Common Eye Terms

Read more about Common Eye Conditions and Diseases


A vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. It is not a disease. At least 75% of all people have some amount of astigmatism.

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

A vision condition in which you can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away are blurred. Glasses or contacts can easily correct this problem.


An inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff like scales on eyelashes. This condition is very common in the “more mature” patient population.

Pink Eye

This is a very generic term that relates to redness of the eye. It is typically an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. There are many different root causes for this to occur and is usually easy to treat with antibiotic or anti- inflammatory eye drops.

Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have ARMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from ARMD.

Dry Eye

Dry Eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears, Dry Eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults and females.

Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

A vision condition in which your focusing system is overworked and leads to eye strain, tired eyes, and headaches. With hyperopia, distant objects are usually seen clearly; however, during the course of the day, your focusing system loses it’s ability to compensate for blur and that is when you may start to feel the symptoms. Patients with farsightedness don’t notice the immediate clarity of vision with glasses like those with nearsightedness because the glasses function to relax the eyes’ focusing system which leads to increased comfort, not necessarily clarity of vision.


An age-related vision condition in which there is a gradual loss of the eye’s ability to focus on near objects. Most patients call it the “Short-arm Syndrome,” where they can’t hold objects far enough away from their face to see them clearly. Most patients start to notice this change in their early to mid 40’s. This is a natural process that all patients go through. Glasses or contacts can correct for this problem.


The shadowy images that are seen moving in your field of vision caused by particles floating in the fluid that fills the inside of the eye. A couple of floaters are normal to see; however, many floaters could indicate a serious retinal
condition and should be evaluated by an Optometric Physician immediately.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.


Diabetes is a disease that prevents your body from making or using insulin to break down sugar in your bloodstream. Approximately 16 million people in America (308,000 in Washington State) have diabetes, with an estimated one third of them unaware of it. Of those cases that are diagnosed, between 40 and 45 percent suffer some visual impairment from diabetic retinopathy.