Phoenix_OptometristHow well do you know your eyes and vision conditions?

There’s a lot of eye terminology out there and while this is only a fraction of the list, we’ve got a quick A-to-Z guide.

An A-to-Z Guide Of The Eye

Astigmatism:  Caused by irregularities in the eye’s shape or the cornea, this makes it difficult to perceive parallel lines, especially at night.

Blind Spot:  An area of the eye without photoreceptors.  Everyone has blind spots, and most of the time our brains “fill in” the blanks without us knowing!

Choroid:   The layer of blood vessels just beneath the retina, which supply all the blood to your eyes.

Dilation:  The opening of your eyes to allow more light in.  If the eyes remain permanently dilated, it’s a sign of brain trauma.

Esotropia:  A misalignment of the eyes where one eye tends to drift inwards.  That is, “cross-eyed.”

Floaters:  If you see transparent spots or spiderweb-like structures in front of your vision, those are harmless.  They’re leftover bits of eye-stuff that didn’t bind to the eyes during your embryonic development.

Glaucoma:   A common and treatable condition where inflammation in the eye causes nerve damage and vision loss.

Hyperopia:  A focusing problem where the eye is underpowered, reducing near vision.  It’s more commonly called “farsightedness.”  Nearsightedness is called “myopia.”

IOL:  An InterOcular Lens is an artificial lens implanted within the eye to replace the original one.  This is common for cataract surgery.

Jaundice:  Jaundice is a disease preventing the liver from processing toxins, and one of the most common symptoms are yellowed eyes.

Keratometry:  Taking measurements of the size and shape of the cornea.  Unsurprisingly, this is done with a keratometer.

Lacrimal Gland:  The gland that produces tears.  It’s almond-shaped, and located just above your eye, before leading to the tear ducts below.

Macula:  This yellow spot, near the center of the rear of your retina, is where your most accurate central vision processing happens.

Nyctalopia:  Also called “night blindness,” this is usually caused by a deficiency of Vitamin-A, reducing the eye’s ability to perceive lights at night.

Ophthalmoscope:   Ever wonder what they call that little handheld instrument eye doctors use to look inside your eye?  Now you do!

Photophobia:  Pain or other unpleasant side effects (like excess tears) during exposure to bright light, especially sunlight.  It’s usually caused by eye inflammation.

Rods:  There are over 150 million of these small photoreceptor cells in your eye, and they’re largely for gathering ambient light. You rely on them for night vision.

Sclera:  The outer coating of your eyes.  We think of it as “the whites of your eyes,” but the layer also protects the back of your eyes as well.

Trachoma:  An unfortunately-common eye disease in developing countries, which causes the eyelid to scar and turn inwards, damaging the eye.  It’s treatable with simple surgery.

Uvea:   This is the middle layer of the eye, where your iris and chorea are located.

Vitreous body:  This is the formal name for the interior of the eyeball, containing the jelly-like “vitreous humor” between your iris and the retina in back.

Wear schedule:  The schedule for wearing or taking out contact lens, which must be followed to prevent lens -or eye- damage.

Xanthelasma:  Fatty yellow bumps that form on the interior of eyelids; often a sign of high cholesterol.

Y?  Because we care.

Zeaxanthin:  The yellow-orange substance in carrots and similar vegetables that likely has substantial eye health benefits.

Questions about other eyecare terminology?  Contact your Phoenix optometrist for more information.