Penguins, Cadillacs, and Stigmas, Oh MY!

So you just got back from your annual eye exam and your optometrist just let you know your blurry vision is due to a stigma thingy, you also got asked about your grandmas Cadillacs, and the yellow bump on your eye ball was called a penguin or something.

Courtesy of Optometria HD on Flickr

Courtesy of Optometria HD on Flickr

Does this sound familiar? Many times when you go for your vision exam, or if this your or child’s, you get asked about a lot of different conditions, and very often some very technical medical terms are used that can be overwhelming. So here is a list of some common conditions that might be discussed during your eye exam.

  • Astigmatism (aka that stigma thingy):
    This one of the most common conditions that might require you to need glasses. It can be caused by an eye in which the front part of the eye or cornea is more oval than spherical in shape. The most frequent symptoms are doubling or ghosting of letters or images.
  • Myopia (aka Nearsightedness):
    Another common condition for needing glasses. In this case, the eye is too long or strong so images are not focused properly in the eye. Typically vision is blurry at a distance.
  • Hyperopia (aka Farsightedness):
    Yet another reason for needing glasses. In this case, the eye is too short or too weak, so images are out of focus. Vision is typically blurry up close.
  • Presbyopia:
    This is an age-related change to the lens of the eye that causes a decrease in the ability to refocus up close.
  • Cataracts:
    This is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. This clouding of the lens can be caused by age, trauma, or medication.
  • Strabismus (aka Eye Turn):
    This is a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. Eyes can be turned up, out, down, or in. Eye turns may require the use of glasses, therapy, surgery, or a combination of treatments.
  • Amblyopia (aka Lazy Eye):
    This is a condition where one eye’s capacity to see is limited. One or both eyes can be affected. Causes can include high prescription, unequal prescription, uncorrected prescription, strabismus, or congenital cataracts.
  • Pinguecula:
    This a white or yellow deposit on the conjunctiva or white of the eye. Sun exposure is a major factor in development of pinguecula.
  • Pterygium:
    This a fibrous growth of tissue that covers the clear part of the eye. UV light is cause of condition.

If you think you may have any of these conditions, be sure to visit your eye doc right away. They can help you get the care you need to help you seeing better in no time!

~John Barrón, OD
California Optometric Association

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