Glossary of Common Eye & Vision Conditions

Common Eye & Vision Conditions

The American Optometric Association provides doctor-reviewed, doctor-approved information about the most common eye conditions. Find out more below. If you are having vision or eye problems, see an AOA-member optometrist today.

Acanthamoeba is among the most common organisms found in the environment, though it hardly ever causes an infection. When one does happen, though, it is often very serious and can impact your vision.

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An Accommodative Dysfunction is a specific type of eye focusing issue that impacts the ability of a child or young adult to properly accommodate their eyes. The eyes’ ability to focus is an essential visual role that allows individuals to read and accomplish a variety of tasks on a daily basis.

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Amblyopia, also referred to as lazy eye, is a form of poor vision that occurs in only one eye. It tends to develop when there is a breakdown in the way that the brain and eye works together, and the brain is unable to recognize the sight from one of the eyes. Over a period of time, the brain will rely more on the stronger eye and the vision in the weaker eye will only get worse.

 

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Anterior uveitis is known as an inflammation condition of the central layer of the eye. This layer consists of the iris as well as the adjacent tissue that is identified as the ciliary body. If left untreated, the inflammation can result in permanent damage as well as vision loss due to the advancement of cataracts, glaucoma, or even retinal edema.

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Astigmatism is considered a vision condition that is common and results in blurred vision. It tends to occur when the clear front cover of your eye, which is known as the cornea, is shaped irregularly or due to the lens’ curvature within the eye. 

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Also referred to as best macular dystrophy or best disease, best vitelliform macular dystrophy is a gradually advanced type of macular degeneration. It tends to begin during childhood or youth, although the age of onset and the severity of loss of vision can vary from one person to the next. Affected individuals will have normal vision at first, which will then be followed by a decrease in their central visual acuity and partial vision. Their peripheral vision isn’t impacted.

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Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids in which they become red, irritated and itchy and dandruff-like scales form on the eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either bacteria or a skin condition, such as dandruff of the scalp or rosacea. It affects people of all ages. Although uncomfortable, blepharitis is usually not contagious and generally does not cause any permanent damage to eyesight.

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It is referred to as any opacity or cloudiness of the eye’s natural lens, which is generally transparent. There are numerous kinds of cataracts. Some are considered small and don’t interfere at all with a person’s vision, while others are considered large and can result in significant loss of vision.

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A chalazion often starts out as a very small red, tender, swollen area of the eyelid. In a few days, it may change to a painless slow-growing lump the size of a pea. It is often confused with a stye, which is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. A stye produces a red, swollen, painful lump on the edge or the inside of the eyelid and usually occurs closer to the surface of the eyelid than chalazia.

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Color blindness is when your eyes don’t see colors the way that they are supposed to. Instead, your eyes see a difference in the light rays that hit them. It is similar to the way that you hear different sounds as high or low, which is known as pitch, and it relates to the sound frequency or the number of times it vibrates during a given moment.

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Color vision deficiency refers to the inability to properly distinguish between certain color shades. Color blindness is often used to describe this particular condition of vision, though few people are actually fully color blind.

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Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Often called "pink eye," conjunctivitis is a common eye disease, especially in children.

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It is defined as a cut or scrape on the cornea’s outermost surface. The cornea is located on the front of the eye—the clear part—and actually has multiple layers. The most superficial layer is known as the epithelium. The cornea covers up the iris (the colored portion of the eye) as well as the pupil.

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Diabetic retinopathy is a particular condition that tends to happen in individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The condition results in advanced damage to the retina, which is the lining that is sensitive to the light and located at the back of the eye. The condition is a serious complication associated with diabetes that threatens one’s vision.

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Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that can result in the progressive damage of the nerve that connects the brain and eye. This nerve is known as the optic nerve. Individuals with this particular eye condition can lose their vision as a result of lost nerve tissue.

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If your eyeball is too long or your cornea is too curved, the light that will enter the eye will be unable to properly focus. Images will focus in the front of your retina, which is the light sensitive area of the eye, as opposed to directly on your retina. This can result in blurred vision, which is also called a refractive error.

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Also referred to as nyctalopia, night blindness is a condition that makes it difficult to see well in poor light or at night. While it is not a disease, night blindness is a symptom of another eye problem like nearsightedness that has been left untreated.

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Ocular hypertension happens when your eye pressure is more than the normal range and there are no noticeable changes in your vision or damage to the eye structure. The term is used to distinguish individuals who have elevated pressure from individuals who have glaucoma, which is considered a serious eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve as well as a loss of vision.

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Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of genetic disorders that are rare and involve retina cells that have broken down. The retina is the tissue that is located at the back of the eye and is sensitive to light. Some of the most common symptoms of RP include problems with night vision and a loss of peripheral vision (side vision).

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