Floaters Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Floaters article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorb: 1. To take something in, as through the skin or the intestine.
2....

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Adult-onset diabetes: Type 2 diabetes. See also Diabetes, type 2.

Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Angiography: A procedure performed to view blood vessels after injecting them with a radio...

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Anterior: The front, as opposed to the posterior. The anterior surface of the heart is tow...

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Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulan...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Biotechnology: The fusion of biology and technology, the application of biological techniq...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breech: The buttocks.

Cascade: A sequence of successive activation reactions involving enzymes (enzyme cascade) ...

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Cataract: A clouding or loss of transparency of the lens in the eye as a result of tissu...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Compress: Cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cornea: The clear front window of the eye, which transmits and focuses light into the eye....

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Cryotherapy: Literally, "cold therapy." Cryotherapy, sometimes referred to as cryosurgery,...

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Deep vein thrombosis: A blood clot within a deep vein, typically in the thigh or leg. The ...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diabetes mellitus: More commonly referred to as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated...

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Diabetic retinopathy: Disease of the retina caused by diabetes that involves damage to the...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Elective: In medicine, something chosen (elected). An elective procedure is one that is ch...

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Embolism: The obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance or a blood clot that tr...

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Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Etiology: The study of causes, as in the causes of a disease. The form aetiology is genera...

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Floater: A blurry spot that seems to drift in front of the eyes but does not block vision....

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Fluorescein angiography: A test to examine blood vessels in the retina, choroid, and iris ...

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Forceps: An instrument that has two blades and a handle and is used for handling, grasping...

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Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises to a lev...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

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Hemorrhagic: Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hyaluronic acid: A viscous slippery substance that lubricates the joints, maintains the sh...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Internist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. T...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Intraocular: In the eye. For example, intraocular pressure is the pressure within the eye....

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Juncture: In anatomy, a place where two or more structures join; a joint. From the Latin j...

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Labor: Childbirth, the process of delivering a baby and the placenta, membranes, and umbil...

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Laser: A powerful beam of light that is used in some types of surgery to cut or destroy ti...

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Laser surgery: A type of surgery that uses the cutting power of a laser beam to make blood...

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Lens: The transparent structure inside the eye that focuses light rays onto the retina.

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Lubricant: An oily or slippery substance. A vaginal lubricant may be helpful for women who...

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Macula: A macula is a small spot. A macula on the skin is a small flat spot while the macu...

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Macular: Pertaining to the macula.

Macular degeneration: An eye disease that progressively destroys the macula, the central p...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Morbidity: Illness, disease.

Myopia: Nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objec...

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Nearsightedness: The ability to see near objects more clearly than distant objects. Also ...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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NSAID: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a medication that is commonly prescribed or pu...

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Ocular: Having to do with the eye.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Operating room: A facility that is equipped for performing surgery. Abbreviated OR.

Ophthalmologist: A physician who practices ophthalmology.

Ophthalmoscope: A lighted instrument that is used to examine the inside of the eye, includ...

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Optic: Having to do with vision.

Optic nerve: The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries the...

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Optic nerve head: The circular area in the back of the inside of the eye where the optic n...

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Optometrist: A practitioner who provides primary eye and vision care, performs eye examina...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Panic: A sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought or action. The wor...

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Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a par...

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Pathologic: 1. Indicative of or caused by disease, as in a pathologic fracture, pat...

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PDR: Physicians' Desk Reference (please see entry to Physicians' Desk Reference). PDR less...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral vision: Side vision. The ability to see objects and movement outside of the di...

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Photocoagulation: The coagulation (clotting) of tissue using a laser which produces light ...

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Photophobia: Painful oversensitivity to light. For example, photophobia is often seen in m...

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Posterior: The back or behind, as opposed to the anterior.

Postoperative: After surgery. As opposed to preoperative, before surgery.

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Proliferative: Growing and increasing in number rapidly.

Prospective: Looking forward. A prospective study or a prospective clinical trial is one i...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary embolism: Sudden closure of a pulmonary artery or one of its branches, caused by...

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Randomized: The use of chance alone to assign the participants in an experiment or trial t...

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Recalcitrant: Stubborn. For example, a recalcitrant case of pneumonia stubbornly resists t...

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Red eye: Also called conjunctivitis. Redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membra...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Regress: To return or go back, particularly to return to a pattern of behavior or level of...

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Resolution: In genetics, the degree of molecular detail on a physical map of DNA. Resoluti...

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Retina: The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye, senses light, and cr...

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Retinal: Pertaining to the retina, the extraordinary layer of neurons (nerve cells) that ...

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Retinal detachment: A separation of the retina from its connection at the back of the eye....

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Retinal disease: In medicine, called retinopathy. See: Retinopathy.

Retinopathy: Any disease of the retina, the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the ey...

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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sclera: The tough white outer coat over the eyeball that covers approximately the posterio...

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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tear: A drop of the salty secretion of the lacrimal glands which serves to moisten the con...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel. The vessel may be...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Tonometry: A standard eye test that is done to determine the fluid pressure inside the eye...

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Traction: In medicine, a procedure for manually pulling a part of the body to a beneficia...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Uveitis: Inflammation of the uvea. Uveitis is a serious form of eye inflammation and requi...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Visual acuity: The clarity or clearness of vision, a measure of how well a person sees.

Visual field: The entire area that can be seen when the eye is directed forward, including...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Vitrectomy: Removal of the gel (called the vitreous) from within the eyeball. This may be ...

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Vitreous: A clear, jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye. Also called the ...

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Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prev...

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Medical Dictionary