents light rays from meeting at a common focal point, instead causing multiple focal points to occur. This results in distorted images. Often, astigmatism is characterized by an irregularly shaped cornea.
Cataracts – A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that causes blurred vision and can progressively become worse, eventually precipitating the need for surgical intervention to restore sight.
Cornea – This is the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye.
Corneal Crosslinking – During this procedure, the cornea is strengthened through the application of a form of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), followed by treatment with ultraviolet A (UVA) light.
Corneal Disease – This is any disorder that affects the cornea.
Diabetic Eye Disease – Complications from diabetes can cause certain diseases that affect the eye, including diabetic retinopathy (i.e., damage to the blood vessels in the retina) and several others.
Dry Eye – This condition is characterized by insufficient tears to nourish and lubricate the eye. There are several possible causes of dry eye, including allergies and certain disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder).
Glaucoma – Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that is characterized by increased pressure in the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss.
Hyperopia – Farsightedness (hyperopia) is characterized by difficulty seeing things up close.
Intraocular – Intraocular means “in the eye.” Thus, intraocular lens implants are artificial lenses that are implanted in the eye.
Iris – This is the flat, colored membrane that surrounds the pupil in the eye.
Keratoconus – This is a progressive corneal disease, which is characterized by the thinning and bulging of the normally round cornea into a cone-like shape.
LASIK – LASIK is an acronym that stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, a vision correction procedure that is performed to correct a refractive error in the eye.
Lens – Located directly behind the iris and the pupil, the eye’s crystalline lens is a transparent tissue structure that, along with the cornea, helps to refract light, so it is focused on the retina.
Macula – Located near the center of the retina, the macula is a yellowish oval that is responsible for detailed central vision.
Myopia – Nearsightedness (myopia) is characterized by difficulty seeing things in the distance.
Ophthalmologist – This medical or osteopathic doctor specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system.
Optician – This technician makes and delivers glasses, including the frames and lenses, and / or contact lenses.
Optometrist – Optometrists are health service providers that examine the eyes to determine the presence of vision problems. They are specifically trained and educated by an accredited optometry college, but have not attended medical school.
Presbyopia – This is farsightedness that is caused by a loss of elasticity of the eye lens, which typically occurs in individuals during or after their mid-forties.
PRK – Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is an alternative to LASIK and also works to improve vision by reshaping the curvature of the cornea to correct the refractive error causing the vision problem.
Pterygium – Also called “surfer’s eye,” this condition is characterized by the growth of a noncancerous lesion on the white part of the eye. It is often caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light.
Pupil – Located in the center of the iris, this is the small black opening that allows light to pass through and reach the retina.
Refractive Error – Refractive errors are visual errors caused by irregularities in the shape of the eye. They prevent an individual’s eye from focusing properly.
Retina – The retina is light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye, onto which light is focused. The retina converts light rays into impulses that are transmitted, through the optic nerve, to the brain, where they are interpreted as the images that someone sees.
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