Eye Glossary

Adie's Pupil - a pupil that does not react normally to bright light due to impaired nerve function; usually does not interfere substantially with vision Amaurosis Fugax - temporary loss of vision in one eye; may be a sign of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or an impending stroke Amblyopia - the inability of an eye to see normally due to lack of input from the eye to the brain during childhood; also termed"lazy eye" Aphakia - the absence of the eye's natural lens, usually after cataract surgery Arcus Senilis - a hazy ring at the edge of the cornea where the iris meets the white of the eye; does not impair vision Bell's Palsy - paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face due to nerve damage; usually temporary, but can interfere with blinking and protection of the eye Blepharitis - inflammation of the eyelid; can cause irritation, discharge and even blurred vision Chalazion - a bump in the eyelid caused by a clogged oil gland; may require surgical removal Conjunctivitis - inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane covering the white of the eye Corneal Edema - swelling of the cornea, often causing blurred vision Corneal Erosion - spontaneous loss of a part of the surface"skin" of the eye-causes pain, light sensitivity and occasionally blurriness, and often occurs on awakening Corneal Ulcer - a localized inflammation or infection of the cornea extending beneath the surface layer-must be treated immediately to prevent permanent damage Central Retinal Artery Occlusion - blockage of the main blood supply to the eye often; causes blindness Central Retinal Vein Occlusion - blockage of the main vein transporting blood away from the retina; causes hemorrhage in the retina and usually results in permanent vision impairment Central Serous Retinopathy - spontaneous leakage of fluid into the retina, often in young, healthy people - cause is unknown Dacryocystitis - infection in the tear sac adjacent to the nose-causes pain, swelling, tenderness and tearing Dermatochalasis - excess or baggy skin on the eyelids, usually from loss of elastic tissue in the skin Diplopia - double vision; usually caused by misaligned eyes Drusen - discolored spots in the retina - can be an early sign of macular degeneration Ectropion - loosening of the eyelid causing it to turn outward, away from the eye Entropion -"collapsing" of the eyelid, causing the edge of the lid to turn inward, toward the eye-often results in discomfort due to eyelashes rubbing against the eye Epiretinal Membrane - wrinkling of the surface of the retina; can cause blurriness or distortion in vision - severe cases can be treated with surgical removal Esotropia - having an eye that turns inward Exophthalmos - bulging forward of the eyes, sometimes caused by thyroid problems Exotropia - having an eye that turns outward Fuchs' Dystrophy - a deterioration of the cells in the cornea that maintain the cornea's clarity; often has no visual effect but may require a corneal transplant if severe Hemianopia - the loss of one half of the visual field (left or right); usually affects both eyes and is often caused by brain injury, especially stroke Hyphema - bleeding inside the eye, often due to an injury Herpes Simplex - a cause of serious corneal infection - the same virus that causes cold sores Herpes Zoster -"shingles" - the same virus that causes chicken pox, which can return and affect many areas of the body, including the eye Iritis - inflammation inside the eye, primarily in the front of the eye - causes redness, pain, blurred vision and sensitivity to light in most cases Keratitis - inflammation in the cornea-may cause scratchiness, pain, blurred vision and light sensitivity Keratoconus - a progressive change in the shape of the cornea, creating a"cone" - like configuration and causing blurred vision - severe cases may require a corneal transplant Macular Oedema - swelling in the centre of the retina caused by fluid leakage; results in blurred vision and visual distortion Neovascularization - growth of new abnormal blood vessels - can occur at several locations in the eye Nystagmus - oscillating movements of the eye Ocular Migraine - a visual disturbance usually including an arc of zigzag light and blurry vision - disappears spontaneously and does not usually include a headache Optic Neuritis - inflammation of the optic nerve, resulting in blurred vision or other visual disturbances - can be caused by multiple sclerosis Papilledema - swelling of the optic nerve where it enters the eye - can be caused by increased fluid pressure around the brain Pinguecula - a thickening of the white of the eye; often caused by chronic irritation Pterygium - growth of tissue from the white of the eye over the cornea - may interfere with vision if it nears the centre of the cornea Ptosis - droopiness of the eyelid - may result from nerve or muscle damage, and sometimes requires surgical correction Retinal Detachment - separation of the retina from its normal location covering the inner surface of the back portion of the eye Rubeosis - growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris Scotoma - a blind spot Strabismus (Squint)- any misalignment of the eye Stye - an acute inflammation of a gland at the base of an eyelash, caused by bacterial infection. Trichiasis - abnormal eyelash growth, usually pointing toward the eye Uveitis - inflammation of the interior of the eye Vitreous Detachment - separation of the vitreous gel from the back of the eye - a common occurrence which can result in sudden floaters and occasionally causes a tear in the retina