What does that mean?

Often technical terms from the field of ophthalmology (eye care) are difficult to understand for the layperson. With this glossary, we aim to explain the most important terms for you.

Overview of subjects from A to Z


An anamnesis is a discussion with the patient during which his/her medical history is requested.

Blind Spot

A blind spot is an area at the back of the eye where the optic nerve (nervus opticus) exits the eye. At this point there are therefore no light receptors; the spot really is blind. That we perceive no blind spot in our vision is due to a complementary effect. The visual system uses information provided by the receptors in the vicinity of the blind spot to supplement the visual image.


The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane on the surface of the eye. Only the cornea, the so-called ‘window’ of the eye, is omitted. The conjunctiva is not only considered by the ophthalmologist (inflammation, dry eye, etc.), but also for any general clinical investigation. Since it is quite thin, well supplied with blood and unpigmented, changes are easy to record. Thus, a yellowing occurs in icterus (jaundice) and a white porcelain colour in anaemia or shock.


The eye (Lat. oculus) is the visual organ of humans and animals. The appropriate stimulus for this sensory organ in people is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of around 350 nm to around 750 nm. In the eye, the received stimulus generates a change in excitation in the efferent nerve pathways. The eye is at the beginning of the visual pathway that transfers this excitation change in the brain to the visual cortex. There and in other superordinate centres, the excitation patterns originating in the eye are then processed to form our perception of light and colour.


Orthoptics, a specialist field of ophthalmology, is concerned with the screening, diagnosis and therapy of visual and perceptual disorders.

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