Submitted by Middlesex Eye Physicians, PE
Editor’s note: This is part 7 of an 8-part series submitted by Middlesex Eye Physicians.
Functional eyesight: how your entire visual system (the eyes, the brain, the visual pathways) works together to help you interact with the world around you. This includes the visual skill areas of eye teaming, eye focusing and eye movement. (These skill areas are tested during your routine eye exams.)
Emmetropia (normal eye) – Light focuses through cornea precisely on the retina; near and far objects are seen clearly.
Cornea: the clear dome shaped window of the eye through which light passes and is refracted back to the retina.
Retina: innermost layer of nerves and blood vessels that acts like film, holding the images and transmitting the signals through the optic nerve to the brain.
Sclera: white of the eye, tough outermost layer connecting to cornea, helps maintain shape of the eyeball, about 1 inch in diameter.
Conjunctiva: the clear mucous layer that covers the sclera and inner surfaces of the eyelid; does not cover the cornea.
Conjunctivitis: inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, called “pink eye” usually.
Stye: bacterial infection similar to a pimple or boil and is often quite red, painful, and a lump. Warm compresses and doctor attention is recommended (antibiotic ointment and over-the-counter pain reliever help).
Astigmatism: when a cornea is irregularly shaped, oval or football shaped; this causes an irregular refraction of light to the retina. Patient requires glasses or contacts.
Nearsightedness (myopia), either an abnormal length of the eyeball or the light bends unnaturally hitting in front of the retina rather than on the retina, which makes far objects blurry and out of focus.
Farsightedness (hyperopia), eyeball is too short, light hits retina and is focused behind it, causing near objects to appear blurry and out of focus.
Presbyopia: the eye’s lens loses elasticity due to aging and causes the need for reading glasses.
Amblyopia: often called “lazy eye;” even with prescription glasses, the eyes do not team in order to see clearly. In conjunction with patching (actual patch or eyedrop patch) and/or prescribing glasses, vision therapy should be considered to develop eye teaming skills and improve functional vision to prevent regression. Can be corrected.
Strabismus: a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time: when one or both eyes turn in, out, up or down some or all of the time. Strabismus is a severe problem with eye teaming, one of the three visual skill areas that make up functional vision. Typically, correction involves both eye therapy and multiple surgeries.