Commonly Used Eye Terms

Before your next visit to the ophthalmologist, read up on these commonly used eye terms.

Simply stating, the eyes are made of muscles, blood vessels and the optic nerve. In more scientific jargon, it is composed of the Cornea, the Vascular Tunic (or Uvea) and the Retina.

Does that sound too complex or scientific? These are just some of the principal terms that relate to the eye and there are more.

To help you navigate through the wonders of the eyes and eye-related words, we’ll share with you some terms that are commonly used when talking about the eye.

These come in handy most especially when you visit your eye doctor for a check-up.


The Retina contains cells that trigger nerve impulses that form the visual image. In analogy, if your eye is the camera, the retina is the film.


The Cornea is that transparent layer in front of the eye. The Cornea can also be donated for Corneal transplants (or also known as Keratoplasty). It is a surgical procedure wherein a damaged cornea is replaced by a donated corneal tissue.


The pupil is the opening on the center of the Iris. It is the pupil’s size that also determines the amount of light that enters. It appears to be black in color because of the light that is absorbed.


The iris is the thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for the control of the pupil’s size. Interestingly, it is the Iris that gives color to the eyes.


The Uvea is the middle layer of the eye. The Iris is also located in the Uvea. Uveitis on the other hand, is the condition where the Uvea is inflamed.


UV (Ultraviolet) Rays are made UV-A and UV-B. UV Radiation is harmful to the eyes.


Photosensitivity or light sensitivity, refers to the increased reactivity to light. It is often related to sensitivity of the skin to light, but the eyes can likewise be sensitive to both natural (sunlight) or man-made light (lamps).


An Opthamologist is an eye medical doctor that specializes in vision care and diagnoses and treats eye diseases. Opthalmologists and Optometrists differ in their level of training. An Opthalmologist is medially licensed to practice medicine and surgery.


A Cataract is a condition where the lens of the eyes are clouded and blurred. The lens are behind the iris and pupil.

Age is a risk factor to Cataracts. Prevent Blindness America (PBA) says that Cataracts affect more than 20 million Americans, 40 years old and above.


Age-related Macular Degeneration, or sometimes called AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss as we age. The older we get, the higher the risk for this degenerative condition of the eyes.


Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up on the eye resulting in the gradual loss of sight. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US and worldwide. There are close to 2.2 million Americans that have Glaucoma, but unfortunately, only half of them are aware they have Glaucoma.

NOTICE TO USERS is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on