Eye Care Terms

Understanding common eye care terms and definitions can help you better understand the health of your eyes and the treatment you may need. Our Optical Masters team can help answer any questions that you may have.

Accommodative DysfunctionAn eye focusing problem that is unrelated to changes in the lens of the eye due to aging.
AmblyopiaAlso known as lazy eye, the loss or lack of development of clear vision in just one eye not due to eye health problems. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can’t fully correct the reduced vision caused by lazy eye.
AstigmatismA vision 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.
BlepharitisAn inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and dandruff-like scales on eyelashes.
CataractA cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye located behind the iris.
ChalazionA slowly developing lump that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid.
Color Vision DeficiencyA group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use.
Computer Vision SyndromeA group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use.
ConjunctivitisA swelling or inflammation 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. Causes may or may not be infectious.
Convergence InsufficiencyAn eye coordination problem in which the eyes drift outward when reading or doing close work.
Corneal AbrasionA cut or scratch on the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye.
Crossed EyesSee strabismus
Diabetic RetinopathyA condition occurring in people with diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.
Dry EyeA condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.
FarsightednessSee hyperopia
Floaters & SpotsThe shadowy images that appear in the field of vision caused by particles floating in the fluid that fills the inside of the eye.
GlaucomaA group of disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve. It is characterized by loss of nerve tissue that results in vision loss.
HordeolumAn infection of an oil gland in the eyelid.
HyperopiaA vision condition in which distant objects are seen clearly, but close objects are blurred.
KeratitisAn inflammation or swelling of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye.
KeratoconusAn eye disorder causing progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye.
Lazy EyeSee amblyopia
Learning-related Vision ProblemsVision disorders that interfere with reading and learning.
Macular DegenerationAn eye disease affecting the macula (the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye), causing loss of central vision.
Migraine with AuraA type of severe headache accompanied by various visual symptoms.
MyopiaSee nearsightedness
NearsightednessA vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away are blurred.
NystagmusA vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, often resulting in reduced vision.
Ocular AllergiesThe abnormal response of sensitive eyes to contact with allergens and other irritating substances.
Ocular HypertensionAn increase in the pressure inside the eye above the range considered normal without any detectable changes in vision or damage to the structures of the eye.
Ocular MigraineVisual disturbance similar to what can occur with a migraine but without the headache. This visual disturbance can be alarming.
PingueculaAn abnormal growth of tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye.
PresbyopiaAn age-related vision condition in which the eye gradually loses the ability to focus on near objects.
PterygiumAn abnormal growth of tissue on the conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye) and the adjacent cornea (the clear front surface of the eye).
PtosisA drooping of the upper eyelid.
Retinal DetachmentA tearing or separation of the retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye) from the underlying tissue.
Retinitis PigmentosaA group of inherited disorders of the retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye), which cause poor night vision and a progressive loss of side vision.
RetinoblastomaA rare type of eye cancer occurring in young children that develops in the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.
StrabismusA condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time.
StySee hordeolum
Subconjunctival HemorrhageAn accumulation of blood underneath the conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye.
UveitisAn inflammation of one or more of the structures that make up the uvea, the middle layer of the eye.

*Information provided by the American Optometric Association.