Glossary of common optometry terms

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION is an eye disease affecting the macula, the centre of the light sensitive retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision.

AMBLYOPIA is the loss or lack of development of clear vision in just one eye. It is not due to eye health problems and eyeglasses or contact lenses can't fully correct the reduced vision caused by lazy eye.

ASTIGMATISM is a 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.

CATARACTS are a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY is a condition occurring in persons with diabetes which causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye.

GLAUCOMA leads to progressive damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision.

HYPEROPIA OR FARSIGHTEDNESS is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close objects do not come into proper focus.

LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis) A thin flap of corneal tissue is created either with an Intralase laser or a microkeratome. The flap is folded back and a laser is applied to the exposed inner corneal tissue. The flap is then repositioned, where it bonds tightly without the need for stitches. This surgery is to help correct distance vision only.

KAMRA INLAY is to help correct presbyopia. It is a mini-ring with an opening in the centre that is implanted within the cornea of the non-dominant eye during LASIK. The opening in the centre helps to focus light coming into the eye which assists the near and intermediate vision.

MYOPIA OR NEARSIGHTEDNESS is a vision condition in which you can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away are blurred.

PRESBYOPIA is an age-related vision condition in which there is a gradual loss of the eye's ability to focus on near objects.

RETINAL DETACHMENT is a tearing or separation of the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye, from the underlying tissue.

STRABISMUS is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. One eye would appear to be either turned inwards or turned outwards while the other appears to look straight ahead.

VITREOUS DETACHMENT is when the vitreous, which is the semi-solid to liquid material that occupies up to 75 per cent of the eyeball volume, pulls away from the retina resulting in the sudden onset of flashing lights and floating spots. This process usually occurs naturally with age but may also accompany trauma, eye surgery and inflammation.

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