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Medical Terms & Disorders Defined

Going to the doctor can be a daunting and uncomfortable task, especially when your physician begins explaining their findings, suspicions, or the disorders they’d like for you to avoid by following their regimen or prescriptions. You’d like to keep up, but it becomes difficult when they start using medical terms and anatomy and physiology words that you simply are not familiar with and don’t know. Luckily, your New York City eye specialist Dr. Edwin Schottenstein has created a solution that will ease your fears or at least better understand what your ophthalmologist is trying to convey to you. We invite you to carefully browse through our glossary to better understand the phrases, diagnosis, and medical expressions your doctor mentioned during his consultation with you.

A disorder that affects the coordination between the brain and the eye. This usually begins during infancy and causes unequal vision because the brain prefers one eye over the other.

A condition that a patient is either born with or is a result of an injury that causes the iris to be fully or partially absent.

A condition where the cornea or lens of the eye has an uneven curvature causing the light rays to be refracted unevenly, resulting in distorted or blurred vision.

The progressive clouding of the normally clear crystalline lens of the eye caused by the natural aging process, changes in metabolism, trauma, certain medications, or toxic exposure to chemicals or radiation.

A chalzion is a lump that appears in the eyelid as a result of an inflammation in an oil-producing tear gland in the eyelid.

An inflammation also referred to as “pink eye” that causes the eye to become irritated, red, swollen and watery. It can be a very contagious condition.

A scratch in the thin, outer layer of the cornea (clear portion of the eye).

A deep inflammation of the cornea caused by a bacterial or fungal infection of an abrasion.

A condition due to the erosion of localized corneal tissue which causes a painful red eye.

A common complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina that could lead to vision loss.

A common condition that occurs as a result of reduced production or increased evaporation of quality tears that protect the eye.

A floater is a condition that occurs when the gel-like substance that fills the back of the eye, called the vitreous, breaks apart making it look like there are strands of debris floating in your field of vision. This condition can age related or caused by trauma.

A flash occurs when the vitreous gel in your eye pulls on the retina. This causes what appear to be flashes of light or lightening streaks in your vision. Flashes and floaters can be a precursor to a retinal detachment.

A specific kind of corneal dystrophy that occurs when the innermost layer of the cornea begins to breakdown for no apparent reason, resulting in swelling of the cornea and blurred vision.

A serious disease that causes damage to the optic nerve and starts as peripheral vision loss and can result in blindness. It is most often associated with high pressure in the eye which is caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid that supplies nutrients to the cornea and lens.

An infection produced by the chicken pox virus that occurs on the skin or in the eyes causing inflammation and scarring.

A stye is a tender, red bump on the eyelid caused by an acute infection or inflammation of the oil glands in the eyelid.

A condition which leads to blurred vision because the light being refracted into the eye focuses behind the retina as a result of the eye being too short or the cornea being too flat.

Inflammation of the iris that results in a red, painful eye that is sensitive to light.

A condition that occurs when the middle of the cornea becomes thin and begins to protrude outward becoming cone shaped. This reshaping can cause astigmatism and/or blurry vision.

A serious condition that is caused by the deterioration of the macula (the center part of the retina), resulting in hazy or blocked vision.

A refractive correction that uses LASIK or lenses to correct one eye for distance vision and the other for near vision.

A condition that causes blurred vision because the light is being focused in front of the retina as a result of the eye being too long or the cornea too steep.

Also referred to as closed-angle glaucoma, it is a more rare type of glaucoma that occurs when the drainage canals in the eye come in contact with the iris resulting from aqueous blockage through its normal circulation through the pupil, resulting in sudden or gradual increased pressure in the eye.

Presbyopia is considered a near vision problem that requires people to depend on reading glasses to see or read up close.

A benign, pigmented lesion that can occur in the eye.

Normal vision is when the light focuses directly onto the retina rather than in front of or behind the retina. Normal vision is measured at 20/20 vision.

The most common form of glaucoma that occurs when the optic nerve is damaged, commonly associated with increased intraocular pressure, and potentially leading to irreversible vision loss.

A slightly raised, yellowish thickening that occurs on the white part of the eye as a result of extended wind and sun exposure.

A condition that occurs at around 40 years of age, as part of the natural aging process, when the focusing muscles of the eyes become weaker and unable to focus on objects up close.

An extension of pinguela that appears on the cornea in the shape of a wedge that can cause an uneven astigmatism and possible loss of vision.

A condition that that causes the upper eyelid to droop. It can be attributed to age, injury or neurological disorder.

A potentially blinding condition that occurs when the retina separates itself from the supporting structures of the back part of the eye.

A condition that occurs when the blood vessels in the tissue above the white part of the eye (the sclera) bleeds causing the eye to appear very red.

The inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (uvea) that is between the retina and sclera that can lead to a red, painful, light-sensitive eye and can result in blindness if not caught early.

Find Out More From Your Upper West Side Eye Doctor, Today!

Remember, the terms above are just a stepping stone to further understanding eye diseases or disorders that may ail you. The glossary is not an all-encompassing explanation of the terms found within and should not be taken as a diagnosis if it hasn’t been mentioned by your ophthalmologist Dr. Schottenstein. If you still have doubts, questions, or concerns and think that there may be something wrong with your vision, schedule a consultation online or by calling 212.874.2300, today.