Glossary of Terms

Common Eye Conditions

Age-related macular degeneration or ARMD: (dry ARMD) a loss of central vision caused by an accumulation of metabolic by-products which disrupts the light-sensitive cells of the macula. It is the leading cause of blindness in middle-aged adults. (wet ARMD) a condition that occurs when macular tissue has been damaged to the point of growing new blood vessels in the area. Specific vitamins are often recommended to slow its progression.

Amblyopia or lazy eye: a vision development disorder that can lead to reduced vision in the affected eye and that is caused at infancy by an improperly aligned eye, cataracts, or an eye with nearsightedness or farsightnedness.

Astigmatism: a misshapen cornea that can cause blurred vision for objects up close or at a distance.

Blepharitis: a common eyelid disorder characterized by inflammation that leads to dry eyes, tearing, conjunctivitis, redness, and styes. It is not curable, but it is treatable with warm compresses and proper lid hygiene.

Cataracts: a clouding of the natural crystalline lens that causes blurred vision and that cannot be corrected with refraction. Although this clouding is a normal part of the ageing process, it can also be linked to diabetes, eye trauma, steroid use, and UV light exposure.

Glaucoma: a treatable, painless eye condition involving the loss of peripheral vision. It is caused when increased eye pressure damages the optic nerve.

Hyperopia or farsightedness: the inability to see objects up close and in severe case, blurred vision for objects at a distance.

Myopia or nearsightedness: the inability to see objects at a distance.

Posterior vitreous detachment: a common, age-related rupture of the eye membrane containing vitreous humour, a gel-like substance inside the eye, that causes the appearance of floating shapes.

Presbyopia: an age-related hardening of the natural crystalline lens that causes a decreased focusing ability.

Retinal detachment: a loss of vision characterized by the sudden onset of floating shapes, flashes, or the sensation of a veil covering the eyes that can lead to permanent vision loss. The condition is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.