Patient Resources

Glossary of Conditions:

Amblyopia: Reduced vision, usually in one eye, that is not due to disease or injury, and is largely not correctable. Possible causes for this condition include strabismus (lazy eye/eye turn), anisometropia (a large difference in the prescriptions for each eye), or any condition that affects visual development—especially in young children.

Astigmatism: A condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye.

Blepharitis: An inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff like scales on eyelashes.

Cataract: A cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Cataracts begin developing in early childhood and progress slowly throughout our lives. Eventually they will affect vision and are typically treated by removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial one. Other forms of cataracts include toxic, traumatic, and congenital.  Learn more about cataract surgery

Chalazion: A slowly developing lump that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid. Typically not red or painful.

Color Vision Deficiency: The inability to distinguish certain shades of colors or, in more severe cases, see colors at all. Common in males, extremely rare in females.

Conjunctivitis: An inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Learn more about conjunctivitis/pink eye

Convergence Insufficiency: An eye coordination problem in which the eyes have a tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close work.

Corneal Abrasion: A cut or scratch on the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye.

Diabetic Retinopathy: A condition occurring in persons with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye.  Learn more about diabetic retinopathy

Dry Eye: A condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.  Learn more about dry eye

Farsightedness: (Hyperopia) A vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close objects do not come into proper focus. Learn more about hyperopia

Floaters: The shadowy images that are seen moving in your field of vision caused by particles floating in the fluid (vitreous) that fills the inside of the eye. Usually a normal aging process, but should be examined by a professional if there are any sudden changes.

Glaucoma: A group of disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. A hallmark sign is increased pressure inside the eye.

Hordeolum: (Sty) An infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. Often red, swollen, and painful.

Keratoconus: Progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye.

Macular Degeneration: An eye disease affecting the macula, the center of the light sensitive retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision. Early detection is essential for maintaining vision.  Learn more about macular degeneration

Nearsightedness: (Myopia) A vision condition in which you can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away are blurred.  Learn more about myopia

Ocular Migraine : A type of severe headache accompanied by various visual symptoms.

Pinquecula: An abnormal growth of tissue (resembles a blister) on the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye.

Presbyopia: The normal gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on near objects—becomes significant usually around age 40.  Learn more about presbyopia

Pterygium: An abnormal growth of tissue on the conjuctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye, and the adjacent cornea, the clear front surface of the eye.

Ptosis: A drooping of the upper eyelid.

Retinal Detachment: A tearing or separation of the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye, from the underlying tissue. Requires immediate treatment to preserve vision.

Retinoblastoma: A rare type of eye cancer occurring in young children that develops in the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Life threatening. Child should be evaluated immediately if suspected. One indication is when photographing the child, one eye consistently gives a “red eye” reflection, while the other appears white.

Strabismus: (Lazy eye/Eye turn) A condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. Should be evaluated early to avoid reduced vision in the turned eye (amblyopia).

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: An accumulation of blood underneath the conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye.

Great sites for information/education:

The National Eye Institute

The American Optometric Association