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The following is a selection of the more common terminology used by opticians describing parts of the eye and also the more everyday conditions that may affect sight or the working of the eye.

Astigmatism- a common condition where the cornea or lens of the eye isn’t a perfect curve, causing blurred or distorted vision.

Blepharitis- a common eye condition causing the rims of the eyelids to become red and swollen. Caused by a bacterial infection or underlying skin condition, it is not contagious.

Blind Spot- where the optic nerve enters the eye, there is a lack of photoreceptor cells resulting in a sightless area of the normal vision.

Keratoconus- describes the condition where the cornea thins and develops a cone shape distorting an individuals vision and ability to see clearly. Usually beginning in teenagers, it can start in childhood and people up to thirty years old, with the changes occurring gradually over time. It is usually hereditary and affects both eyes.

Cataracts- the condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy obscuring the vision in that eye. Caused by a build up of protein in the lens, cataracts are mainly age related, but can occur for a number of other reasons.

Chalazion- also called a meibomian cyst, is a lump on the eyelid caused by a blocked or ruptured
meibomian gland, which normally produces oil that is secreted onto the inside of the eyelid.

Conjunctivitis- also called ‘pink eye’, it is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. Symptoms include discharge, grittiness, redness and swelling. Can be contagious as it is sometimes viral in origin, but is also caused by bacteria and allergies.

Cornea- clear or transparent layer over the front of the eye covering the iris and pupil

Floaters- usually seen as shadows crossing your vision they are caused by the natural ageing process of the eye, but can be an indication of posterior vitreous detachment (when the vitreous gel separates from the retina) if they become numerous and accompanied by flashes of light, in which case seek medical advise quickly.

Glaucoma- a group of eye conditions usually linked to a build up of pressure within the eye due to an imbalance of production and drainage of fluids, called Ocular Hypertension. Building over a short time this condition can be undetected by the individual due to lack of pain, inflammation etc., which is why regular eye examinations by an ophthalmologist or eye specialist are so important.

Myopia- or nearsightedness. A defect where the light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina. Can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Ophthalmologist- Optician specialising in diagnosis and treatment of refractive, medical and surgical problems related to eye diseases and disorders.

Optician- Professional who makes and adjusts optical aids such as lenses, to suit your prescription

Optometrist- Professional specialising in visual defects and prescribing corrective lenses and vision aids as well as medicine for some eye diseases.

Retina- light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain via the optic nerve.

Retinal detachment- a very serious condition where the retina at the back of the eyes pulls away from the blood vessels that supply it. Caused by age as well as trauma to the head or eye, left untreated it will cause the loss of sight.

Vitreous- or vitreous humor, is the clear gel mass that fills the space between the lens and the retina.