Wales Council of the Blind

Glossary Browser

Albinism eye condition

Albinism is a comparatively rare genetically inherited group of conditions which results in a reduction or complete lack of pigment (colour) in the skin, hair and eyes of people with the condition. This can result in pale skin which burns easily in the sun, virtually white hair, very severe short-sight and photophobia (a severe sensitivity to light).

Alstrom syndrome eye condition

Alstrom Syndrome is an ultra rare recessively inherited genetic disorder, which means that both parents will carry the gene although probably be unaffected themselves. ASUK know of around 80 families in the UK who are affected, this figure could be higher due to delayed diagnosis and the rarity of the condition, many may still be undiagnosed. The condition is characterised by retinal degeration, hearing loss, obesity & insulin resistance.

Aniridia eye condition

Aniridia is a rare congenital eye condition causing incomplete formation of the iris. This can cause loss of vision, usually affecting both eyes.

Anophthalmia eye condition

Anophthalmia is a medical term that is used to describe the absence of the globe and ocular (eye) tissue from the orbit.

Behcet's Syndrome eye condition

A chronic condition caused by disturbances in the body's immune system and around 70% of patients will experience inflamation of the eye.

Best's disease eye condition

Best's disease, also known as Best's vitelliform macular dystrophy, is a hereditary form of progressive macular dystrophy first identified in 1905.

Birdshot uveitis eye condition

A form of uveitis where oval spots can be seen on the retina.

Blepharitis (eyelid problems) eye condition

An inflamation of the eyelids which can make the eyes feel irritated or itchy, but rarely causes serious eye damage.

Cataract eye condition

Cataracts are formed when the lens inside the eye gradually changes and becomes less transparent (clear), making vision mistier. More information at Cataract page.

Cerebrovascular disease eye condition

Cerebrovascular diseases are conditions caused by problems that affect the blood supply to the brain. One of the most common types is stroke, which can cause loss of vision in one eye or on one side of the field of vision

Charles Bonnet syndrome eye condition

A condition where people who have lost their sight experience hallucinations.

Chorioretinitis (choroid retinitis) eye condition

A form of uveitis where the inflamation affects the back of the eye.

Choroidal degeneration eye condition

Mentioned on CVI, but no reliable definition found.

Coat's Disease eye condition

A progressive condition of the retinal capillaries which occurs in children and young adults, usually males.

Coloboma eye condition

A gap in part of the structure of the eye, caused when a baby's eyes do not develop properly in pregnancy.

Colour blindness eye condition

Effects can vary: there are extremely rare cases where people are unable to see any colour at all, but most can see as clearly as other people but are unable to fully see red, green or blue.

Congenital cataracts eye condition

Cataracts which are present at birth (rather than as part of the ageing process).

Corneal dystrophies eye condition

A group of eye conditions affecting the cornea.

Corneal transplantation eye condition

A treatment rather than condition??

Deafblindness eye condition

A person is deafblind if they have a combined sight and hearing impairment that causes difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility.

Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome (DVS) eye condition

The spontaneous occurrence in the aging vitreous of opacities (floaters) that substantially interfere with activities of daily living.

Diabetes/diabetic retinopathy eye condition

Diabetes can affect the eye in several ways, the most common being problems with blood vessels in the eye.

Diabetic macular oedema eye condition

Vision loss occurs when the fluid reaches the macula (the centre of the retina that provides sharp vision) and builds up, causing swelling. At first, you may not notice changes to your vision. Over time, macular-oedema">diabetic macular oedema can cause your central vision to become blurred. A healthy macula is essential for good vision.

Dry eye eye condition

Caused by a problem with the tears which leaves eyes feeling dry, scratchy and uncomfortable.

Dystonia eye condition

A range of movement disorders that can affect the eye.

Flashes/floaters eye condition

Flashes of light/small dark spots or strands which move. Generally harmless, but can be sign of retinal detachment

Fuch's dystrophy eye condition

A form of corneal dystrophy which occurs later in life.

Giant cell or temporal arteritis eye condition

A condition affecting the arteries which can cause serious sight loss if untreated.

Glaucoma eye condition

A group of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and can affect vision. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves your eye.

Hemianopia eye condition

An effect of stroke where one half of the visual field can be lost.

Keratitis eye condition

An inflamation of the cornea.

Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedel (LMBB) eye condition

An inherited genetic condition. Effects can include viual impairment caised by rod-cone dystrophy, often diagnosed as retinitis pigmentosa.

Light sensitivity (photophobia) eye condition

An inability to cope with glare which can be associated with another eye condition, or a side-effect of certain drugs.

Macular Degeneration eye condition

Loss of central vision due to damage to the macular. Most common in older people (AMD) but can occur in younger people.

Macular hole eye condition

A small hole in the macular - different from macular degeration. Causes problems such as straight lines appearing wavy.

Marfan syndrome eye condition

A disorder of the connective tissue which can affect the eyes.

Microphthalmia eye condition

Microphthalmia literally means small eye. Children may be born with one or both eyes, small and underdeveloped. Some children may be blind, but others may have some residual sight or light perception.

Monocular vision eye condition

Blinding or removal of one eye due to accident, injury or disease.

Myopia (high degree) eye condition

A chronic, degenerative condition which can create problems because of its association with degenerative changes at the back of the eye.

Neoplasia eye condition

Form of eye cancer??? Check this??

Neurofibromatosis eye condition

One of the most common neurological conditions, caused by a single gene mutation. May cause eye growths.

Norrie Disease eye condition

Norrie disease is a rare X-linked genetic condition which causes boys to be born blind or with severe sight impairment. Secondary symptoms can include progressive hearing loss, cognitive impairment, autism and delayed development.

Nystagmus eye condition

A continuous uncontrolled to and fro movement of the eyes.

Ocular pemphigoid eye condition

An autoimmune condition which affects the eyes by causing inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin layer covering both the white part of the eye (the sclera) and the inner surface of the eyelids. The inflammation causes redness, discomfort, grittiness and dryness of the eyes.

Optic atrophy eye condition

Damage to the optic nerve.

Posterior vitreous detachment eye condition

A change in your eye (such as floaters) which is frustrating but does not normally cause sight loss.

Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum (PXE) eye condition

Condition affecting the macular in one or both eyes, causing problems with central vision.

Punctate inner choroidopathy eye condition

A type of 'white dot syndrome' characterised by small yellow/white dots or lesions which are visible in an examination of the retina.

Retinal detachment eye condition

Occurs when the retinal layers separate from the retinal pigment epithelium - must be treated urgently.

Retinal vessal occlusion eye condition

A blockage in the blood vessels of the eye that can cause sight loss.

Retinitis pigmentosa eye condition

Changes to vision which may include difficulties in dim vision/dark, and loss of peripheral vision.

Retinoblastoma eye condition

A fast-growing eye cancer of early childhood.

Retinopathy of prematurity eye condition

Generally associated with premature birth - before development of the eyes is complete.

Sarcoidosis eye condition

A condition where abnormal lumps or nodules form in one or more parts of the body, which may include the eyes.

Severely sight impaired (SSI) eye condition

Term used to describe someone with severe sight loss. Formerly know as 'blind', this category is used by Social Services Departments for registration purposes. (See Sight impaired (SI)).

Sight impaired (SI) eye condition

Term used to describe someone with sight loss. Formerly know as 'partially sighted', this category is used by Social Services Departments for registration purposes. (See ssi">Severely sight impaired (SSI)).

Sjogrens syndrome eye condition

A disorder of the immune system. White blood cells attack the body's tear and saliva glands, which reduces the amount of saliva and tears produced, causing a dry mouth and dry eyes, along with other related symptoms.

Sorsby's fundus dystrophy eye condition

Sorsby's fundus dystrophy causes similar symptoms to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), although it generally affects people at a younger age.

Squint in childhood eye condition

A problem when the eyes stop working together as a pair and therefore do not look in the same direction.

Stargardt's disease eye condition

Causes some of the cells on the macula to stop working leading to problems with central vision, detailed vision and sometimes with colour perception.

Stickler syndrome eye condition

A genetic progressive condition, which affects the body's collagen (connective tissue). Possible impacts on the eye include cataracts, glaucoma & high risk of retinal detachment.

Stroke-related eye conditions eye condition

Stroke can result in visual field loss, blurry vision, double vision and moving images.

Thyroid eye disease eye condition

A condition of the soft tissues such as the fat and muscles surrounding the eyes which is characterised by a period of inflammation and engorgement of these tissues, followed by a healing response.

Toxoplasmosis eye condition

Toxoplasmosis is a common infection from which most patients make a full recovery. However in more serious cases it can spread to the eyes causing loss of sight.

Usher syndrome eye condition

Form of deafblindness where people are born deaf or hard of hearing and start to lose their sight (with retinitis pigmentosa) in the school years.

Uveitis eye condition

An inflamation of the middle layer of the eye (the uvea)

Visual cortex disorder eye condition

Mentioned on CVI, but no reliable definition found.

Wolfram syndrome eye condition

Wolfram Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which is also known as DIDMOAD syndrome after its 4 most common features (Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optic Atrophy and Deafness). Everyone with Wolfram Syndrome will have optic atrophy at some stage, which means that the optic nerve wastes away and causes colour blindness and gradual loss of vision. Wolfram Syndrome is very rare and affects around 1 in 770,000 of the total UK population.