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Glossary of Eye Care Terms

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Glossary of Eye Care Terms

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD):

the breaking down of the macula, the back portion of the retina that is responsible for clear vision. There are two main types of ARMD. (1) Involutional ARMD (Dry ARMD) results in a slow, progressive loss of central vision (usually not beyond 20/200). There is currently no treatment. (2) Exudative (Wet ARMD) results in distorted or blurred vision caused by the growth of neovascular membrane in or near the macula. May be treated if diagnosed early without significant loss of central vision. (Ref: WebMD)


a condition in which there is loss of vision for no apparent reason; the eye appears healthy, but vision is poor. This is also commonly known as lazy eye. The decreased vision is not correctable with optical devices. Patients with severe nutritional deprivation or vitamin B12 deficiency may experience simulated amblyopia. Complete recovery is possible with good diet and B vitamins, however, prolonged deficiency results in permanent loss of central vision. (Ref: WebMD)


inequality of considerable degree in the refractive power of the two eyes, i.e. one eye is nearsighted and the other is farsighted).

Annual Replacement Lenses: conventional contact lenses that are replaced yearly.

Anterior uveitis:

an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, which includes the iris (colored part of the eye) and adjacent tissue, known as the ciliary body. If untreated, it can cause permanent damage and loss of vision from the development of glaucoma, cataract or retinal edema. Anterior uveitis can occur as a result of trauma to the eye, such as a blow or foreign body penetrating the eye. It can also be a complication of other eye disease, or it may be associated with general health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, rubella and mumps. In most cases, there is no obvious underlying cause. Signs/symptoms may include a red, sore and inflamed eye, blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and a small pupil. (Ref: AOA)

Aphakic Lens:

a lens designed to meet the needs of patients that have had their crystalline lens removed due to the development of cataracts.

Aspheric Lens:

a not-quite-spherical lens that can improve contrast sensitivity and depth perception for borderline astigmats or emerging presbyopes. The power changes gradually, from the center to the edge of the lens.


a condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea (shaped more like a football than a baseball), resulting in two focal points causing light images to focus on two separate points in the eye and resulting in a blurred or distorted image.

Bifocal/Multifocal Lens: contains two or more viewing zones allowing for one to see distant, intermediate and near objects.


a chronic or long term inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes. It affects people of all ages. Among the most common causes of blepharitis are poor eyelid hygiene, excessive oil produced by the glands in the eyelid, a bacterial infection (often staphylococcal), or an allergic reaction. (Ref: AOA)


a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye. A cataract blocks the passage of light from the lens to the nerve layer (retina) at the back of the eye, and may cause vision problems. (Ref: WebMD) Cataracts can be surgically removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant, restoring vision.

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