Although patients are always given advice in clear and easy-to-understand terms, these are some of the technical phrases you might hear when you visit us for an eye test:
Astigmatism - most of us have some degree of astigmatism, where an irregular shaping of the eye’s curved front cover distorts light rays before they reach the retina. Specially-shaped lenses can compensate for astigmatism’s main symptom – slightly blurry vision at any distance.
Bifocal - available with many spectacle lenses and contact lenses, a bifocal lens is designed to provide two different powers of vision correction. These are typically short-distance for reading, and longer-range for driving or outdoor activities.
Conjunctivitis - one of the most common eye-related conditions, conjunctivitis describes an easily treatable inflammation of the eye’s front tissue layer. Frequently referred to as pinkeye or red-eye due to the discolouration.
Dioptre - this is the official unit of measurement for a lens’s light-bending power (or refractive power). You might recognise it from your prescription – most people are short-sighted, so their dioptre measurement is negative. For example, somebody with -4.5 dioptre lenses would be quite short-sighted.
Floaters - these are the shadowy grey spots and strands that float across your vision and change direction in response to eye movements. Floaters are loose gelatinous strands from the centre of your eye, and they are normally harmless. However, a rapid increase in floater activity may require immediate medical attention.
Photochromic - a relatively recent technological advancement, photochromic lenses can react to light exposure to deliver the benefits of sunglasses in everyday glasses. Photochromic lenses darken in bright conditions and clear in low light, making them an ideal choice for patients with certain eye-related medical conditions.