FIONA WATT  optometrists

0208 944 6886

Glossary of the Terms We Use



  • Optometrist - A person trained in the eye and visual system, who can provide comprehensive eye and vision care. This includes refraction and dispensing, the detection/diagnosis and management of diseases in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions in the visual system. 
  • Myopia (Short-sight) - Near vision is good but distance vision is poor. 
  • Hyperopia (Long-sight) - Distance vision is good but near vision is poor. 
  • Astigmatism - Blurring/distortion at one angle often caused by 'rugby-shaped' eyeball. 
  • Presbyopia - The inability to focus on near objects (e.g. reading) from 40 years old onwards. 
  • Cataract - When the lens in your eye loses its clarity, blurring your vision. Often causes glare. 
  • Glaucoma - Raised pressure within the eye which causes damage to the optic nerve. 
  • Diabetic Retinopathy - Leaks and haemorrhages within the retina causing loss of vision. If you are diabetic you should have your eyes tested at least once a year. There is a genetic link with this disease. 
  • ARMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) - ‘Wear & tear’ of the retina due to age resulting in loss of central detailed vision, peripheral vision is retained. Research shows a link with smoking and diet to be risk factors. 
  • Strabismus/Squint - Mis-alignment of one eye, usually pointing in or out. 
  • Ambylopia - Reduced vision without any disease, usually the result of a strabismus or uncorrected prescription as a child. 
  • Cycloplegic Refraction - Generally used for children, eye drop to relax the eyes focussing power to enable a more accurate prescription to be calculated. 
  • Dilation - Eye drops that dilate the pupil to enable a better view of the inside of the eye.