PGCFA Knowledgebase
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  • acanthamoeba
    A germ that can cause severe cornea infection.  Risk factors include swimming in fresh water, such as lakes or streams, and poor contact lens care, such as sleeping while wearing contacts not made for overnight wear, using homemade contact lens solution, or using tap water on contact lenses.
  • amblyopia
    Loss of vision or incomplete vision development, usually only occurring in one eye, because the brain prefers using vision from one eye more than the other.  Amblyopia can be caused by going without a strong glasses prescription that is needed or glasses prescriptions that are unequal between the two eyes.  When structural defects, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or other conditions that block vision in one eye, are also present, amblyopia will often make the vision even worse.  (Commonly referred to as lazy eye.)
  • amniocentesis
    A procedure that can be used to test a baby for a variety of conditions, usually genetic disorders, before he/she is born.  A small amount of the fluid surrounding the baby in the womb is removed for examination by using a needle that goes through the belly of the pregnant mother.
  • angle closure glaucoma
    A closure of the drainage system of the eye, often sudden (acute), but sometimes more chronic, that can cause high eye pressure.  When acute, it is typically painful.  This form of glaucoma is uncommon in children.  This is also sometimes referred to as closed angle glaucoma.
  • angle of the eye
    The area where the cornea and iris meet.  This is where the fluid inside the eye drains from the eye, regulating the eye’s internal pressure.  This term is often shortened to angle. 
  • aniridia
    A congenital lack of iris tissue.
  • anterior capsule
    The front part of the membrane that surrounds the lens of the eye.  An opening is made in the anterior capsule when performing cataract surgery. 
  • anterior chamber
    The space between the cornea and the iris that is filled with fluid (aqueous humor).
  • aphakic
    Lacking the natural lens of the eye.  This is the state of the eye after cataract surgery if a lens implant is not put in the eye. 
  • astigmatism
    An abnormal curvature of the cornea that causes blurring of vision.  Astigmatism is generally correctable with glasses or contact lenses. 
  • Axemfeld-Rieger spectrum
    A congenital abnormality of eye development characterized by the presence of one or more of the following conditions: malformations of the iris, abnormal pupil position or number, posterior embryotoxon, and/or abnormal attachments between the iris and cornea (iridocorneal adhesions).  Individuals with Axenfeld-Rieger spectrum are at high risk for developing glaucoma.  Some patients may also have abnormal teeth, redundant skin around their belly buttons, and/or characteristic facial appearance. 
  • beta-blockers
    Medications that block receptors in the eye that are involved in producing aqueous humor.  Eyedrop forms of these medications are used to treat glaucoma.  Examples include timolol, levobunolol, and betaxolol.
  • bleb
    The bubble of fluid under the conjunctiva that is caused by the flow of aqueous fluid out of the eye through a trabeculectomy or glaucoma tube.
  • buphthalmos
    Increased eye size caused by childhood glaucoma. 
  • cataract
    Any opacity of all or part of the lens of the eye. 
  • chloral hydrate
    A drug used for sedation. 
  • ciliary body
    Located behind the iris, this area includes the ciliary processes, underlying tissues, and the muscle inside the eye used for focusing vision at near range. 
  • congenital
    A condition present at birth. 
  • cyclodestruction
    A treatment for glaucoma that involves destruction of some of the ciliary processes in order to reduce production of aqueous humor.  This process is sometimes referred to as cycloablation or (when done with a laser) cyclophotodestruction. 
  • Descemet's membrane
    One of the inner layers of the cornea. 
  • drainage surgery
    Any of several procedures performed to create new drainage sites to help filter aqueous fluid from the eye, such as trabeculectomy.  Drainage surgery is also sometimes referred to as filtration surgery. 
  • glaucoma
    A disease that causes damage to the optic nerve due to increased pressure inside the eye. 
  • mydriatics
     Eyedrops that are used to dilate the pupil(s). 
  • myopia
    An eye that naturally focuses better at close range than at a distance.  Individuals with this type of vision are commonly referred to as nearsighted. 
  • narrow angle glaucoma
    An intermittent closure of the draining system of the eye that can cause high eye pressure.  This form of glaucoma is rarely seen in children.  See also angle closure glaucoma.
  • nasolacrimal duct
     The channel that allows tears to drain from the eye into the nose. 
  • needling
     Use of a needle to break up scar tissue that has caused trabeculectomy or glaucoma tube surgery to fail. 
  • neovascularization
     Growth of abnormal blood vessels. 
  • normal tension glaucoma
    Damage to the optic nerve that appears like glaucoma, but without high pressure in the eye.  This is a disorder only seen in adults. 
  • nystagmus
    A constant, rhythmic shaking of the eyes.

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