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Medical TermDescription
-opiavision condition
adnexaAppendages of an organ (e.g. eyelids to the eyeball)
ambly/odull, dim
amblyopiaDecrease of vision due to abnormal development during childhood. Also known as lazy eye.
ametropiaAn eye problem caused by faulty refraction.
anisocoriaUnequal pupil sizes. Affects 20% of the population.
aphakiaAbsence of the eye's lens.
astigmatismA common and generally easily treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye.
audiologyThe study of hearing and hearing impairment.
audiometryA noninvasive test that measures the ability to hear different tones and intensities.
auralRefers to the ear or hearing.
blepharoplastyCosmetic eyelid surgery. Also called eyelid lift.
blindnessThe inability to see.
blinkingBrief closing and reopening of the eyelids by involuntary or voluntary action.
chalazionA small bump on the eyelid that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland at the base of the eyelash.
cochle/ocochlea (inner part of ear)
cochlear implantAn electronic device that provides a sense of sound to deaf or severely hard of hearing people.
color blindnessA weakness or inability to distinguish colors. A common form is the inability to distinguish red from green.
conjunctiv/omucous membrane that lines the inner surface of eyelids
conjunctivitisAn inflammation of the clear tissue that lines the white part of the eye. Also called pink eye.
dacryoadenitisInflammation of the lacrimal glands (the eye’s tear-producing glands).
deafnessA general term for the complete loss of the ability to hear from both ears.
diplopiaDouble vision.
earThe hearing and equilibrium system of the body. Sound vibration is transduced to nerve signals that pass through the acoustic nerve to the central nervous system. The inner ear contains the vestibular organ that responsible for equilibrium.
ectropionA condition where the lower eyelid droops away from the eye and turns outwards.
emmetropiaA state when rays are focused correctly on the retina of a relaxed eye.
entropionThe eyelid is rolled inward toward the eye.
esotropiaAn inward turning of one or both eyes.
exotropia One or both of the eyes turn outward.
eyeThe organ of vision.
eyebrowThe bony ridge extending over the eye and the row of hair located on it.
eyelashesThe hairs which project from the edges of the eyelids.
eyelidsEach of the upper and lower folds of skin which cover the eye when closed.
fluorescein angiographyAn eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid.
focusThe point at which rays of line converge after passing through a lens.
glaucomaA disease that damages the optic nerve. Often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye.
hearingThe ability to perceive sounds.
hemianopiaThe loss of part of the field of view on the same side, in both eyes. A common side effect of stroke or brain injury.
hordeolumBlockage of an eyelid gland causing a small inflamed cyst at the lid margin. Also called a stye.
hyperopiaFarsightedness. Distant objects can be seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus.
infectious myringitisAn infection causing painful blisters on the eardrum. More often seen in children than adults. Causal agent is Mycoplasma.
iridectomySurgical removal of part of the iris.
iritisInflammation of the iris.
kerat/ocornea, horny, hard
keratitisInflammation of the cornea
labyrinth/oinner ear
labyrinthectomyAn ear operation used for Meniere's syndrome.
laser trabeculoplastyUsing a very focused beam of light to treat the drainage angle of the eye.
mastoidectomySurgical removal of mastoid air cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear.
mydriasisAbnormal dilation of the pupil.
myopiaNearsightedness. A condition where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
myring/otympanic membrane (eardrum)
myringotomySurgical incision in the eardrum to relieve fluid pressure.
nyctalopiaNight blindness.
nystagmusA vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, usually side to side.
ophthalmologyA surgical specialty concerned with the treatment of eye defects and diseases.
ophthalmoscopyAn examination of the back part of the eye (fundus), which includes the retina, optic disc, choroid, and blood vessels.
opt/oeye, vision
optometryThe professional practice of primary eye and vision care that includes the measurement of visual refractive power and the correction of visual defects with lenses or glasses.
ot/oear, hearing
otalgiaEar ache.
otitis mediaAn ear infection of the middle ear, the area just behind the eardrum.
otologyThe study of diseases of the ear.
otomycosisA fungal infection of the external auditory canal.
otopyorrheaDischarge of pus from ear.
otorrheaEar discharge.
otosclerosisA disease of the bones of the middle and inner ear.
papilledemaSwelling of the optic disk due to increased intracranial pressure.
periorbital edemaA condition in which the tissues around the eyes become swollen. Puffy eyes.
phac/opertaining to lens
phak/opertaining to lens
photophobiaAbnormal sensitivity to light.
presbycusisHearing loss that gradually occurs in most individuals as they grow older.
presbyopiaAn age-related condition when the eye's lens doesn't change shape as easily as it once did
ptosisDrooping of the upper eyelid.
pupilThe aperture in the iris through which light passes.
radial keratotomyA surgical procedure used to decrease nearsightedness.
retinaThe ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. The innermost layer of the eye, which receives images transmitted through the lens and contains the receptors for vision, the rods and cones
retinopexyA surgery for certain types of retinal detachments.
scler/owhite of eye, hard
scleritisA severe, vision-threatening inflammation of the white part of the eye.
sensorineural hearing lossLoss of hearing resulting from problems in the inner ear. A common hearing impairment.
staped/ostapes (a middle ear bone)
stapedectomySurgical removal of the stapes.
strabismusA condition that causes crossed eyes.
styeAcute bacterial inflammation of a gland at the base of an eyelash.
tarsorrhaphyJoining of part or all of the upper and lower eyelids so as to partially or completely close the eye.
tearsThe fluid secreted by the lacrimal glands. This fluid moistens the conjunctiva and cornea.
tinnitusThe perception of sound in the head when no outside sound is present. Commonly called 'ringing in the ears'.
tonometryA test that measures intraocular pressure.
tympanometryA test that measures the movement of the tympanic membrane (eardrum).
vertigoA feeling of dizziness and disorientation.
vitre/ovitreous body
vitrectomySurgery to remove vitreous gel from the eye.
xerophthalmiaSevere dry eyes caused by a malfunction of the tear glands.

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Dr. Barbara A. Erickson
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD
Last Update: 12/18/2022

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