Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – AMD is a group of conditions that include deterioration of the macula, resulting in loss of sharp central vision. Two general types: “dry,” which is more common, and “wet,” in which abnormal new blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood (neovascularization), further disturbing macular function. This is the most common cause of decreased vision after age 60.



Amsler grid  -The Amsler grid  is a test card (black lines on white background or white lines on black background) used for detecting central visual field distortions or defects, such as in macular degeneration.   In the test, the person looks with each eye separately at the small dot in the center of the grid. Patients with macular disease may see wavy lines or some lines may be missing.  Changes should prompt a call to your doctor.


Angle, anterior chamber – This is the junction of the front surface of the iris and back surface of the cornea, where fluid filters out of the eye.



Anterior chamber – Fluid-filled space inside the eye between the iris and the innermost corneal surface (endothelium).



Astigmatism – condition caused the prescription of the eye not being the same in all directions.   Light rays entering the eye are bent unequally, which prevents formation of a sharp image focus on the retina. Slight uncorrected astigmatism may not cause symptoms, but a large amount may result in significant blurring and headache.   The blur from astigmatism will make both near and distance vision blurry without glasses or contacts to correct it.


Blepharitis – Inflammation of the eyelids, usually with redness, swelling, and itching.  This is a chronic condition that is managed, not cured.


Cataract – clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night.  May be congenital or caused by trauma, disease, or age.



Conjunctivitis – Commonly known as “pink eye.” This inflammation of the conjunctiva is characterized by discharge, grittiness, redness and swelling. Usually viral in origin, but may be bacterial or allergic; may be contagious.



Diabetic Retinopathy – Changes to the blood vessels in the retina, the back lining of the eye.  Early changes generally only require observation.  Glucose control, as well as managing high blood pressure and cholesterol and not smoking, can help slow development of this disease.  Advanced changes may require laser or surgery.  Blindness can result.   Timely exams and treatment are vital.


Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome – For patients over 45 years old, the eye lens is no longer able to refocus to see close up or is unable to clearly transmit light causing bothersome glare.


Dry eye syndrome – dryness of the surface of the eye itself due to not enough tear production or too much evaporation.  Although dry eye syndrome can occur in both men and women at any age, women are most often affected.  Dry eye syndrome can cause foreign body sensation, burning eyes, blurry vision, and erosion on the surface of the eye.



Farsightedness / Hyperopia – commonly known as farsightedness,  is a defect of vision caused by an imperfection in the eye (often when the eyeball is too short or the lens cannot become round enough), causing the eye to not have enough power to see in the distance.  Both distance and near vision may be blurry with hyperopia but near is worse than distance.


Glaucoma – a group of diseases characterized by increased intraocular pressure resulting in damage to the optic nerve and retinal nerve fibers.  Glaucoma is a common cause of preventable vision loss.   The disorders can be roughly divided into two main categories: “open-angle” and “closed-angle” (or “angle closure”).  Open angle glaucoma is most frequently treated with medicated eye drops, but laser may also be used.  Treatment is life-long.  Narrow -angle, or angle closure, glaucoma is treated with a laser.  This is generally the only treatment required.  A person may have both types of glaucoma.



LASIK – shorthand name for Laser in SItu Keratomileusis.   A surgical procedure with the goal of reducing  the need for glasses or contact lenses.  In this procedure the cornea is reshaped to change its optical power. A disc of cornea is raised as a flap, and with the second step, a laser is used to reshape the cornea underneath the flap. Used for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.


Macula – Small central area of the retina this gives central vision.


Nearsightedness / Myopia – Myopia is a condition is  also known as near-sightedness, is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus. It does not affect focus when looking at a close object.



Presbyopia – condition associated with aging in which the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects.  Presbyopia is caused by a loss of elasticity of the lens. Usually becomes significant after age 45.



Secondary cataract / PCO – Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) ,also referred to as ‘secondary cataract,’ develops  behind the lens implant a few months to a few years after an uneventful cataract surgery.  This generally causes hazy vision that may be similar to symptoms of the original cataract.  A laser can be used to remove this opacity and improve vision.