Vision care glossary | definitions of eye care and vision terms

Published on
May 14, 2022

Anatomy of the eye

Sclera: The white portion of the eye is known as the sclera. It's the white fibrous outer layer of the eyeball. 

Extraocular muscles: Extraocular muscles are responsible for rotating and moving the eye. For example, the superior rectus muscle is a muscle in the orbit which is responsible for lifting our eyeball. 

Cornea: The front part of our eye is called the cornea. This is the clear part of our eye, and this directs light to enter our eye and then land in the back portion of our eye.

Iris: Behind the cornea, there is the iris, and it is the pigmented portion of our eye. This is what gives us our eye color.

Lens: Directly behind the iris, the lens is visible. Our lenses are clear when we're younger, so light can pass through them and then bend and land in the back portion of our eyes. Eventually, as we age, the lens becomes more opacified, more yellow, and the proteins within the lens tend to coagulate. A cataract results from this. This results in a reduction in your vision as well because the light that enters it doesn't go through a clear structure anymore. 

Retina: The back portion of our eye is called the retina. This is where all the light then ends up landing. Retina is responsible for detecting the light.

Optic nerve: Optic nerve is basically the cable that connects your eye to your brain. And it sends different messages to the brain, depending on what the eye sees and what lands on the retina. 

Macula: Right near the optic nerve, there is a divot which is the macula. Macula is a small region and it aids in our sharp central vision. Macula is what's responsible for color vision as well as seeing central targets. In the event that someone may have macular degeneration, the macula is the part of the eye that's affected and it can result in central vision loss, in different distortions, difficulty recognising central targets such as faces.

Rods: Rods are light-sensitive detectors responsible for peripheral and night vision. Photoreceptors are made up of rods and cones.

Pupil: The pupil is the black part of the eye, which serves as a pathway for light to reach the retina.

 

Key terms for common eye conditions and disorders

Amblyopia: Sometimes called lazy eye, this condition occurs when the brain is unable to process certain signals from one of the eyes.

Astigmatism: Problems caused by a curvature in the eye. It can be corrected with corrective lenses.

Cataract: Cloudiness in the eye impairing vision over time. It can be treated surgically.

Hypertension: High blood pressure is a contributing factor to eye disorders because it damages blood vessels near the eye.

Myopia: Nearsightedness is another term for myopia.

 

Common terms for examinations, treatments, and procedures

Fundoscopy/Ophthalmoscope: A method of examining the retina thoroughly with an ophthalmoscope that enables a comprehensive view of the retina.

Slit Lamp: It enables a thorough examination of the eye using a high-intensity light. Often used during an eye exam to determine the overall health of the eyes.

Snellen Chart: A standard test for vision recognizable by the large E at the top.

Visual Acuity: The ability to recognize shapes and details. Many tests are available to measure it.

 

If you have any questions about any of the eye terms or eye conditions, feel free to come into the office. Our eye doctors, Dr. Pinkhasov and Dr. Wernick will be happy explain what any of the terms mean and will go over any questions you may have. So feel free to call us at (212) 752-6930 to schedule an eye exam with our caring and knowledgeable eye doctors.

Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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