Section VIII eye conditions

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Eye Conditions

Medical Descriptions


Functional and Educational Considerations

Introduction 3
Eye Conditions 4
Achromatopsia 4

Albinism 4

Amblyopia Ex Anopsia (Lazy Eye) 4 - 5

Aniridia 5

Cataract 5

Chorioretinitis 6

Coloboma of Choroid, Iris, Retina,

Optic Nerve, Optic Disk 6

Corneal Scarring 6 - 7

Detached Retina 7

Diabetic Retinopathy 7 - 8

Dislocation of Lens 8

Glaucoma 8

Histoplasmosis 8 - 9

Hyperopia 9

Keratoconus 9

Leber's Congenital Amaurosis 9 -10

Macular Degeneration 10

Marfan's Syndrome 10

Myopia 10 - 11

Nystagmus 11

Optic Atrophy 11 - 12

Retinitis Pigmentosa 12

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP 12

Parts of the Eye 13 - 14

Glossary of Eye Terms 14 – 19

Eye Report Terms 19 - 20
Cortical Visual Impairment 20


The Eye Conditions Section can serve as a guide to assist the teacher in understanding the medical aspects of an eye condition and the educational implications of that condition.
Knowing a student's eye condition, its medical description and the reported visual acuity will not necessarily indicate how the student will function visually in various settings.
A student's visual functioning can vary depending on several factors including:

eye condition

severity of condition

stability of condition

onset of condition (pre-, para-, or post natal)
A student's visual functioning may be affected in these ways:

reduced visual acuity (near and/or distant)

restricted field of vision (peripheral or central)

defective color vision

fixation problems (inability to focus on an object)
The teacher can assess a student's visual functioning by utilizing:

informal assessments

personal observations parent information student information

formal assessments

eye specialist report V medical report V/formalized assessment tests
Topics on the following pages include:

Eye Conditions

Diagram of the Eye

Parts of the Eye

Terms Relating to the Eye

Eye Report Terms


The following is a partial listing of eye conditions most commonly appearing in school-age children.

Each listing includes:

name of condition


functional characteristics

educational implications

Achromatopsia: Malformation of the cones and rods
Congenital or hereditary


Decreased visual acuity

Defective color vision

Normal visual fields


Sensitive to light; dim illumination preferred

Near vision better than distant vision

Low vision aid may be prescribed

Sunglasses, shields, visors, tinted lenses for light sensitivity

Yellow acetate over print to improve contrast

Cut out window to expose only one word at a time to improve fixation

Black felt pen for marking and writing

Albinism: Lack of pigment; inability of the body to produce pigment; may involve all pigmented structures (complete) resulting in fair complexion, platinum blonde hair and light-colored eyebrows; may be incomplete and involve only certain structures such as the eye (ocular albinism)
Congenital or hereditary


Decreased visual acuity
Visual fields usually normal


Neat-sighted or farsighted

Sensitive to light; dim illumination preferred

Contact lenses often prescribed

Acuity often improved with glasses

Sunglasses, shields, visors, tinted lenses for light sensitivity

Yellow acetate over print to improve contrast

Black felt pen for marking and writing

Large print materials may be required

Problems in self-concept (especially in adolescence and among black children) because of albinism

Glare from all surfaces avoided (windows, chalkboards, desks, papers)
Amblyopia Ex Anopsia (Lazy Eye): Focusing of visual images upon the retina is suppressed.


Central field loss

Decreased visual acuity

Average light preferred

Depth perception problems

Exercise of such an eye before the seventh year (unaffected eye occluded) frequently will improve the

visual acuity

Double vision when eye is not patched

Temporary adjustments during patching (the child may function as a visually impaired student and be

eligible for special services as long as the patching continues)

Black felt pen for writing and marking

Yellow acetate over print to improve contrast
Aniridia: Failure of the iris to develop fully

Congenital or hereditary


Decreased visual acuity

Usually bilateral


Extreme light sensitivity; average or dim illumination preferred

Further complication with glaucoma, resulting in restricted fields and cloudiness of the cornea

Associated defects: cataracts, displaced lens, and underdevelopment of the retina

May indicate presence of Wilm's tumor in children under two years old

If glaucoma, restricted fields; pain from pressure

Medication may be prescribed

Physical activity ma y be restricted; consult student's physician

Cataract: Any opacification (cloudiness) of the lens
Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogressive

Visual fields usually normal

Nystagmus in severe cases

Blurred vision

Variable vision due to size, position, and density of opacity

Central or posterior cataracts - sensitivity to bright light

Cortical cataracts - poor color discrimination

Surgery may be necessary in cases of severe visual impairment

Removal of congenital cataracts often results in formation of secondary cataracts; improved surgical techniques result in fewer complications

After surgery, need aphakic correction (usually contact lens; experience greater sensitivity

to glare)

Average or dim light

Medication may be prescribed

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician

Magnification of materials and/or large print

Stand magnifiers or hand-held magnifiers

Black felt pen for marking and writing

Special lens prescribed for glasses (e.g., one for reading, another for travel)

Good contrast in books and on board (white chalk on blackboard, rather than a green board)

Glare from all surfaces avoided (windows, chalkboards, desks, papers)

Sunglasses, shield, visors for light sensitivity

Expose only one word at a time to improve fixation while reading

Chorioretinitis: Inflammation of the retina and choroid causing seepage from the blood vessels to accumulate on the retina and sometimes the cornea.

Progressive or nonprogressive

Peripheral or central field loss

Loss of vision as areas of the retina are damaged by the infection

Gradual blurring of vision

Eye may appear red

Sensitive to light

Peripheral field loss; may have trouble traveling in crowded hallway or playground

Magnification of materials and/or large print

Damage in central part of retina

Medication may be prescribed

Independent travel training (Orientation and Mobility) may be necessary

Glasses may or may not be beneficial

Coloboma of choroid, iris, retina, optic nerve, or optic disk: Usually absence of the choroid in the lower part of the eye and a keyhole-shaped pupil rather than the normal round opening.
Congenital or hereditary


Peripheral field loss

Variable central acuity

Iris, choroid, or other parts of the eye may be effected

Visual acuity ranges from near normal to very poor, depending on the number of structures involved

Blind spot enlarged

Visual field defect

Average or bright light

Glasses and/or hand-held magnifiers

Central vision allows use of monocular lens for distance; distant vision training may be


Large print or braille

Depth perception may be affected, especially in lower fields, causing problems in physical education

Typing will ease writing problems

Book stands may aid in reading materials

Markers, dark-lined paper, instruction on using margins (folding paper for columns, lattice form for math problems, one-half sheets for spelling tests) may be necessary

Taped lessons alternated with reading activities

Corneal Scarring: Scarring of the cornea due to trauma, infection, or corrosives.



Keratoplasty (corneal graft) may be beneficial

Postinfectious scars may clear spontaneously with time

Bright or average light

Contact lenses may improve vision

Glasses may be prescribed

Standard print, large print, magnification, or braille depending on scars present

Unusual head positions may be required for reading

Detached Retina: Separation of the retina and the choroid layer; separation breaks connections between cones and rods and the pigment layer; pathological myopia and accumulation of fluid under the retina are major causes.

Progressive and nonprogressive

Varying visual field losses

Hole or tear in retina probable

Surgery required immediately in most cases

Surgery may or may not restore vision depending upon etiology of detachment, treatment methods, and

duration of a successful result

Surgery may accelerate cataract changes

Near vision often corrected earlier than distant vision following surgery

Recovery often slow and requires months to reach best level of improvement

Children frequently recover good visual acuity

Double vision may follow surgery

Periodic eye exams are important

Correction may be prescribed (may change two to three times during first six months after surgery)

Warning signs:

Flash of light in the side vision

Multiple spots and particles floating in the space in front of vision

Color vision impaired

Mycropsia objects appear smaller

Persons who have predisposition to detached retina may consider avoiding contact sports and other sports (danger of blows to head and eyes); consult with student's physician

Unusual head positions may be required for reading,

Magnification and/or large print

Diabetic Retinopathy: Changes in the blood vessels of the retina causing hemorrhaging


Central field loss

Color vision loss

Variable visual field loss

Variable acuity

Retinal detachment may occur

Bright or average light preferred

Possible sudden loss of Vision

Glaucoma may develop

Clip-on high power loupe (special lens) may be useful

Stand magnifiers and hand-held magnifiers

Binocular half-eye prism glasses for background retinopathy

Medication may be prescribed

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician
Dislocation of Lens: Displacement of the lens; usually associated with trauma or with certain hereditary syndromes such as Marfan's syndrome
Congenital or hereditary


Average or dim light preferred

Visual impairment may be corrected by dilating the pupils; enables student to look around the dislocated


Aphakic glasses (often prescribed after cataract surgery)

Dislocated lens may be removed

Myopic correction may be prescribed

Magnification of materials

Large print may be beneficial

Medication may be prescribed

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician

Glaucoma: Increased intraocular pressure of the eye; types of glaucoma: primary, congenital, or secondary glaucoma
Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogressive

Peripheral field loss

Defective night vision

Decreased visual acuity

Bright, average, or dim light

Surgical procedures and drugs used to control pressure

Anxiety over ocular pressure (''is it up again?" "Did you forget your drops?") contributes to difficult emotional adjustments in children

Large print or braille

Black felt pen for marking or writing

Long reading sessions should be avoided (intersperse activities which do not require close work)

Glare from all surfaces avoided (windows, chalkboards, desks, papers)

Sunglasses, shields, visors for light sensitivity

Variable acuity; may require variety of materials and tasks

Dark lined paper

Histoplasmosis: Infection due to a yeast-like fungus organism; caused by inhalation or ingestion of spores of the organism (found in soil or dried excrement of animals)

Congenital or adventitious


Color vision loss

Scattered areas of inflammation (lesions) in the back of eye

Macular area infection; greatly reduced visual acuity and central visual area

Squint may develop

Telescopes/microscopes may be beneficial

Orientation and Mobility training may be necessary
Hyperopia: Farsightedness

Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogressive

Visual acuity loss

Accommodation (ability to focus) presents problems; may attempt to correct by bringing objects close to

the face, thus appearing to be very nearsighted

Glasses may be prescribed

Fatigue and other complaints of eyestrain (headache, dimness of vision) may be common,

Long reading sessions should be avoided (intersperse activities which do not require close work)

Black felt pen for marking or wr7ting

Auditory exercises - tapes, readers

Concrete -manipulation of objects in tasks rather than close Paper work

Print size and focal length determined by student's needs

Dark-lined paper

Keratoconus: Cone-shaped deformity of the cornea; other complications include retinitis pigmentosa, Down's syndrome, Marfan's syndrome, Aniridia
Congenital or hereditary


Variable visual acuity's

Evident in teen years

Bilateral with high astigmatism

Progressive decrease in visual acuity

Overall blurring of entire field without field loss

Distant vision distorted

Corneal transplants may be successful in severe cases

Difficulty in seeing distant objects

Contact lens correction preferable (soft lenses with over refraction for high cylindrical corrections)

New prescription every six months to a year during progression of disease

Distance glass or aid

High-plus reading spectacle

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician
Leber's Congenital Amaurosis: Degeneration of the macula
Congenital or hereditary


Abnormal cornea and cataracts often present

Poor visual acuity

Excessive rubbing of the eyes is a characteristic behavior (produces the sensation of light

in front of the eyes)

Vision stimulation activities may be beneficial

Braille materials

Macular Degeneration: Degeneration of the central part of the retina
Juvenile: Congenital or hereditary; progressive

Senile: Adventitious; progressive or nonprogressive

Central field loss

Color vision loss

Average or dim light

Bifocals may be prescribed

Monocular telescopes

Sunglasses, shields, visors for light sensitivity

Small desk lights for high illumination

Closed circuit television (Apollo, Visualtek, Pelco) can be helpful

Large print may be necessary

Hand-held magnifiers

Unusual head positions may be required for reading
Marfan's Syndrome: Condition characterized by abnormally long and slender fingers, toes, and other bones of the body; congenital heart disease, general muscular underdevelopment, high arched palate, decrease in subcutaneous fat, and prominent ears may occur
Congenital or hereditary

Nonprogressive or progressive

Dislocated lens

General blurring of vision and double vision

Poor distant acuity

Inability to focus on visual details

Average or dim light

Mobility may be hampered by the physical condition; orientation and mobility may be beneficial

Reading glasses

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician

Medication may be prescribed

Experimentation may be necessary in order to find the best working position

Frequent school absence due to the many associated problems; support and understanding required
Myopia: Nearsightedness
Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogressive

Peripheral field loss

Central field loss

Night vision loss

Problems with distant vision in classroom and gym

Glasses may be prescribed

Glasses may be thick (encourage student to wear them)


Student may be given master copy for board work

Student may be seated close for board work

Reader assistance may be necessary

Concrete materials and tactile maps used as often as possible

Desk easels for positioning books and papers

Good contrast in books and on board (white chalk on blackboard rather than green board)

Verbal cues are important

Participation in sports and some games may be restricted (possibility of detached retina in a severely myopic student); consult student's physician
Nystagmus: Involuntary movement of the eyes
Congenital or hereditary


Stress may affect acuity and rapidity of eye movements

Eye fatigue may occur by the end of the day

Regular print or large print

Magnifiers may not always be helpful

Materials with few distractions on the page and good, clean print

Line markers/rulers to help keep place

Expose only one word at a time to improve fixation while reading

Good comprehension and language skills aid in anticipating what is coming in the sentence, even if word

skipping occurs

Reversal problems; discrimination exercises will help teach patterns

Handwriting may be a problem; the student should learn to type

Copying should be minimized whenever possible

Short assignments to prevent stress

Directions and special words should be underlined

Long reading sessions should be avoided (intersperse activities which do not require close


Optic Atrophy: Degeneration of the nerve tissue which carries messages from the retina to the brain
Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogressive

Peripheral field loss

Central field loss

Night vision loss

Bright or average light


Large print or braille

Physical activity may be restricted; consult student's physician

Glare from all surfaces should be avoided (windows, chalkboards, desks, papers)

Good contrast in books and on board (white chalk on blackboard rather than green board)

Magnifiers may be helpful if central vision is present

Glasses may-be prescribed

Long reading sessions should be avoided (intersperse activities which do not require close work)

Dark-lined paper

Black felt pen for marking and writing

Retinitis Pigmentosa: Migration of pigment into the retina causing loss of visual acuity
Congenital or hereditary



Night vision loss

Constriction of peripheral fields

Blurred vision

0ptic atrophy

Night blindness is the first symptom

Good lighting; needs high illumination

Black felt pen for marking or writing

Dark lined paper

Yellow acetate over print to improve contrast

Reader assistance for board work

Student may appear to be looking at things sideways; central vision and vision on one side may be gone

Closed circuit television and magnifiers for student with good central vision

Large print or braille

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP): Mass of scar tissue that forms in the back of the lens; resulting from excessive oxygen given to a premature infant
Note: Persons who have predisposition to detached retina may consider avoiding contact sports and other sports (danger of blows to head and eyes); consult with student's physician



Peripheral field loss

Central field loss

Average or bright light

Myopia, strabismus, and/or nystagmus may be present

Eyes may be enucleated (surgically removed) and prostheses inserted

Perceptual problems may be present

Orientation and Mobility training may be necessary

Motor skills may be poor

Glasses may be prescribed

Telescope and closed circuit television may be helpful

Toxoplasmosis: Severe intraocular infection caused by the presence of toxoplasma gondu organisms; transmitted through the feces of domestic animals such as cats or birds or ingestion of raw meat containing organism
Congenital or adventitious

Progressive or nonprogresive

Generally not progressive but new lesions may develop

Field defects

Decreased visual acuity

Lesions correspond to blind areas in visual field

Usually affects the central nervous system and eyes

May cause severe brain damage

Ocular involvement more common with-congenital cases

Affected eye may squint (turning in or out of an eye)

Microscopes for near vision

Telescopes for distant viewing

Periodic exams recommended

Parts of the Eye

Anterior Chamber: Space in front portion of the eye between the cornea and iris filled with aqueous


Aqueous Humor: Clear, watery fluid which fills the anterior and posterior chambers within the front part

of the eye

Bulbar Conjunctiva: Part of the conjunctiva covering the anterior surface f the eyeball

Canal of Schlemm: Circular canal situated at the juncture of the sclera and cornea through which the

aqueous humor is excreted after it has circulated between the lens, the iris, and the cornea

Canthus: The inner and outer corners of the eye where the upper and lower eyelids meet

Choroid: The vascular, intermediate layer which furnishes nourishment to the other parts of the eye,

especially the iris

Cilia: Eyelashes

Ciliary Body: A ring of tissue between the iris and the choroid consisting of muscles and blood vessels

that changes the shape of the lens and manufactures aqueous humor

Cones: Short sensory receptors in the retina that function in color vision

Conjunctiva Mucous: membrane which lines the eyelids and covers the front part of the eyeball

Cornea: The curved transparent covering on the front of the eye; a refractive surface through which light


Crystalline Lens: A transparent, colorless body suspended in the eyeball, between the aqueous humor

and the vitreous humor, which brings the rays of light to focus on the retina

Extrinsic Muscles: The six external muscles which cause movement of each eye up, down, sideways, and


Fovea: A small depressed area of the retina composed of cones and responsible for central vision and

color vision; the most light sensitive part of the eye

Fundus: The back of the eye which can be seen with an opthalmoscope

Iris: Colored circular membrane suspended behind the cornea and immediately in front of the lens;

regulates the amount of light entering the eye by changing the size of the pupil

Lacrimal Gland: Gland located just above the outer corner of each eye that secretes tears

Lacrimal Sac: The upper end of the lacrimal duct Limbus Boundary between the cornea and the sclera

Macula Lutea: Rodfree area of the retina that surrounds the fovea and is responsible for clearest central

vision Optic Disk: Head of the optic nerve; formed by the meeting of all retinal nerve fibers at the


Optic Nerve: The nerve which carries messages from the retina to the brain

Posterior Chambers: Space between the back of the iris and the front of the crystalline lens; filled with

aqueous humor

Pterygium: A triangular fold of growing membrane which may extend toward the cornea on the white of

the eye; occurs most frequently in persons exposed to dust or wind

Pupil: The opening in the center of the iris which appears as a black dot and through which light enters

the eye

Retina: Inner transparent membrane of light-sensitive nerve tissue connected with the brain through the

optic nerve; receives images and sends them to the brain

Rods: Light-sensitive nerve endings at the edge of the retina responsive to faint light; used in travel


Sclera: The white opaque fibrous outer covering of the eye

Uvea: The layer of the eye consisting of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid

Vitreous Humor: Transparent colorless mass of soft gelatinous material filling the globe of the eye

between the lens and the retina

Zonule: The numerous fine tissue strands which hold the lens in place

Glossary of Eye Terms

Accommodation: The adjustment of the eye for seeing at different distances; accomplished by changing

the shape of the crystalline lens through action of the ciliary muscle, thus focusing a clear image

on the retina

Adventitious: Acquired after birth

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye: Blurred vision due to disuse of the eye; no organic defect present; usually

uncorrectable after age seven

Ametropia: Refractive error, such as myopia and astigmatism, in which the eye at rest does not focus the

image upon the retina

Aniseikonia: A condition in which the image seen by one eye differs in size or shape from that seen by

the other

Anisometropia: Difference in refractive error of the eyes, e.g. one eye farsighted and the other


Anophthalmos: Absence of a true eyeball

Aphakia: Absence of the lens of the eye

Applanation Tonometer: Freestanding instrument which measures intraocular pressure by brief contact

with the cornea; does not require indentation of the cornea

Asthenopia: Eye fatigue caused by tiring of the internal and external muscles

Astigmatism: Defect of the curvature of the cornea or lens resulting in a distorted image; light rays cannot

focus on a single point of the retina

Atropine: Drug which dilates pupil, increases frequency of heart's action, and inhibits sweating and


Binocular Vision: Coordinated use of the eyes to focus on one object and to fuse the two images into one

Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelids

Blind Spot: Technically, the point in the retina where the optic nerve enters and is insensitive to light

Buphthalmos: Large eyeball in infantile glaucoma

Central Visual Field: Portion of the visual field seen without moving the head or eyes

Chalazion: Inflammatory enlargement of a gland in the eyelid due to retention of its secretion

Choked Disk: Non-inflammatory swelling of the optic nerve head

Chorioretinitis: Inflammation of the choroid and retina

Choroidcremia: Absence of the choroid, the thin, dark-brown, vascular coat of the eye between the sclera

and the retina

Choroiditis: Inflammation of the choroid

Color Blindness: Diminished ability to perceive differences in color

Concave Lens: Lens having the power to diverge rays of light; also known as diverging, reducing,

negative, myopia, or minus lens; denoted by the sign (-)

Cones: Layer of the retina which acts as light-receiving media; cones are important for visual acuity and

color discrimination

CongenitaI: Present at birth

Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the eyelids and covering the inside of the


Contact Lens: Thin shell of plastic which rests directly on the tear film of the cornea and corrects

refractive errors or acts as a bandage releasing medication

Convergence: Turning of the two eyes inward toward the nose at the same time to see a nearby object

Convex Lens: Lens having the power to converge rays of light and bring them to a focus; also known as converging, magnifying, hyperopic, or plus lens; denoted by the sign (+)

Corneal Graft: Graft Operation to restore vision by replacing a section of opaque cornea with transparent


Cover Test: Test covering one eye with an opaque object to determine the presence and degree of

deviation of the eyes from normal position

Cyclitis: Inflammation of the ciliary body

Cylindrical Lens: Lens used in the correction of astigmatism

Dacryocystitis: Inflammation of the lacrimal sac

Dark Adaptation: The ability of the retina and pupil to adjust to a dim light

Degeneration: Tissue change which lessens the ability to perform a function

Depth Perception: The ability to perceive the solidity of objects and their relative position in space

Diopter: Metric unit used to denote the strength of the eye or lens; indicated by the sign of a triangle

Diplopia: Double vision

Distant Vision: Ability to distinctly perceive objects at a distance, usually 20 feet or greater

Divergence: Turning outward of both eyes at the same time

Ectropion: Turning inside out of the eyelid

Edema: Abnormal and excessive accumulation of fluid in the spaces between tissue cells

Electroretinogram: A graphic record of electrical activity of the retina; used for the diagnosis of retinal


Emmetropia: Normal refractive state with images focused on the retina

Endophthalmitis: Inflammation of most of the internal structures of the eye

Esotropic: A turning inward of the eyelid

"E" Test: A system of testing the visual acuity of nonreaders

Exenteration: Removal of the entire contents of the orbit, including the eyeball and lids

Exophoria A tendency of the eyes to turn outward

Exophthalmos: Abnormal protrusion of the eyeball

Extropia: Obvious outward turning of one or both eyes

Exudates: Fluid or cells which escape from diseased blood vessels

Eye Dominance: Tendency of one eye to assume the major function of seeing

Far Sightedness: A refractive error in which the focal point for light rays is behind the-retina (hyperopia, hypermetropia); the ability to see objects at a great distance

Field of Vision: The entire area which can be seen without shifting the gaze

Fixation: Directing the eye to an object so that its image, in the normal eye, centers on the fovea

Floaters: Small dark particles in the vitreous humor
Fluorescein Angiography: Photography of the ocular fundus after the injection of fluorescein dye into

The bloodstream

Focus: The point at which light rays meet after passing through the lenses; in normal eyes this point is on

the fovea of the retina

Fusion: The coordination of the separate images in the two eyes into a single mental image

Genetics: The study of the traits and variation of organisms and how they determine the constitution of

an individual

Glioma: Malignant tumor of the retina

Gonioscope: A magnifying device used to examine the angle of the anterior chamber

Hemianopsia: Loss of half the peripheral field of vision appearing in, or characteristic of, successive generations; individual differences in human beings passed from parent to offspring

Herpes Simplex Keratitis: Cold sores on the cornea which cause scarring and decrease vision

Heterophoria: Constant tendency of the eyes to deviate from the normal position

Heterotropia: An obvious deviation of the alignment of the eyes; crossed eyes, strabismus

Hippus: Spontaneous rhythmic movements of the iris; iridokinesia

Hyperopia: Farsightedness; a condition in which visual images come to a focus behind the retina of the

eye and vision is better for distant than near objects

Hyperphoria: A latent tendency for one eye to deviate upward

Hypertropia: An obvious upward turning of one of the eyes.

Injection: A term sometimes used to mean congestion of ciliary or conjunctival blood vessels, redness of

the eye

Interstitial Keratitis: Infection of the middle layer of the cornea; disease found chiefly in children and

young adults; usually caused by transmission of syphilis from mother to unborn child

Intraocular Pressure: The pressure of the fluid (aqueous humor) within the eye

Iridectomy: Surgical removal of part of the iris

Iridocyclitis: Inflammation of the iris and the ciliary body

Iritis: Inflammation of the iris often accompanied by pain, discomfort from light, contraction of the pupil,

and discoloration

Ishihara Color Plates: A test for color vision based on the ability to trace patterns in a series of

multicolored charts

Jaeger Test: A test for near vision using various type sizes

Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea accompanied by loss of transparency and dullness

Keratoplasty: See Corneal Graft

Lacrimation: Production and release of tears

Lagophthalmos: A condition in which the lids cannot be completely closed

Laser: Surgical tool using an intense beam of light energy to weld rips and holes or to destroy new blood

vessels (photocoagulation) in the eye

Legal Blindness: Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses or a

Peripheral field so contracted that the widest diameter of such field subtends an angular distance

no greater than 20 degrees

Lens: A refractive medium having one or both surfaces curved; used to improve vision

Light Adaptation: Power of the eye to adjust to variationc, in amounts of light

Light Perception: Ability to distinguish light from dark

Low Vision: Vision that can not be corrected to normal with conventional glasses

Low Vision Aids: Optical device prescribed foi visually impaired persons

Macrophthalmos: Abnormally large eyeball, resulting chiefly from infantile glaucoma

Megalocornea: Abnormally large cornea present at birth

Megalophthalmos: Abnormally large eyeball present at birth

Microphthalmos: Abnormally small eyeball present at birth

Microscopic Glasses: Magnifying lenses designed on the principle of a microscope, occasionally

prescribed for persons with very poor vision

Miotic: A drug that causes the pupil to contract

Mydriatic: A drug that dilates the pupil

Myopia: Nearsightedness; a condition in which visual images focus in front of the retina resulting in

Defective distant vision

Nasolacryinal Duct Stenosis: Narrowing of the tear ducts that lead to the nose

Near Point Accommodation: The nearest point at which the eye can perceive an object distinctly; varies according to the power of accommodation

Near Point of Convergence: The nearest single point at which two eyes can focus, normally about 3

inches from the eyes in young people

Nearsightedness: A refractive error in which the focal point for light rays is in front of the retina

(myopia); the ability to see near objects better than distant objects

Near Vision: The ability to distinctly perceive objects at normal reading distance (about 14 inches from

the eye)

Night Blindness: Condition in which sight is good by day but deficient at night and/o.r any faint light

Noncontact Tonometer: Freestanding instrument used in glaucoma screening which registers intraocular

pressure electronically without direct contact with the eye; ejects a brief puff of air to the eye

which registers as a numerical value of intraocular pressure

Nonprogressive: Does not increase in extent or severity

Nystagmus: An involuntary rapid movement of the eyeball; it may be lateral, vertical, rotary or mixed

Occlusion: Obscuring the vision of one eye to force the use of the other eye (e.g., with eye patch)

Oculist or A physician (M.D.): who specializes in diagnosis or Ophthalmologist treatment of defects and

diseases of the eye, performs surgery when necessary and/or prescribes other types of treatment

including glasses, medicine and therapy

Ophthalmia: Inflammation of the eye or the conjunctiva

Ophthalmia Neonatorum: Blinding eye disease (acute inflammation) of newborn infants; often a

gonorrheal infection acquired in the birth canal from the mother

Ophthalmoscope: An instrument used in examining the interior of the eye; funduscope

Ophthalmoplegia: Paralysis of the eye muscles

Optic Atrophy: Degeneration of the nerve tissue carrying messages from the retina to the brain

Optic Chiasm: The crossing of the fibers of the optic nerve on the lower surface of the brain

Optician: Specialist who fits, adjusts, and dispenses glasses and other optical devices according to the

written prescription of a licensed physician or optometrist

Optic Neuritis: Inflammation of the optic nerve

Optics: Science of light and vision

Optometrist: A licensed, nonmedical practitioner who examines the eyes and related structures to

determine vision problems, eye disease, or other abnormalities; prescribes glasses, prisms, and


Orthoptic Training: Series of scientifically planned exercises for developing or restoring the normal

teamwork of the eyes

Orthoptist: One who provides orthoptic training

Oscillipsia: The subjective illusion of movement of objects that occurs with some types of nystagmus

Palpebral: Fissure A cleft or groove in the eyelid

Pannus: Growth of new blood vessels and tissue deposits on the cornea

Panophthalmitls: Inflammation of all the structures and tissues of the eye

Perimeter: An Instrument for measuring the field of vision

Peripheral Vision: The ability to perceive object outside the direct line of vision; side vision

Phacoemulsification: A technique of cataract removal in which an instrument breaks the lens into small

particles and sucks them through a very small incision in the eye

Phlycternular Keratitis: A type of corneal inflammation characterized by the formation of pustules or

papules on the cornea; usually occurs in young children and may be caused by poor nutrition

Phoria: Any tendency for deviation of the eyes to turn away from normal

Photophobia: Abnormal sensitivity to liqht

Phthisis Bulbi: Shrunken, sightless eyeball

Pink Eye: Inflammation of the conjunctiva

Pleoptics: Exercise technique designed to develop fuller vision and binocular cooperation; a method for

treating amblyopia

Presbyopia: A gradual lessening of the power of accommodation due to a physiological change which

becomes noticeable with advanced age

Progressive: Increasing in extent or severity

Prosthesis: Artificial substitute for a missing body part such as the eye

Pseudoisochromatic Charts: Charts with colored dots of various hues and shades indicating numbers,

letters or patterns; used for testing color discrimination

Ptosis: A paralytic drooping of the upper eyelid

Red Eye: Nonmedical, term used to indicate inflammation of the eye

Refraction: As used by eye specialists, the measurement of the eye to determine refractive errors and the

need for prescription glasses; deviation in the course of the rays of light in passing from one

transparent medium into another of different density

Refractive Error: A defect in the eye that prevents light rays from focusing accurately on the retina

Refractive Media: The transparent parts of the eye having deflective power; cornea, aqueous humor, lens, vitreous humor

Retinal Aplasia: Failure of the retina to develop into functioning tissue, with subsequent-secondary

degenerative changes

Retinal Detachment: A separation of the retina from the choroid

Retinal Dystrophy: A disorder of the retina arising from defective or fauIty nutrition

Retinitis: Inflammation of the retina

Retinablastoma: The most common malignant intraocular tumor of childhood; usually congenital

Retinoscope: An instrument for determining the refractive state of the eye by observing the movements

of lights and shadows across the pupil by the light thrown onto the retina from a moving mirror

Rhodopsin: Visual purple; light sensitive pigment in the rod cells of the retina; important for vision in

dim light

Rods: Layer of the retina which acts as light-receiving media; rods are important for motion and vision

at low degrees of illumination (night vision)

Safety Glasses: Impact-resistant glasses for eye protection

Schiotz Tonometer: Handheld instrument which measures intraocular pressure by direct contact of a

small plunger with the cornea recording the amount of indentation

Scleritis: Inflammation of the sclera

Scotoma: A blind or partially blind area in the visual field

Slit-Lamp Microscope: A combination light and microscope for examination of the eye; principally the

anterior segment

Snellen Chart: Used for testing central visual acuity; consists of lines of letters, numbers, or symbols in

graded sizes drawn to Snellen measurements; labeled with the distance at which it can be read by

the normal eye at (20 ft.)

Spherical Lens: Refracts light rays equally at all points along the curved surface

Staphyloma: Protrusion of the cornea or sclera resulting from inflammation

Stereopsis: Ability to perceive relative position of objects in space without such cues as shadow, size, or overlapping

Strabismus: Crossed eyes; failure of the two eyes simultaneously to direct their gaze at the same object;

due to muscle imbalance

Strephasymbolia: A disorder of perception in which objects seem reversed as in a mirror; a reading

difficulty inconsistent with the child's general intelligence beginning with confusion between

similar, but oppositely oriented letter (b-d, q-p) and a tendency to reverse direction in reading

Sty: Horseolum; inflammation of one or more of the sebaceous glands of the eyelids; produces pus;

usually due to infection

Sympathetic Ophthalmitis: Inflammation of one eye due to an infection of the other eye

Synechia: Adhesion usually of the iris to the cornea or lens

Target Screen: Device used to measure the central visual field using a black screen with small test

objects moving within an area corresponding to the area of central vision; plots field restrictions

Telescopic Glasses: Magnifying spectacles designed on the principles of the telescope; occasionally

prescribed for improving very poor vision which cannot be helped by ordinary glasses

Tonography: Recording changes in intraocular pressure produced by t he application of a known weight

on the globe of the eye and measurement of the rate of outflow of aqueous humor

Tonometer: An instrument for measuring intraocular pressure

Toxic Amblyopia: Dimness of vision without organic lesion of the eye due to poisoning such as tobacco

or alcohol

Trachoma: A chronic, contagious, viral infection of the conjunctiva of varying degrees of severity; can

produce scarring of eyelids and cornea

Trichiases: A turning inward of the eyelashes often causing irritation of the eyeball

Tropia: Suffix that indicates obvious deviation of the eyes from normal position for binocular vision

Tunnel Vision: Visual field contracted to give impression of looking through a tunnel

Uveitis: Inflammation of the uveal tract of the eye

Vision: The art or faculty of seeing; sight

Visual Acuity: Ability of the eye to perceive objects in the direct line of vision

Visual Efficiency: Maximal use of vision; a skill that needs to be developed with low vision students

Visual Memory: Remembering a visual image that is no longer present

Visual Motor: Coordination of sight with other functions of the body

Visual Perception: The ability to distinguish visual characteristics and to give them meaning

Eye Report Terms

C, cc : With correction; wearing prescribed lenses with glasses

CF: Count fingers; low visual acuity; used in conjunction with distance; e.g., CF at 1 foot (the

individual can count fingers at a distance of one foot)

CVF: Central visual field

D: Diopter; lens strength

HM: Hand movements; used in conjunction with distance; e.g., HM at I foot; the individual can

see hand movements at one foot)

IOP: Intraocular pressure; the pressure of aqueous humor within the eye

JI, J2, J3: Jaeger notation indicating the size of type which can be read

LP: Light perception; ability to distinguish light from dark

LPP: Light projection; the ability to perceive and localize Iight

NLP: No light perception; inability to distinguish light from dark

OD: Right eye; oculus dexter

OS: Left eye; oculus sinister

OU: Both eyes together; oculi unitas

PLL: Perceives and localizes light in one or more quadrants

SS or S, SC: Without correction; not wearing glasses

20/20 Vision: Normal visual acuity; ability to correctly perceive an object or letter of a designated size

from a distance of 20 feet 20/70 Visual acuity notation; ability to see at 20 feet what others

with normal acuity are able to see at 70 feet; visually impaired 20/200 Visual acuity notation; ability to see at 20 feet what others with normal acuity are able to see at 200 feet; legally blind

VA: Visual acuity

VE: Visual efficiency

Cortical Visual Impairment : Neurological condition that prevents the brain from producing the correct visual picture from input.
Congential or acquired

No special accommodation for lighting

No special accommodation for seating

Can have 20/20 vision, but…

Physical activity should not be limited.

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