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Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration: Glossary

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 14:05

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are definitions of medical terms related to macular degeneration.

Antioxidants: Nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin E that protect cells in the body from damage that can occur from contact with oxygen.

Cataract: A clouding of the lens of the eye.

Clinical trial: A medical experiment used to decide if a potential new treatment for disease is safe and effective.

Dilate: Temporarily enlarging the pupil with special eye drops to allow an eye care specialist to better view the inside of the eye.

Drusen: Small yellow or white deposits in the macula that occur in macular degeneration.

Fluorescein angiography: A medical test that makes blood vessels in the retina visible by injecting a special dye-like material into the bloodstream.

Genes: The chemical units of heredity found on chromosomes in the central nucleus of most cells in the body.

Glaucoma: A disease cause by abnormally high pressure of fluid inside the eye.

Heredity: The process by which parents pass physical traits and other characteristics to their children.

Laser surgery: A method for treating diseased tissue that uses a special beam of light produced by a laser.

Macula: A small central area of the retina responsible for the sharp, clear vision needed to look directly at an object.

Myopia: Or nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objects.

National Eye Institute: An agency of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, that funds medical research on eye diseases.

Neovascularization: The growth of new blood vessels in the macula.

Peripheral vision: The ability to see objects and movements with side vision, outside the direct line of sight.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT): A new treatment of AMD that involves injections of a special drug that becomes active and destroys abnormal eye blood vessels when exposed to special laser light.

Pupil: The adjustable opening at the front of the eye that expands and contracts to regulate the amount of light entering the eye.

Retina: The light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye that converts light rays into electrical signals relayed to the brain.

Retinal detachment: A serious disorder that occurs when part of the retina becomes separated from the inside of the eye.

Visual field: The entire area that can be seen by the eye, including front and side, or peripheral, vision

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