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20/20:The expression of normal eyesight. The first number refers to the distance you were from the test chart, usually 20 feet. The second number is the distance at which a person with normal eyesight could read the line with the smallest letters that you could correctly read. I.E., if your visual acuity is 20/100, that means the line you correctly read at 20 feet could be read by a person with normal vision at 100 feet. Visual acuity is tested using a Snellen chart, which consists of letters, numbers, or symbols. A refraction test is used to determine the amount of correction needed for a prescription when treating refractive error such as astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia. See Refraction Test.
Amblyopia: Commonly referred to as "lazy eye." Reduced visual acuity with no apparent cause and not correctable by refractive means.
Ametropoia:Refractive condition in which, when accomodation is relaxed, parallel light rays entering the eye do not focus on the retina. Examples would be myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism.
Aniridia: Absent or partially absent iris, typically congenital. Additional symptoms include poor vision and photophobia.
Anisocoria: Unequal pupil size. Can be caused by head trauma, previous intraocular surgery, and glaucoma among others. Some people have unqeual-sized pupils naturally.
Anisometropia: Condition where the eyes have a significantly different refractive power from each other, so the prescription required for good vision will be different for each eye.
Anterior Chamber: Part of the eye behind the cornea and in front of the lens.
Antireflective Coating: A substance applied to eyeglass lenses that reduces the amount of reflected light and glare that reaches the eye.
Aphakia: Absence of the crystalline lens.
Aqueous Humor: Clear fluid in the front of the eye, between the cornea and the iris, that provides nutrients to the cornea and the lens. The fluid is produced by the ciliary body. Glaucoma causes a difficulty in draining this fluid, and pressure builds up. The result is damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.
Astigmatism: Optical defect in which the light entering the eye does not form a single point focus but forms two focal points; corrected by use of cylindrical eyeglasses or contact lenses (spherical or toric).
Bifocal: A lens that provides both distance and near correction.Biomicroscope: Instrument used for observing a fit of contact lenses, checking for foreign bodies in the eye, and looking at all parts of the front of the eye.
Binocular: Simultaneous use of both eyes.
Blepharitis: Inflamation of the eyelids, usuallty around the eyelashes. Types of dermatitis, and allergic reactions can cause blepharitis. Symptoms include a red or pink eyelid, eyelid pain, dry eyelid, eyelash loss, stickiness, swelling, tearing, burning, crusty lids or lashes.
Bridge: The part of eyeglasses that goes across the nose.
Bulbar: Conjunctiva covering the eyeball.
Cataract: A clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. Usually cataracts are caused by age, though UV exposure, smoking, steroid intake, and diabetes increase the risks of getting cararacts. Blurred vision, cloudy spots in vision, glare, and halos aroung lights are symptoms of cataracts. More Info
Chief complaint: The reason for a visit to the doctor.
Choroid:Provides nourishment to the back of the eye. Comprised of layers of blood vessels located between the sclera (white of the eye) and the retina.
Color Blindness: Partial or total inability to distinguish colors. It is much more common in men, and is hereditary.
Computer Vision Syndrome:Collection of problems, mostly vision-related, associated with computer use. Eyestrain, pink or red eyes, light sensitivity, headaches and pain in neck and back are symptoms.
Cone: A photosensitive receptor in the retina (inside the eyes) that distinguishes color.
Conjunctiva: Mucous membrane that lines the visible part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid.
Conjunctivitisis an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a symptom of which is a pink eye. This inflammation can be caused by an allergy or an infection. Burning, discharge, dryness, light sensitivity, discomfort, itching, pain, and tearing are symptoms.
Concave lens: A lens that is thinner in the center and thicker at the edges; parallel light passing through this type of lens is diverged, or refracted, away from the midline; also known as a minus lens.
Convex lens: A lens that is thicker in the center and thinner at the edges; parallel light rays passing through this type of lens are refracted by each surface to converge toward the midline behind the lens; also known as a plus lens.
Cornea: The clear part of the eye covering the iris and pupil; it lets light into hte eye, permitting sight.
Corneal Edema: Swelling of the cornea. Can be caused by high pressure inside the eyes, contact lens complications, surgery on the eyes, and corneal dystrophies. Light sensitivity, eye pain, feeling like there is something stuck in the eye, halos around lights, vision loss, and cloudy spots are symptoms of corneal edema.
Corneal Ulcer: An infected corneal abrasion. A corneal ulcer is an emergency; please make an appointment as soon as possible. Usually, people who get corneal ulcuers are contact wearers. Symptoms include pain, irritation, redness, a white or cloudy spot, and tearing.
Crossed Eyes: One or both eyes point inward toward the nose. Crossed eyes are a variety of strabismus, or misalignment of the eyes.
Diabetic Retinopathy: Found in those with advanced or long-term diabetes. Leaking of retinal blood vessels, with no symptoms at first, but over time can cause blurred near vision, double vision, metamorphopsia, retinal hemorhagges, and even vision loss.
Diopter: A unit of measurement of the refractive power of a lens. Your doctor uses these units in eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions. Negative numbers indicate nearsightedness, positive numbers farsightedness.
Diplopia: Double-vision. One or both eyes produce two images of the same object.
Double Vision: See diplopia.
Drusen: Sometimes a sign of macular degeneration. Small white/yellow deposits in the eye.
Dry Eye: A condition of lack of moisture in the eye. Usually it is temporary and easily abetted. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is another name for chronic dry eye syndrome, which calls for treatment by your eye doctor. More Info
Emmetropia: The power of the cornea and the lens at rest correspond with the axial length of the eye, so parallel light rays are appropriately refracted to focus on the retina.
Esotropia: Crossed eyes. A type of strabismus.
Extended Wear: Also called "continuous wear" contact lenses that are FDA approved to be worn without removal for a designated number of days.
Floaters: Floaters are very common. They are dark gray spots or specks, or may resemble clouds, squiggles, and other shapes, that pass across your field of vision. Floaters are caused by pieces of vitreous humor that float in the liquid vitreous. Consequently, they often increase with age. A sudden large number or shower of floaters, however, should not be ignored, especially if you see flashes of light. More Info
Foreign Body: Something in or on the eye that shouldn't be there. (A piece of something, from an eyelash to a splinter, stuck in your eye.
Fovea: Central (1.5 mm) area of the macula; responsible for the sharpest vision, fine discrimminations, and high visual acuity; area of highest concentration of cone cells and no blood vessels; also called fovea centralis.
Fundus: Interior portion of the eyeball that can be seen on opthalmoscopy or photography. Includes the retina and optic disc.
Glaucoma: Intraocular pressure disease. High pressure inside the eyes can cause damage to the optic nerve, and peripheral vision loss. Glaucoma has few initial symptoms, and therefore is best detected early by your eye doctor in an annual check-up. More Info
High Index: A type of eyeglass lens material in which light travels faster than conventional glass or plastic lenses. Because the same amount of correction can be accomplished with less material, the lenses are thinner.
Hyperopia: A refractive condition in which, when accomodation is relaxed, parallel light rays, entering the eye focus behind the retina; also known as far-sightedness. Near objects are blurred, while far objects are in focus.
Intraocular Lens: IOL. An artificial lens that replaces the eye's natural lens. IOLs have refractive power, meaning that, like contact lenses, they helpl the eye to focus properly.
Intraocular pressure: Fluid pressure maintained in the eye by the aqueous humor; measured with a tonometer.
Iris: A colored membrane that is between the cornea and the lens. The iris opens and narrows, controlling the amount of light that enters the eye through the pupil.
Iritis: Swelling, or inflammation, of the iris.
Keratoconus: Symptoms are double vision or distorted vision that is not improved with glasses. Keratoconus is when the cornea (the clear membrane that is in front of the pupil) thins and breaks down, until a cone-shaped astigmatism is formed. The cause is not known, but may be genetic.
Keratonomy: Corneal incision.
LASIK: Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure. Lasik surgery uses an excimer laser to remove corneal tissure, correcting myopia (nearsightedness) hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. More Info
Lens: A) A part of the eye located behind the cornea that helps the eye to focus. B) A medical device used to correct visual problems. Includes eyeglass lenses, intraocular lenses (lenses replacing the natural lens inside the eye through surgical implantation), and contact lenses.
Lensometer: Instrument for determining the power of an eyeclass or contact lens.
Limbus: The area of the eye dividing the cornea from the sclera.
Low Vision: Usually caused by an ocular disease such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, low vision means sight that cannot be corrected completely using glasses, contacts, or surgery.
Lutein: Protects the eyes from free radical damage caused by UV rays. Lutein is found naturally in the body, especially in the macula region of the eye.
Macular Degeneration: A disease of the eye involving loss of structure and function of the macula.Causes central vision to become blurry, distorted, or lost altogether. More Info
Minus Lens: A lens that diverges light.
Monocular: Use of only one eye.
Monovision: Visual correction for presbyopia. One eye is corrected for near vision, the other for far. Monovision can be achieved thru contact lenses or surgery.
Multifocal: Eyeglass or contact lenses that contain more than one focal area, such as bifocals, tribocals, or progressives.
Myopia: A refractive condition in which, when accomodation is relaxed, parallel light rays entering the eye focus in front of the retina; also known as near-sightedness.
Nose Pad: Small silicone or clear plastic pads that sit on your nose and support your glasses. Lost or broken nose pads are usually easy to replace, provided the metal piece it attaches to is not broken as well.
Opthalmologist: A medical doctor (MD) that is an eye specialist. Opthalmologists can perform eye exams, treat diseases, write prescriptions, and differ from an optometrist in that they also perform surgery.
Optic Nerve: The bundle of nerve fiber at the back of the eye which connects it to the brain and transmits images from the retina.
Optician: Optician are not doctors, but are often certified in their field of expertise. Opticians sell and fit eyeglasses; many have lab equipment to fabricate glasses as well. At Southern Utah Eye Care, Chris is our certified optician.
Optometrist: A doctor of optometry (OD). ODs complete four years of post-graduate optometry school, and can examine eyes for vision and medical problems, prescribe eyeglass lenses or contacts, give opthalmic medication prescriptions, and participate in pre and post-operative surgical care.
OU: Oculus Uterque, or "both eyes." OD means the right eye, OS the left.
Oxygen Permeability: The ability for oxygen to penetrate a contact lens.
Pantoscopic angle or tilt: The angle that the frame makes with the temples when viewed from the side.
Peripheral Vision: The edges or "sides" of your visual field.
Photophobic: A symptom causingpain on viewing light; light sensitive.
Polarized Lenses: Lenses that block light reflected from horizontal survaces such as water to reduce glare.
Polycarbonate: A lens material that is very impact-resistant, and therefore the safest eyeglass material. Used in lenses for children, and safety glasses.
Presbyopia: An ocular condition, age-related, where the eye loses the ability to focus at all distances. It is usually noticed when print begins to blur. Headaches and squinting are also associated with uncorrected presbyopia.
Prism: A lens that bends light.
Progressive Lens: PALs, or progressive addition lenses, change corrective powers progressively throughout the lens. Similar to a bifocal or trifocal in utility, a person looks through different parts of the lens to see distance, intermediate, and near objects, but without the lines of traditional multifocals.
Pterygium: A fold of tissue on the white of the eye often caused by irritation from exposure to sun, dust, and wind. May not cause any irritation, but inflamed pterigia can itch.
Punctal Plugs: Plastic inserts the doctor puts into the ducts of the eye where tears drain. Punctal plugs are used to keep the eye moist and alleviate dry eye.
Pupil: The black part of the center of the eye. The pupil regulates how much light enters the retina by opening and closing.
Refractive Error: Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, and astigmatism are types of refractive error. Refractive error occurs when light does not properly refract (or bend) from the cornea onto the retina.
Refractive Test: A test done by the optometrist which determines the eye's refractive error and the best corrective lenses. Simply put, the part of the exam where the doctor determines how strong the lenses need to be. Our office utilizes both Automated Refraction and Subjective Refraction.
Retina: The light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. It receives percieved images and sends them to the brain by way of the optic nerve.
Retinal Detachment: A condition where the retina separates from the choroid (the back of the eye). More Info
Retinoscope: An instrument used to perform refraction.
RGP: Rigid Gas Permeable, often called "hard" contact lenses made from a breathable plastic fit the cornea.
Rod: a photoreceptor in the retina that helps you see in low light.
Soft Contact Lenses: Flexible contacts made from a plastic that contains water in various amounts.
Sphere: An opthalmic lens with no cylindrical power; it has the same power in all parts of the lens.
Strabismus: When the eyes are not aligned properly. They may turn in, as in crossed eyes (esotropia), or out, as in "wall eyes" (exotropia).
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: A red patch on the white of the eye that is caused by bleeding blood vessels on the eye's surface. It is common, and can be caused by high blood pressure, stress, sneezing, and other traumas.
Sty: A blocked gland at the edge of the eyelid which has become infected by bacteria.
Trifocal: A lens that provides correction for distance, intermediate, and near.
Tunnel Vision: A constriction of the visual field that is commonly caused by chronic glaucoma, retinal degeneration, a tumor, or brain disorder that interferes with the fibers that connect the optic nerve to the brain.
Vitreous Body: Area between the front and back of the eye containing the clear, jelly-like vitreous humor.
Wearing Schedule: The length of time you wear (or should wear) your contact lenses before taking them out. Replacement schedule is how long you wear your contacts before throwing them away and getting new ones.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy: A procedure sometimes performed after cataract surgery in which a laser is used to treat posterior capsule opacity, or cloudiness in the capsule that holds the eye's lens in place. More Info