Intermountain Eye Care


  • Vitreous Hemorrhage: 

    Small blood vessels in the retina break and leak blood into the vitreous cavity.

  • Vitreous: 

    Clear, jelly-like substance that fills the large posterior cavity of the eye.

  • Vitrectomy: 

    Removal of the vitreous gel.

  • VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor): 

    A chemical that helps the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina.

  • Retinopathy: 

    A general term indicating non-inflammatory damage to the retina. Often an ocular manifestation of some systemic disease (i.e. diabetes or hypertension).

  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE): 

    Pigmented cell layer just under the neurosensory retina that nourishes retinal visual cells and just above the choroid.

  • Retinal Hole or Tear: 

    Small holes or tears in the retina which may or may not lead to retinal detachment.

  • Retinal Artery/Vein Occlusion: 

    A blockage of a small vein or artery in the retina. Depending upon the location this may be classified as a “Branch” or Central” retinal artery/vein occlusion (BRAO, BRVO, CRAO, CRVO).

  • Retinal Detachment: 

    When the retina lifts away from the eye wall.

  • Retina: 

    Thin tissue which lines the inside wall of the eye.

  • PVD (Posterior Vitreous Detachment): 

    The separation of the vitreous from the retina and optic nerve.

  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: 

    A classification of diabetic retinopathy involving the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina (neovascularization), which can lead to severe vision loss.

  • Optic Nerve: 

    Transmits messages to the brain from the eye.

  • OCT (Optical Coherent Tomography): 

     Imaging technique that uses light waves to measure the retina’s thickness and show the layers of the retina.

  • Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: 

    Less severe diabetic retinopathy than proliferative, but still involves small blood vessel leaks, which can lead to macular edema and vision loss.

  • Neovascularization: 

    The growth of abnormal blood vessels.

  • Macular Edema: 

    Swelling in the macula caused by blood or fluid under the central retina.

  • Macular Degeneration: 

      A group of diseases characterized by loss of central vision because of death or impairment of the cells in the macula.

  • Macula: 

    Central part of retina that gives us detailed vision.

  • Lucentis®: 

     (ranibizumab) Anti-VEGF drug used to treat wet macular degeneration by intravitreal injection.

  • Laser: 

    A highly focused beam of light, which can be used to treat a variety of retinal disorders.

  • Ischemic optic neuropathy (ION): 

    The loss of structure and function of a portion of the optic nerve due to obstruction of blood flow to the nerve. May be “Anterior” or “Posterior”.

  • Hypertensive Retinopathy: 

    Damage to the retina due to high blood pressure (hypertension).

  • Fluorescein Angiography: 

    Photography of the retina using fluorescein dye to document abnormal blood vessels or leakage.

  • Floaters: 

     Often described as “bugs” or “hairs” that a patient sees in their line of vision. As the vitreous liquefies and detaches from the retina, it can become condensed and stringy allowing the patient to see “floaters”.

  • Flashes: 

     Flashes of light seen by a patient are often caused when the vitreous gel detaches from and pulls on the retina.

  • Drusen: 

    Yellow deposits under the retina

  • Dilation: 

    enlarging the pupil.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: 

    Disease of the retina caused by diabetes (see “Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy” and “Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy”).

  • Avastin® (bevacizumab): 

    Anti-VEGF drug developed for the treatment of colon cancer, but used in ophthalmology to treat retinal neovascularization and edema by intravitreal injection.

  • Anti-VEGF: 

    medication that blocks the chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor.

  • Choroid: 

    Vascular layer under the retina responsible for nourishment to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

  • AREDS Formula Vitamins: 

    Vitamin supplement specifically formulated for patient with macular degeneration based on the Age-Related Eye Disease study sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI).

  • Amsler grid: 

    Graph used to check for new distortion or other visual disturbances.

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