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    Severe discomfort to bright lights. Usually a symptom of eye disease, such as glaucoma, in an infant or retinal disease in a child or adult. Sometimes treated with dark sunglasses.


A subjective manifestation of a pathological condition. Symptoms are reported by the affected individual rather than observed by the examiner.

Illness or sickness often characterized by typical patient problems (symptoms) and physical findings (signs). Disruption sequence: The events that occur when a fetus that is developing normally is subjected to a destructive agent such as the rubella (German measles) virus.

A disease of the eye marked by increased pressure within the eyeball. If left untreated, glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and cause loss of vision

A child under a year of age.

Light-absorbing portion of rhodopsin. The absorption of light causes retinal to change from 11-cis to 11-trans configuration

A person having attained full growth or maturity. Adults are of 19 through 44 years of age.


Using a special strong beam of light (laser) to seal off bleeding blood vessels such as in the eye. The laser can also burn away blood vessels that should not have grown in the eye. This is the main treatment for diabetic retinopathy.

Photodynamic radiation therapy
A light sensitive drug is given through a vein and concentrates in the tumor. Then, during a surgical procedure, a special light activates the drug. The activated drug kills tumor cells.

Photofrin is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): porfimer sodium.

Bright light conditions where only the cones are functional.

A light sensitive neuron. Photoreceptors interact with light which produces changes in their electrical properties which are communicated to other neurons. They constitute the first stage in the physiological process which underlies vision. The human retina, like the retina of most vertebrates, contains two broad classes of photo-receptors, rods and cones.

Photoreceptor mosaic
The spacial arrangement of photoreceptors in the retina.

The use of ultraviolet light to treat newborns with jaundice.


An analgesic and antipyretic drug.

An antipsychotic substance.

A hypnotic substance.

In the technical sense this term refers to a groups of severe mental illness where the person has periods of loses contact with reality. In a less formal manner, it is used to refer to the condition of having lost contact with reality. The person experiences severe impairment in his/her ability to function. All areas of a person's life are usually effected. Common symptoms: Hallucinations, delusions, withdrawal, impairment of intellectual function, lose of personal care skills.

Peripheral vision
Also called "side vision". That part of vision that detects objects outside of where we are directly focusing our eyes. When we look directly at something we are using the fovea - that part of our retina where there is a high density of cone photoreceptors and thus allows for detailed vision. The fovea is part of the macula - that part of our retina with mostly cone photoreceptors and used for day time vision. Outside of the macula is what is typically referred to as peripheral vision, and peripheral vision is dominated by the rod photoreceptors. Peripheral vision is used mainly for detecting objects and in directing where we should fixate our fovea or central vision. Peripheral vision is used mostly during the night. Without peripheral vision, we would have "tunnel vision". If a person has a significant loss of peripheral vision the person would be legally blind. See legal blindness.


PRK stands for Photo Refractive Keratectomy which is a form of refractive surgery to correct a refractive error such as myopia. A laser is used to remove a front layer of cells of the cornea to change the refractive state of the eye so that glasses are no longer needed. Complications include under or over correction of the refractive error and glare problems, particularly at night with oncoming head lights. If serious infection occurs, blindness might result.

A child's eyes appear to be out-of-alignment, and usually one eye appears to turn in. In infants this appearance is especially noticeable when there is excessive skin on either side of the nose that covers the inner corner of each eye. As the child looks to one side, part of the eye disappears under this skin and looks crossed. This condition is common in Asian - Americans.

A triangular membrane with blood vessels which grows from the sclera toward the occasionally onto the cornea. It occurs more often on the nasal side of the eye. It is more common in dusty and windy climates. Surgery is often necessary.

A drooping of the upper eyelid. In children it is usually a congenital problem. It rarely causes amblyopia. Most children simply hold their heads back if the droop is severe. Surgery, the only treatment, is usually suggested prior to starting school when the appearance is cosmetically unacceptable.

A circular opening in the center of the iris. The size of the pupil changes according to the amount of light present. It is small in sunlight and large in a dark room.

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