• Learning the Lingo: Ophthalmic Abbreviations

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    My first encounter with an ophthalmology note was as a third-year medical student. I was taking care of a patient with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and we had requested an ophthalmology consult. The attending told me to call and talk to the resident: “Don’t even look at the note — it won’t make any sense! You just have to talk to them.”

    We have assembled a list of common abbreviations that you are bound to encounter. Soon enough you’ll be the one interpreting for the poor student on a medicine service! In the meantime, we hope you’ll find this to be a helpful resource as you navigate the confusion of the first few months of residency.

    AC
    ACD
    ACIOL
    ALT
    APD, RAPD
    ARMD, AMD
    ASC
    ATD
    Anterior chamber
    Anterior chamber depth
    Anterior chamber intraocular lens
    Argon laser trabeculoplasty
    (Relative) Afferent pupillary defect
    Age-related macular degeneration
    Anterior subcapsular cataract
    Aqueous tear deficiency
    BDR
    BRAO
    BRVO
    BSCL
    Background diabetic retinopathy
    Branch retinal artery occlusion
    Branch retinal vein occlusion
    Bandage soft contact lens
    CACG
    cc
    CDR
    CE/IOL
    CF
    C3F8
    CL, CTL
    CME
    CNV, CNVM
    COAG
    CPC
    CRAO
    CRS
    CRVO
    CR, CRX
    CS
    CSDME
    CSR, CSCR
    Chronic angle-closure glaucoma
    With correction
    Cup disk ratio
    Cataract extraction with intraocular lens implant
    Counting fingers
    Perfluoropropane (gas)
    Contact lens
    Cystoid macular edema
    Choroidal neovascularization (neovascular membrane)
    Chronic open-angle glaucoma
    Cyclophotocoagulation
    Central retinal artery occlusion
    Chorioretinal scar
    Central retinal vein occlusion
    Cycloplegic refraction
    Cortical spoking
    Clinically significant diabetic macular edema
    Central serous (chorio) retinopathy
    DCR
    DES
    DME
    DR
    DSAEK
    Dacryocystorhinostomy
    Dry eye syndrome
    Diabetic macular edema
    Diabetic retinopathy
    Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty
    E
    ECCE
    EKC
    EL
    ELP
    ERM
    ET
    E(T)
    Esophoria
    Extracapsular cataract extraction
    Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
    Endolaser
    Effective lens position
    Epiretinal membrane
    Esotropia
    Intermittent esotropia
    FAX, AFx
    FTCF
    Fluid-air exchange
    Full to counting fingers (reference to confrontational visual fields)
    GATT
    GDI
    GVF
    Gonioscopy assisted transluminal trabeculotomy
    Glaucoma drainage implant
    Goldmann visual field
    HM
    HRAO
    HRVO
    HSV
    HVF
    HZO
    Hand motions
    Hemi-retinal artery occlusion
    Hemi-retinal vein occlusion
    Herpes simplex virus
    Humphrey visual field
    Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
    IOL
    IOP
    IRF
    IRH
    IRMA
    Intraocular lens
    Intraocular pressure
    Intra-retinal fluid
    Intra-retinal hemorrhage
    Intraretinal microvascular abnormality
    JOAG
    Juvenile open-angle glaucoma
    K
    KCS
    KP
    Cornea or Keratometry
    Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
    Keratic precipitates
    LASIK
    LHT
    LP
    LPI
    Laser in situ keratomileusis
    Left hypertropia
    Light perception
    Laser peripheral iridotomy
    MA
    MGD
    MH
    MP
    MR, MRX
    Microaneurysm
    Meibomian gland dysfunction
    Macular hole
    Membrane peeling or macular pucker
    Manifest refraction
    NAION
    NLP
    NPDR
    NS
    NVA
    NVD
    NVE
    NVG
    NVI
    Non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy
    No light perception
    Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy
    Nuclear sclerosis
    Neovascularization of the angle
    Neovascularization of the disc
    Neovascularization elsewhere
    Neovascular glaucoma
    Neovascularization of iris (rubeosis iridis)
    OCT
    OD
    OGR
    ONH
    OS
    OU
    Optical coherence tomography
    Oculus dexter (right eye)
    Open globe repair
    Optic nerve head
    Oculus sinister (left eye)
    Oculus uterque (both eyes)
    PAC
    PACG
    PACS
    PAS
    PC
    PCF
    PCIOL
    PCO
    PDR
    PED
    PEE
    PERRL(A)
    PH
    PI
    PK, PKP
    POAG
    POHS
    PPA
    PPL
    PPV
    PRK
    PRP
    PS
    PSC
    PTK
    PVD
    PVR
    PXG
    PXS
    Primary angle-closure
    Primary angle-closure glaucoma
    Primary angle-closure syndrome
    Peripheral anterior synechiae
    Posterior chamber
    Posterior capsule fibrosis
    Posterior chamber intraocular lens
    Posterior capsule opacity
    Proliferative diabetic retinopathy
    Pigment epithelial detachment
    Punctate epithelial erosion
    Pupils equal, round, reactive to light and accommodation
    Pinhole
    Peripheral iridotomy
    Penetrating keratoplasty
    Primary open-angle glaucoma
    Presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome
    Peripapillary atrophy
    Pars plana lensectomy
    Pars plana vitrectomy
    Photorefractive keratectomy
    Panretinal photocoagulation
    Posterior synechiae
    Posterior subcapsular cataract
    Phototherapeutic keratectomy
    Posterior vitreous detachment
    Proliferative vitreoretinopathy
    Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma
    Pseudoexfoliation syndrome
    RAPD
    RD
    RGR
    RHT
    RK
    ROP
    RP
    RPE
    RRD
    Relative afferent pupillary defect
    Retinal detachment
    Ruptured globe repair
    Right hypertropia
    Radial keratotomy
    Retinopathy of prematurity
    Retinitis pigmentosa
    Retinal pigment epithelium
    Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
    SB
    sc
    SF6
    SLE
    SLT
    SO, SiO
    SPK
    SRF
    SRH
    Scleral buckle
    Without correction
    Sulfur hexafluoride (gas)
    Slit-lamp examination
    Selective laser trabeculoplasty
    Silicone oil
    Superficial punctate keratopathy
    Subretinal fluid
    Subretinal hemorrhage
    TA
    TBUT
    TRD
    Tonometry by applanation
    Tear breakup time
    Tractional retinal detachment
    VA
    VF
    VH
    VZV
    Visual acuity
    Visual field
    Vitreous hemorrhage
    Herpes zoster
    X
    XT
    X(T)
    Exophoria
    Exotropia
    Intermittent exotropia
    YAG Yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser used in posterior capsule opacity; also referred to as a neodymium (Nd):YAG laser

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    Jason D. Rupp, MD, PhDAbout the author: Jason D. Rupp, MD, is a glaucoma and advanced anterior segment surgeon in private practice at Clarus Vision Clinic in Salt Lake City. Dr. Rupp completed his residency and fellowship training at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the YO Info editorial board in 2016.