Some useful terms


This is an irregular curvature of the front surface of the eye. The best analogy is where the curves are shaped more like a rugby ball than a football.


See our cataracts information page.

Dispensing optician

Dispensing opticians are qualified to examine optometrist's prescriptions to determine lens specifications. They recommend frames, lens types and coatings after considering the prescription and the customer's occupation, habits, and facial features.


See our glaucoma information page.

Long sightedness (hypermetropia)

Difficulty focusing on close objects eg. reading. Here the eyeball is too short to focus images on the back of the eye.

Macular degeneration

See our macular degeneration information page.


Previously known as Ophthalmic Optician, this term was adopted in the UK to conform to the international standard.

Presbyopia ('ageing eye')

This is part of growing older, and usually occurs in the late forties. Whilst distance vision can remain good there is an inability in the eye's optical system to focus on near objects, requiring us to need reading glasses.

Short sightedness (myopia)

The inability to see clearly at longer distances, for example when driving. This is usually caused by the eyeball being too long to focus images clearly on the back of the eye.


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