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Learning the Lingo: Ophthalmic Abbreviations
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Given the amount of abbreviations in the ophthalmic lexicon, one might think ophthalmologists speak purely in code.

To help you avoid the confusion and steer away from the embarrassing mistake, this cheat sheet includes more than 100 basic abbreviations that you’ll need to know as you learn the professional lingo.

AC
AK
AKC
ALT
APD, RAPD
App
ARMD, AMD
Anterior chamber
Astigmatic keratometry
Allergic keratoconjunctivitis
Argon laser trabeculoplasty
(Relative) Afferent pupillary defect
Applanation tonometry
Age-related macular degeneration
BDR
BRAO
BRVO
Background diabetic retinopathy
Branch retinal artery occlusion
Branch retinal vein occlusion
CACG
cC
CF
COAG
CRAO
CRVO
CSC, CSR, CSCR
CSME
Chronic angle-closure glaucoma
With correction
Count fingers
Chronic open-angle glaucoma
Central retinal artery occlusion
Central retinal vein occlusion
Central serous (chorio) retinopathy
Clinically significant macular edema
DR
DSEK
DVD
Diabetic retinopathy
Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty
Dissociated vertical deviation
E
ECCE
EKC
ERM
ET
E(T)
Esophoria
Extracapsular cataract extraction
Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
Epiretinal membrane
Esotropia
Intermittent esotropia
FTCF
FTHM
Full to count fingers
Full to hand motion
HM
HSV
HVF
HZO
Hand motion
Herpes simplex virus
Humphrey visual field
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
ILM
IOL
IOP
IRMA
Internal limiting membrane
Intraocular lens
Intraocular pressure
Intraretinal microvascular abnormality
KCS
KPs
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
Keratic precipitates
LASIK
LP
LPI
Laser in situ keratomileusis
Light perception
Laser peripheral iridotomy
MA
MH
MR
Microaneurysm
Macular hole
Manifest refraction
NLP
NPDR
NSC
NVA
NVD
NVE
NVG
NVI
No light perception
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy
Nuclear sclerotic cataract
Neovascularization of the angle
Neovascularization at disc
Neovascularization elsewhere
Neovascular glaucoma
Neovascularization of iris (rubeosis iridis)
OD
OS
OU
Oculus dexter (right eye)
Oculus sinister (left eye)
Oculus uterque (both eyes)
PAS
PCO, PCF
PDR
PEE/PEK
PERRL(A)
PH
PK, PKP
POAG
PPV
PRK
PRP
PSC
PTK
PVD
PVR
Peripheral anterior synechiae
Posterior capsule opacity (fibrosis)
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy
Punctate epithelial erosion/keratopathy
Pupils equal, round, reactive to light and accommodation
Pinhole
Penetrating keratoplasty
Primary open-angle glaucoma
Pars plana vitrectomy
Photorefractive keratectomy
Panretinal photocoagulation
Posterior subcapsular cataract
Phototherapeutic keratectomy
Posterior vitreous detachment
Proliferative vitreoretinopathy
RD
RGR
RK
ROP
RPE
R/R
RRD
RP
Retinal detachment
Ruptured globe repair
Radial keratotomy
Retinopathy of prematurity
Retinal pigment epithelium    
Resection and recession
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
Retinitis pigmentosa
SB, SBP
sC
SLE
SLT
SO, SiO
SRF
Scleral buckling procedure
Without correction
Slit-lamp examination
Selective laser trabeculoplasty
Silicone oil
Subretinal fluid
TRD Tractional retinal detachment
VA
VF
VH
VKH
Visual acuity
Visual field
Vitreous hemorrhage
Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome
X
XT
X(T)
Exophoria
Exotropia
Intermittent exotropia

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About the author: David E. Vollman, MD, MBA, is a clinical instructor in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine and a staff ophthalmologist at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. After completing an MD/MBA dual-degree program at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, he completed his ophthalmology residency at the Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital/St. Louis Children's Hospital Consortium Program. Subsequently, he served as chief resident at Washington University, helping to direct the inpatient consult service and resident education. David E. Vollman, MD, MBA 
 
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