Common Vision Terms Explained
When you go to the eye clinic, you may hear many terms used that you are not sure of the definition. When your eye doctor says your vision is 20/20 (or 20/100), what exactly does she mean? If the eye doctor tells you that your daughter may need vision therapy, what exactly is vision therapy? Listed below are some common terms used at the eye doctor’s clinic and what they mean.
- Age-related Macular Degeneration: an eye disorder causing damage to the retina and resulting in loss of vision in the center of the visual field (or “macula”)
- Amblyopia: Also known as “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a condition in which one eye has a lack of development of vision not related to any health problem. Amblyopia is not correctable with lenses and instead must be treated with a patch or vision therapy to teach the eyes to work together and to strengthen the under-developed eye.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea or lens is shaped irregularly, causing light not to focus properly on the retina and resulting in blurry vision.
- Cataract: An opaque or cloudy part of the lens, causing loss of clear vision.
- Glaucoma: a group of eye disorders leading to optic nerve damage and loss of nerve tissue, often resulting in blindness
- Hyperopia: Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is a condition in which someone can see distant objects clearly but cannot focus on close-up objects. This is caused by the shape of the eye, unlike presbyopia.
- Myopia: Myopia is also known as nearsightedness and is a condition in which a person can see close objects clearly but cannot see further distances.
- Presbyopia: When someone loses the ability to focus on close-up objects due to an increasing inflexibility of the eye’s lens, this condition is known as presbyopia. It is similar to hyperopia but is a progressive condition usually related to age, unlike farsightedness.
- Visual Acuity (20/20, 60/20, 15/10, etc.): Visual acuity is the measurement of the sharpness of vision at 20 feet. Normal vision is 20/20; in other words, vision is sharp when objects are viewed 20 feet away. If the eye doctor says your vision is 20/50 that means you have to be 20 feet away to see something as clearly as a person with normal vision would be able to see at 50 feet.
- Vision Therapy: Vision therapy is a form of therapy for the eyes, like physical therapy for your vision. It involves eye exercises using prisms, filters, books, and other objects to help strengthen eye muscles, improve focus, or achieve other desirable results. For more on vision therapy, visit Omni Vision and Learning Center.