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Essential Eyecare Terms

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Every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of a specific industry’s daily operations, and the eyecare business is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases regularly used in the eye care industry, Doctors EyeCare Grande Prairie DR. Shonah Finlay has created this handy reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your eye care needs effectively.

Myopia: It’s usually referred to as nearsightedness and means that you can see objects closer to you more clearly.

Hyperopia: It’s usually called farsightedness, and it’s when you can see objects better at a further distance. 

Strabismus: This has many layman’s terms like “lazy eye,” “squint,” or “walleye,” but what it means is that a person has an eye condition where one or both eyes are not able to coordinate well, and so they may turn in, out, up, or down.

Color blindness: People incorrectly think that these individuals can only see black and white as opposed to the full-color spectrum. While some cannot distinguish color at all, most have varying degrees of difficulty in seeing red, blue, or green, which, in turn, affects how they see other colors. 

20/20 Vision: When you have 20/20 vision, you can see what a person with normal vision would see at a 20 ft distance. The first number tells us how far away you are from the eye chart, while the 2nd number tells us at what distance a person with normal eyesight could see the same letter. Meaning, if your vision was 20/80, you could see at 20 ft what somebody with normal vision would see at 80ft. 

Astigmatism: There is nothing to fear! Almost all of us have this to some extent. All it means is that the front of your eye is not totally sphere-shaped, so one part is more curved than another. The glasses or contacts we prescribe help to even that difference out so that you can see clearly.

We hope these terms made you feel more confident about getting your eyes checked.

If you’re looking for an optometrist in Grande Prairie, Alberta, reach out to the experts at Doctors EyeCare Grande Prairie, DR. Shonah Finlay. 

With many years of experience in the eye care sector, we strive to provide the best possible service for all patients by remaining current with the rapid advances in our profession.

Our services include comprehensive eye examinations, contact lens therapy, emergency eye care, direct billing/insurance for eye care, and dry eye therapy.

View our full list of services here, or get in touch with us here. 

Written by Dr. Shonah Finlay

Dr. Finlay grew up by the gold mines in South Africa and knew from a young age she wanted to follow a medically related career. She applied to and was accepted to study optometry at the former Rand Afrikaans University in South Africa. During her last year of studies, Dr. Finlay worked on the Train of Hope: South Africa’s Phelophepa. This custom-built train (now 2) travels throughout rural South Africa to deliver top-quality primary healthcare to disadvantaged communities. It was a wonderful experience to bring sight to so many people that otherwise do without. Those memories always remind her of why she loves practicing optometry.
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