The following definitions are for some of the fancy terms tossed about in an eye clinic to impress you, as patients, as to our knowledge.  (Common phonetic pronunciations are shown next to the words)

Strabismus:  (strŭ-bĭz-mŭs) – ocular misalignment

  • Esotropia:  eye(s) deviate inward toward nose
  • Exotropia:  eye(s) deviate outward (wall eyed)
  • Hypertropia:  vertical deviation

Amblyopia:  (ăm-blē-ō-pē-uh) – dull or decreased vision in one eye or less commonly, bilaterally

Ptosis:  (tōe-sis:  the “p” is usually silent) – one or both eyelids are droopy

Myopia:  (my-ō-pē-uh) – nearsighted; where you can see at near but worse at distance

Hyperopia:  (hī-per-ō- pē-uh) – farsighted; where you can focus better at distance than at near

Astigmatism:  (uh-stĭg-muh-tĭsm) – cornea of eye is not spherical but different curvatures in one direction than another (like a football)

Refraction:  (rē-frăc-tion) – the measurement of the eye to determine the need for optical correction (glasses or contact lenses)

PD (interpupillary distance) – the distance between the center of the pupil in one eye to the center of the pupil in the opposite eye (measured in millimeters)

Glaucoma:  (glau-cō-muh) – the pressure inside the eyeball is too high, which can cause progressive vision loss.

Cataract:  (căt-er-ăct) – an opacity in the lens of the eye which blocks or distorts vision

Ophthalmologist:  (ŏph-thō-mŏl-ō-jĭst) – a medical physician trained in the evaluation and treatment of optical, medical and surgical problems of the eyes.

Optometrist:  (ŏp-tŏm-uh-trĭst) – a physician trained in the evaluation and treatment of optical and medical problems of the eyes.

Optician:  (ŏp-tĭsh-ĭn) – a trained specialist in the manufacturing and fitting of glasses and contact lenses.

Orthoptist:  (ōr-thŏp-tĭst) – a specialist trained in the evaluation and treatment of patients with ocular muscle disorders of alignment and secondary problems of double vision and amblyopia.