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Home » Your Eye Health » Glossary of Eye Care Terms

Glossary of Eye Care Terms

Amblyopia: Also called lazy eye. Decreased vision in one eye that leads to the use of the other eye as the dominant eye. A problem most commonly associated with children.

Anti-Reflective (A/R coating): A lens treatment for your glasses that helps to reduce distracting glare and eye fatigue by reducing the amount of light reflecting off the lens surface and making the lenses appear clearer. Your eyes will also be more visible behind the lenses.

Astigmatism: An eye condition where the eye cannot focus light uniformly in all directions resulting from an irregular curvature of the cornea, the crystalline lens, or the eye itself. Astigmatism results in mild to moderately blurred vision and/or eyestrain.

Bi-Focal Lenses: Lenses that use two different distinct powers in each lens, usually for near and distance correction.

Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye that makes it hard for light to pass through and be focused properly. In a normal eye, the crystalline lens is almost transparent, however injury, age or disease can cause the lens to eventually lose its clarity. When the lens becomes ‘opaque,’ it is called a cataract. Cataracts are treated by undergoing surgery with an ophthalmologist.

Color deficiency: A lack of ability to distinguish certain colors. Commonly called “color blindness”, the most common form of color deficiency is the inability to distinguish shades of red and green.

Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye): An eye condition caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva, or clear membrane covering the white part of the eye and lining of the eyelids. The eyes will often appear swollen and red while also feeling gritty. It is often viral and may be contagious. There are actually 20 different types of conjunctivitis – from fairly common strains that usually pose no long-term danger to you or your child’s vision – to types that are resistant to antibiotics. Call or see your doctor to treat pinkeye.

Cornea: The transparent, multi-layered front part of the eye that covers the pupil and iris. It provides most of the eye’s optical power.

Dry Eye Syndrome: An eye condition that presents itself as itching, burning, and irritation of the eyes, is often called “dry eye syndrome”. It is one of the most common problems treated by eye care professionals, and it is usually caused by the breakdown (or deficiency) in the tears that lubricate the eyes. As we age, our bodies produce less oil to seal the eyes’ watery layer. Hot, arid climates, air conditioning, certain medicines and irritants such as cigarette smoke can all increase dryness of the eye. Your eye care professional might prescribe “artificial tears” or other eye drops to help alleviate the problem.

Floaters and Spots: A generalized term used to describe small specks moving subtly but noticeably in your field of vision. A floater or a spot is likely a tiny clump of gel or cells in the vitreous – the clear, jelly-like fluid inside your eye. Aging, eye injury and breakdown of the vitreous are the main causes of floaters and spots. If you notice a sudden increase in the number you see, call your eye care professional immediately.

Fovea: An area in the center of the retina where images come into focus. The fovea is comprised of cone cells and is responsible for sharp central visual acuity.

Glaucoma: A common cause of preventable vision loss when excessive pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma can be treated and managed with prescription eyedrops or surgical intervention. Glaucoma typically does not have symptoms, so it is important to undergo evaluations for signs of glaucoma as directed by your eye doctor.

High Index: A lens material that results in thinner, lightweight lenses than standard plastic. High index lenses are beneficial for patients with strong eyeglass prescriptions.

Hyperopia: A condition where distant objects are seen clearly, yet objects close up are seen less clearly. Also commonly referred to as farsightedness.

Iris: The pigmented (colored) membrane that lies between the cornea and the crystalline lens that controls the size of the pupil.

Crystalline Lens: The eye’s natural lens located directly behind the iris. It has the ability to change shape to focus light rays onto the retina.

Macula: The part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive.

Macular Degeneration: A group of conditions that include a deterioration of the macula causing a loss of central vision needed for sharp, clear eyesight. It is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in those 65 years of age and older. Macular Degeneration is also called AMD or ARMD (age-related macular degeneration).

Minor Eye Irritation: Slight irritation of the eye caused by a foreign body on the eye’s surface such as sand, dirt or eyelashes. Wash your hands, then flush the eye with lukewarm water for up to 15 minutes. If the irritation remains and discomfort continues, seek professional medical help immediately.

Multifocal Lenses: Multifocal lenses let you focus on two or more distances through the same lens (usually distance, intermediate, and near). Also known as Bifocals, Trifocals, Multifocals.

Myopia: A condition where distant objects appear less clearly and those objects up close are seen clearly. Also commonly referred to as nearsightedness.

Nyctalopia: Commonly called “night blindness,” this is a condition that presents as impaired vision in dim light or darkness.

Optic Nerve: A bundle of nerve fibers that carries messages from the eyes to the brain.

Photochromic lenses: Refers to lenses that automatically change from clear to dark in the presence of ultraviolet daylight.

Photophobia: Also called “light sensitivity”, this is a condition that can have many underlying causes, and can be prompted by many medications. Protection from bright light is critical for anyone with photophobia.

Plastic: This is a lens material often used for minor prescriptions. Very few lenses are made from glass today, since glass is heavier, thicker, and can shatter. Also referred to as standard index or by the brand name CR-39.

Polarized lenses: This type of lens includes an invisible “polarized” filter that helps to cut down on glare from reflective surfaces like water and snow for increased visual acuity (sharpness) in bright light conditions.

Polycarbonate lenses: A lens material that is thinner, lighter, and more impact resistant than standard plastic. Polycarbonate lenses are the standard for children’s eyewear.

Presbyopia: Condition in which the aging crystalline lens (at around age 40) becomes less able to change shape to focus light at all distances, especially near vision. Presbyopia can be corrected with reading glasses, bifocal glasses, contact lenses, or progressive lenses. Additional symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, and squinting.

Progressives: Bifocal or multifocal lenses with no visible lines where the lens power gradually changes from distance to near. Also called PALs (Progressive Addition Lenses).

Pterygium: A raised growth on the eye that is most often directly related to over-exposure to the sun. Dry, dusty conditions may also contribute to development of these growths. Protecting your eyes from UV radiation is a critical preventive measure.

Pupil: The opening in the center of the iris that changes size to control how much light is entering the eye.

Pupillometer: An instrument used to measure the distance between pupils. This measurement is used to position the eyeglass prescription correctly in front of the eye.

Refraction: Test to determine an eye’s refractive error and the best corrective lenses to be prescribed.

Retina: Part of the rear two-thirds of the eye that converts images from the eye’s optical system into impulses that are transferred by the optic nerve to the brain. Consists of layers that include rods and cones.

Rods and cones: These are cells inside the eye used by the retina to process light. Rods are used for low light levels (night vision), cones are used for sharp visual acuity and color perception.

Sclera: The white part of the eye – composed of fibrous tissue that protects the inner workings of the eye.

Single Vision: Types of lenses that correct one vision problem, like near or farsightedness.

Snellen Chart: This is the commonly seen eye chart often topped by a large letter “E” used in eye examinations. This measures your eye’s visual acuity, or the ability to see sharp detail clearly.

Strabismus: Sometimes called “crossed eyes” in young children, this condition is the lack of coordination between the eyes, such as one or both eyes turning in, out, up or down.

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR): Commonly referred to as “UV Rays”, these are light waves that consist of both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Without proper protection, chronic exposure to UV rays can lead to various eye conditions and damage.

UV Protection: Relates to a lens’ ability to filter out harmful rays of the sun. It is recommended that glasses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays to minimize eye damage from the sun’s rays.

Visual Acuity: Assessment of the eye’s ability to distinguish object details and shape – numerically expressed as 20/20, 20/70, etc.

 

Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

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To our valued patients,

At The Eye Doctors, Inc. the health and well-being of our patients is at the core of everything that we do. In light of the rapidly changing situation and the spread of COVID-19 we made the difficult decision to close the clinic on Tuesday, March 17 th.

At this time, the Wal-Mart Vision Center remains open limited hours for urgent glasses repairs, pick-ups of existing orders and new contact lens orders. The vision center is open every day from 10 AM to 2 PM and on Tuesdays from 6 AM to 2 PM, with the hour of 6 AM to 7 AM reserved for senior citizens.

If you are experiencing an eye emergency, please call 952-955-4427 to leave a message for one of the doctors. Messages will be checked Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will re-open when it is safe to do so. We look forward to seeing you when things improve and thank you for your continued support of our practice. Please continue to our website for further information.

Dr. Melissa Viker & Dr. Britt Gustafson

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The Eye Doctors, Inc. COVID-19 Information:

Our clinic closed on March 17th and will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.  Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates.

Urgent or Emergent Eye Concerns

If you have an eye emergency, we are here to help.  Please call 952-955-4427 and one of the doctors will return your call.  The messages are monitored Monday through Saturday between 9 AM and 5 PM.  Eye emergencies include (but are not limited to): eye pain, a recent onset of redness in one or both eyes, flashes of light or sudden onset of new floaters, double vision, and sudden change/worsening of vision in one or both eyes.

Glasses and Contact Lens Orders:

The Wal-Mart Vision Center is open daily at this time from 10 AM to 2 PM and 6 AM to 2 PM on Tuesdays for limited services. The hour of 6 AM to 7 AM on Tuesdays is reserved for senior citizens.  One optician is on duty to provide urgent glasses repairs and adjustments; at this time no new orders for glasses are being accepted. Existing orders of contact lenses and glasses may be picked up from the vision center.  New orders of contact lenses can be placed in store and will be shipped to your home if we do not have the lenses in stock. Additionally, you may order contact lenses at www.walmartcontacts.com

Contact Lens Safety

There is no evidence that contact lens wearers are at greater risk for a Corona Virus infection, per the American Optometric Association Cornea and Contact Lens Section.  Please follow the below tips:

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses
  • Avoid using contact lenses if you are ill with any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Reduce your risk for infection by avoiding sleeping, napping, swimming or showering in contact lenses
  • Replace your contact lens case every 2 months
  • Use fresh contact lens solution each time you store your lenses
  • Do not reuse single-use/daily disposable lenses