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ST LEONARDS NSW 2065
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Fax: 02-8412 0060

Eye Glossary

Adie’s Pupil: a pupil that fails to react to bright light normally due to impaired function of the nerve. There is no substantial interference to vision

Amaurosis Fugax: temporary blindness in one eye that may result from a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or an impending stroke

Amblyopia: also known as lazy eye; a visual impairment due to the lack of inputs from the eye to the brain during childhood

Amsler Grid: square grid with a dot at the centre used to diagnose macular degeneration (MD)

Aphakia: condition where the natural lens of the eye is missing, usually resulting from cataract extraction surgery

Arcus Senilis: grey or white ring that forms in the periphery of the cornea. There is no substantial interference to vision

Astigmatism: impaired vision due to irregular shape of the cornea

Aqueous humour: clear gelatinous fluid present between the cornea and lens, and maintains the pressure inside the eye

Bell’s Palsy: condition which causes temporary paralysis of certain muscles on one side of the face, which can prevent blinking of the eye on the affected side

Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelids causing red and itchy eyelids and formation of dry crusts on the eyelashes

Cataract: clouding of the natural lens of the eye and affects vision

Chalazion: small cyst in the eyelid caused by blocked oil glands

Choroid: region between the sclera (white of the eye) and the retina that consists of the blood vessels and connective tissues

Ciliary body: tissue that produce aqueous humour

Ciliary muscle: helps change the shape of the lens for focusing of image

Conjunctiva: thin transparent membrane that coats the inner surface of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball (the sclera)

Conjunctivitis: infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva

Cornea: dome-shaped clear membrane that covers the outer surface of the eye

Corneal Oedema: fluid collection in the cornea, often causing impairment of vision

Corneal Erosion: spontaneous loss of the outermost layer (epithelium) of the cornea which can cause sensitivity to light and blurring of vision

Corneal Ulcer: open sore in the outer layer of the cornea often caused by infection

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: blockage of the main artery supplying blood to the retina

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion: blockage of the main vein in the retina

Central Serous Retinopathy: vision abnormality caused by build-up of fluid under the retina

Cyclophotocoagulation: procedure used to destroy the ciliary body, the part of the eye that produces fluid

Dacryocystitis: inflammation of the tear sac (nasolacrimal sac) adjacent to the nose

Dermatochalasis: excess skin on the eyelids, usually from loss of elastic tissue in the skin; also known as baggy eyes

Diplopia: double vision

Drusen: yellow deposits under the retina; increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration

Ectropion: age-related abnormal outward turning of an eyelid

Entropion: abnormal inward turning of an eyelid causing redness and irritation

Epiretinal membrane: abnormal growth of thin transparent tissue on the surface of the macular area; also called macular pucker

Esotropia: condition where one or both eyes are turned inwards

Exophthalmos: extrusion of eyeballs from their sockets

Exotropia: condition where the eyes are turned outwards

Fluorescein angiography: test that uses a special dye and camera to observe the flow of blood in the retina and choroid

Fuchs’ dystrophy: progressing disease characterised by the death of cells lining the cornea and maintaining its transparency

Glaucoma: damaged optic nerve caused by increased fluid pressure inside the eyes

Hemianopia: loss of vision in half of the visual field (in one or both eyes); often caused by brain injury or stroke

Hyphema: pooling of blood in the anterior chamber of the eye

Intraocular pressure: fluid pressure inside the eye

Iris: coloured part of the eye located between the cornea and lens which is responsible for the amount of light that reaches the retina

Iridotomy: procedure which involves making a puncture through the iris

Iritis: inflammation of the iris

Keratitis: inflammation of the cornea

Keratectomy: removal of a portion of the cornea

Keratoconus: condition, in which the cornea takes a cone-like shape

Keratomileusis: procedure that corrects the curvature of the cornea

Lens: transparent flexible disc that helps focus light on the retina

Long-sightedness: condition which affects a person’s ability to see objects close to them; also known as hyperopia

Macula: yellow central portion of the retina responsible for central high-resolution vision

Macular oedema: fluid and protein deposition on or under the macula

Metamorphopsia: vision impairment, in which grid of straight lines seems wavy and parts of the grid may seem blank

Micropsia: vision impairment in which objects appear to be smaller than normal

Neovascularization: growth of small abnormal leaky blood vessels in the eye

Nystagmus: fast movement of the eyeballs either up and down, side to side or around

Ocular migraine: vision loss usually lasting less than an hour; often accompanied by or following a migraine headache

Optic disc: circular area behind the eye where the optic nerve connects to the retina

Optic nerve: nerve that connects the eye to the brain and passes on the information of the image to the brain

Optic neuritis: inflammation of the optic nerve resulting in visual disturbances

Optical coherence tomography: non-invasive imaging test that takes cross-sectional images of the retina

Papilledema: swelling of the optic disc due to elevated fluid pressure in the brain

Photodynamic therapy: treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD)

Pinguecula: noncancerous growth of the conjunctiva, which is slightly raised from the surface of the sclera

Presbyopia: age-related condition where the eye’s lens loses its ability to change shape and focus on nearby objects

Pterygium: noncancerous growth that starts at the conjunctiva, covers the sclera, and grows onto the cornea; also known as Surfer’s eye

Ptosis: drooping of the eyelids caused by muscle weakness

Retina: light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye

Retinopathy: disease caused by damage of blood vessels of the retina

Retinal detachment: pulling away of the retina from its supportive tissue
Rubeosis iridis: growth of new abnormal blood vessels on the surface of the iris

Sclera: white of the eye

Scotoma: area of diminished vision within the visual field

Short–sightedness: condition which affects a person’s ability to see distant objects, while close objects can be seen clearly; also known as myopia

Strabismus: abnormal alignment of the eye

Stye: small painful lump (collection of pus) at the base of the eyelashes usually caused by bacteria

Trichiasis: abnormal inward growth of eyelash

Uvea: middle layer of the eye beneath the sclera, and consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid

Uveitis: inflammation of the uvea

Vitreous humour: clear gel-like material that lies between the lens and the retina

Vitrectomy: surgical removal of vitreous humour from the eye

Vitreous detachment: separation of vitreous humour from the retina

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