Macular Degeneration: GlossaryThursday, April 19, 2012 - 14:05
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