Table of contents:
- Optical terms we use
- Terms we made up to describe ourselves and our observations
- "Philiac terms” which apply to some of us
1. Optical terms we use:
- Accommodation: The process in which the lens (ciliary) muscles pull the internal lens into a rounder shape, giving it greater light-bending properties. People who have normal vision must do this to focus on objects closer than 20 feet from them, people who are nearsighted must do this to focus on objects much closer (how close depends on the degree of myopia, but myopes’ ciliary muscles are relaxed at 20 feet and some distance closer, since pulling the lens into a rounder shape would only worsen their distance vision), and people who are farsighted must do this to focus on anything and to a greater degree than emmetropes would have to. Prolonged, intense accommodation (reading with the book too close for prolonged periods for emmetropes, doing just about any close work at all for uncorrected hyperopes) can cause eyestrain (the “eyestrain” experienced by uncorrected myopes is probably more likely general strain of the muscles surrounding rather than inside the eyes, caused by squinting, it does not appear that the ciliary muscles can accommodate “in reverse” by making the lens flatter, as would be necessary to “accommodate” for myopia). We are born with the best accommodation we will ever have (much more than we need, unless you’re very farsighted) and as we grow older we gradually lose it until around middle-age, the arms suddenly become too short to read the paper (this condition is presbyopia)!
- Add: The reading part of a pair of bifocals/trifocals, usually more plus (or less minus) than the distance part.
- Concave: Curving in, like this: )( Concave lenses decrease optical power and bring light to a focus farther back than it would otherwise be focused.
- Convex: Curving out, like this: () Convex lenses increase optical power and bring light to a focus at a point farther forward than it would otherwise be focused.
- Cylinder: Correction in a lens for astigmatism. A cylindrical lens has two different powers within it, one along one axis and one along the other. Prescriptions for cylinder are written in minus terms by optometrists and plus terms by ophthalmologists, though there is a formula for converting one form to the other.
- Lens: A piece of glass or transparent plastic, the front and back curves of which are ground a certain way to correct various errors of refraction. A plano, fake or window-glass lens has no optical power (it’s just like looking through a window) and is flat (plano) on both the front and back curves. Plus lenses are generally convex on both curves: (), but minus lenses can be convex-fronted and concave-backed: )) (the total effect is concave, because the back is curved in more than the front curves out), plano (flat)-fronted and concave-backed: )] (these are sometimes called “plano glasses”, but are not to be confused with true front-and-back planos that have no power), or biconcave: )( (concave front and back), depending on the strength of the lens.
- Magnification: Objects viewed through the wearer’s glasses by an observer, either standing in front of the wearer and looking through his/her lenses at something behind him/her or standing behind the wearer and looking through the glasses at something in front of them both, appear enlarged and usually somewhat blurred (the stronger the lens, the larger and blurrier the object) and the wearer’s eyes appear larger behind the lenses than they really are; also refers to how images viewed by the wearer through his/her glasses while wearing them seem larger than they really are.
- Minification: Objects viewed through the wearer’s glasses by an observer, either standing in front of the wearer and looking through his/her lenses at something behind him/her or standing behind the wearer and looking through the glasses at something in front of them both, appear sharp but very tiny (the stronger the lens, the tinier the object), as do the wearer’s eyes behind the lenses; also refers to how images viewed by the wearer through his/her glasses while wearing them seem smaller than they really are.
- Minus lens: Concave lens.
- Myodisc/Lenticular lens/glasses: Myodisc usually refers to extremely strong minus glasses in which the super-strong lens is contained within a weaker "carrier" lens, so that the edges of the glasses are not as incredibly thick as they would otherwise have to be; these glasses appear to have a circle in the center of each lens, surrounding each eye and the wearer can only see clearly by looking through these "circles" or "bowls". This type of lens design may also be called “lenticular”, though this is more commonly used in reference to super-strong plus lenses made in this way.
- Plano/plano-front: Plano in lens terminology means flat, not ground to any kind of prescription. A true “plano lens” is flat on both the front and back curves and has no optical power, it is just like looking through a window. However, the term “plano lens” is often used to refer to a lens that is flat on the front curve and concave on the back, which is actually a fairly strong minus lens.
- Plus lens: Convex lens.
- Prism: A special type of eyeglass lens (prism cannot be put into contacts) that displaces the angle at which light enters the eye, to correct strabismus (eyes that turn inward (cross-eyes), outward (wall-eyes), or less commonly, upward or downward). Base-in prism is used for eyes that turn out and base-out prism is used for eyes that turn in.
- Refractive errors: Errors in the way the eyes refract (focus) incoming light rays, resulting in blurred vision. Refractive errors are corrected by the use of corrective lenses or by refractive surgery. The most common errors of refraction are myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia (which is actually a normal part of the aging process which eventually happens to everyone).
- Myopia/nearsightedness/shortsightedness: An optical condition (which can be caused by an unusually long eyeball, an especially steeply curved cornea (clear membrane at the front of the eye) and/or an internal lens which has stronger light-bending properties than usual) in which light rays from distant (and in more severe cases, also not so distant) objects come to a focus too far forward in the eye, making distant objects appear blurry (the farther the blurrier) while close objects can be seen clearly. It typically starts in middle childhood or early adolescence (though it can begin at any age; babies have been born myopic and people have developed it in middle age) and worsens at a rate that approximately follows the rate of general growth, hence the “galloping myopia” that sometimes accompanies puberty, stopping when general growth stops (though some myopes reach their final prescriptions before reaching their final height, while others’ myopia keeps on developing into their 30’s or even later). Myopia comes in many different degrees, the generally agreed upon system of ranking based on needed glasses prescription being:
-0.25 to -2.75, mild/low myopia, people with this degree of myopia can generally manage fairly well without correction, except for tasks such as driving, blackboard reading and movie watching which require sharp distance vision; these people can often be observed squinting while performing these tasks uncorrected, glasses for this degree of myopia are concave in back with a slight convex curve in front.-3.00 to -5.75, moderate myopia, people with this degree of myopia typically wear correction full-time and consider themselves dependant on it, they are still able to read and perform close-work uncorrected but things like navigation, picking up visual cues for social interaction and at the higher end of this category, even intermediate-distance tasks like computer work are difficult; a fairly continuous squint is often present when bare-eyed, glasses for this degree of myopia are concave in back with a slight convex curve in front.-6.00 to -9.75, severe/high myopia, people with this degree of myopia have great difficulty performing any visual work uncorrected, even reading is challenging, this is the level where many myopes stop squinting because it no longer makes any significant improvement; this is also the beginning of high myopia and persons in this category run a greater risk of retinal tears and/or detachments than the non- or mildly myopic, glasses for this degree of myopia are usually concave in back with a plano-front.-10.00 on up, very severe/high myopia, people with this degree of myopia are functionally blind without correction, the range of clear vision is limited to a couple inches in front of the person’s eyes, very high myopes have an even greater risk of retinal complications than lesser high myopes and many very high myopes can‘t achieve 20/20 even with correction, due to thin retinas and/or the minification of the glasses themselves (in this case, the vision is better with contacts) (although many very high myopes do see well with their glasses and never experience retinal problems), glasses for this degree of myopia are usually either biconcave or (for extreme cases) myodisc.
- Hyperopia/hypermetropia/farsightedness/longsightedness: An optical condition (which can be caused by an unusually short eyeball, a particularly flat cornea (clear membrane at the front of the eye) and/or an internal lens which has weaker light-bending properties than usual) in which light rays from close (and in more severe cases, also not so close) objects come to a focus too far back in the eye, making close objects appear blurry (the closer the blurrier) while far objects are generally clear. It is usually present from birth, but unless it is quite severe, it often isn’t diagnosed until middle age, because young people can compensate for their farsightedness by accommodating. Hyperopia tends to get better as the child grows before stabilizing when growth is finished, but because hyperopes often can’t tolerate the full strength of glasses they require when they are first prescribed and must start out with weaker ones and “work up” to the full correction, it may appear that their eyes are getting worse, as they keep getting stronger glasses, but once the person has adjusted to his/her full correction the prescription usually stays stable for years. Hyperopia comes in many different degrees, the generally agreed upon system of ranking based on needed glasses prescription being:
+0.25 to +2.75, low/mild hyperopia, people with this degree of hyperopia can usually manage fairly well uncorrected, except for reading and other close-work (if the low hyperope is young with good accommodation, even close vision may be clear, though he/she likely will experience some eyestrain), squinting can be helpful for mild hyperopes as it is for mild myopes, but is less characteristic of hyperopia.+3.00 to +5.75, moderate hyperopia, people with this degree almost certainly need glasses to read, even if young and typically experience some distance problems as well, unless their accommodation is very good.+6.00 to +9.75, severe/high hyperopia, close-work uncorrected is out of the question and distance vision is almost as bad as it is for a myope of corresponding degree (up until this point, hyperopes tend to be less glasses-dependant than their myopic counterparts, due to good distance vision and the ability to obtain good close vision by focusing effort, but at the severe levels, myopes tend to do better, since at least they can see what’s right in front of their eyes, while nothing can be far away enough to be in focus for a high hyperope).+10 and up, very severe/high hyperopia, people with this degree of hyperopia are functionally blind without correction and while they don’t have the retinal complications or minification problems of high myopes, they often have problems related to the distorted view of things through strong plus lenses, including peripheral vision problems (though, like myopes with minification troubles, these hyperopes often see better with contacts, which cause less distortion), also, it seems that very high hyperopia is even rarer than very high myopia and many of the cases that exist are due to surgical removal of the internal lenses, so there are even fewer “natural” very high hyperopes, glasses for this degree of hyperopia are sometimes made in a lenticular lens design, like myodiscs for very high myopia, except in this case the center “bowl” is a super-strong plus lens.
- Astigmatism: An optical condition (caused by an uneven curvature of the surface of the cornea (clear membrane at the front of the eye) and/or the internal lens) in which light rays entering the eye at a horizontal angle are brought to focus within the eye at a different point than those entering the eye at a vertical or diagonal angle, causing blurred vision at all distances, though most people with astigmatism are also either myopic or hyperopic (just a bit more so along one axis than another) and thus notice more of a blur in the distance or at close range, respectively. Astigmats without correction can often be observed squinting, like myopes and hyperopes, and often suffer particularly distressing eyestrain. Glasses for this condition are cylindrical, meaning that they are ground in such a way that they are stronger along one axis of the lenses than the others. People getting new glasses for astigmatism (either their first or a new pair with a change in the amount and/or axis of cylinder correction) often have more difficulty adjusting to them than people getting new glasses for “pure” myopia or hyperopia.
- Presbyopia: The condition (which eventually afflicts everyone) of losing one’s accommodative ability, resulting in blurred close vision (in other words, the classic “arms getting too short” of middle-age). This is corrected by wearing plus lenses for reading. This condition may seem quite similar to hyperopia, but presbyopia is a normal result of the aging process and never affects distance vision in an emmetrope, while hyperopia is present from birth and does cause blurred distance vision without any correction or accommodation.
- Emmetropia: This means NOT having a refractive error, having normal vision, not being lucky enough to need glasses; very few people are actually perfectly emmetropic in both eyes (most could use at least a quarter diopter of plus or minus in one eye or the other), but glasses are generally considered unnecessary if the person can achieve 20/20 or 20/40 visual acuity; most OOs regard these unfortunate souls with great pity :;-).
- Rx/script: Short for prescription, for our purposes here, a corrective lenses prescription. Each eye has it’s own script, which may or may not be the same for both eyes. The right eye is designated “OD”, the left, “OS”. An rx typically has 3 parts, 1. Spherical correction (for myopia or hyperopia) 2. Cylinder correction amount (for astigmatism) and 3. Cylinder correction axis (the placement within the lens where the correction for astigmatism is to go). The amounts for spherical and cylindrical corrections are measured in units called diopters (or simply D), starting at .25 D and moving upwards in quarter-diopter steps. It may also have an add (reading script), which can be put into bi/trifocals (usually in the bottom part) or made up as a separate pair of reading glasses (the actual power of the reading lens will be the power of the main (distance) rx plus the add script) and/or prism correction (the units prisms are measured in are also called “diopters”, but the optical mathematics behind the prism diopter is different from that of the refraction diopter). Here are some examples:
OD -4.50 OS -4.00 (this is my rx, I have 4 and a half diopters of myopia in my right eye and 4 diopters of myopia in my left, it only has one set of numbers because I have no astigmatism)OD +3.25 -.75 axis 105 OS +2.50 -1.00 axis 84 (this person has 3 diopters of hyperopia and three-quarters of a diopter of astigmatism in their right eye and 2 and a half D of hyperopia and 1 D of astigmatism in the left eyeOD -7.00 +.50 axis 68 OS -7.00 +1.50 axis 71 Add +2 (this person has 7 D of myopia in both eyes with half a diopter of astigmatism right and 1 and a half D astigmatism left (written in plus terms since this person got their rx from an ophthalmologist instead of an optometrist) and needs either a bifocal segment or a pair of reading glasses with a power of -5 (-7 + +2= -5)OD -3.00 -.75 axis 52 Prism 5D BO OS +4.25 -.50 axis 56 Prism 5D BO (this person is myopic in their right eye and hyperopic in their left (yes, this is possible, though not common) with a bit of astigmatism in both and some base-out prism correction for crossed-eyes)
- Visual acuity/acuity: The method used to measure vision objectively, testing each eye separately as well as both eyes together, using a standardized chart called a Snellen chart. Normal sight is designated 20/20 or in some countries, 6/6, meaning that at 20 feet (or 6 meters) the person can read letters that a person with no refractive error or other eye problem can read at that distance. 20/40 (the cut-off for legally driving without a corrective lens restriction on one’s license in most US states) means at 20 feet one can only read letters that a person with normal sight can read from 40 feet. This can go on indefinitely, with the second number getting larger as the vision gets worse (20/60, 20/300, 20/2000, etc.) and it is also possible to have better sight than normal, for instance 20/15 (this person can read letters from 20 feet that most fully-corrected people can only read from 15). People who wear corrective lenses have 2 acuities: uncorrected (what they can see without their glasses/contacts) and corrected (what they can see with their correction).
2. Terms we made up to describe ourselves and our observations:
- Ambilensdrous or Bi-lensual, term coined by Lenslover, Eye Scene website, Poll 19 (Glasses fetish), 31 August, 1997:
OO who is attracted to both thin and thick lens glasses or OO who is attracted to both myopes with minus glasses and hyperopes with plus glasses (it appears that “Ambilensdrous” is intended to refer to the thin/thick distinction while “Bi-lensual” refers to plus or minus).
- Bare-eyed, term coined by Susanne, Eye Scene website, Poll 81 (Glasses and personality), 26 February, 1999:
Going without one’s glasses, often as a challenge, to relax in the softness of the blur, or for erotic purposes.
- Cut-in, term of uncertain origin, first used on Eye Scene by Bergerac, Glasses are sexy thread, 13 Jun 2002, also in Likeglass’ “Glossary of Glasses Loving Lingo” though I don’t know whether or not this predates the Eye Scene usage:
The part of the wearer’s face surrounding his/her eyes that is covered by the glasses appears smaller or shrunken in comparison to the rest of the face, the curve of the face in this area seems to curve “in“ towards the wearer‘s nose; with fairly strong lenses this often means that when viewing the wearer head-on, he/she may actually appear to have four ears, as well as four eyes (in OO culture this term is a compliment, not an insult) )!
- Cut-out, term of uncertain origin, first used on Eye Scene by Singa, Strong glasses thread, 04 September, 2003, though the way he uses the term here suggests it wasn’t new to him at that time:
The part of the wearer’s face surrounding his/her eyes that is covered by the glasses appears larger or magnified in comparison to the rest of the face, the curve of the face in this area seems to curve “out” towards the wearer’s ears.
- Emoticons for glasses: 8-) or 8) smiling with glasses
8-( frowning with glasses
:: ) smiling with glasses (:: means 4 eyes):; ) winking through glasses8;) pushing glasses up to forehead then winking
(((o)))--(((o))) small eyes behind strong minus glasses with power rings
|-), squinting without glasses, though this would probably more likely be |-(
:|-( or 8|-( squinting WITH (too weak) glasses
- GOC, term of uncertain origin, first used on Eye Scene by Lenslover, Poll 69 (Eye Scene FAQ), 7 November 1998, also in Likeglass‘ “Glossary of Glasses Loving Lingo” though I don’t know whether or not this predates the Eye Scene usage:
Acronym for Glasses Over Contacts, the practice that some OOs who want to wear glasses but don’t really need them (or who want to wear glasses of a different (usually stronger) rx than their natural one) have of wearing glasses of the rx they want over contact lenses of the opposite rx (for instance, -3 glasses and +3 contacts), so that they can see clearly out of the glasses. (also see What is GOC)
- GWG, term coined by LikeGlass (unknown date), first used on Eye Scene website by Chris (Wurm), Poll 11 (Eye doctors/opticians), 23 June, 1997, referring to LikeGlass’ site by that name:
Acronym for Girl(s) With Glasses, some feel this term is sexist (referring as it does to grown females as “girls”), especially considering the masculine equivalent in most common usage is “MEN in Glasses“, but with the alternatives being “WWG” (Women With Glasses) and “WIG” (Women In Glasses), it is perhaps understandable why GWG is the standard term.
- Hi-my, term first used by LikeGlass, Eye Scene website, Sightings thread, 20 October 2002, there were previous uses of “Hi-myope” by others:
High myope, someone with a glasses rx of at least -6 diopters.
- Holy wowsers, term coined by Filthy McNasty, Eye Scene website, Poll 25 (Prescription changes), 24 October, 1997:
1. Exclamation, expression of astonished awe, similar to a cross between “Holy hot dog, Batman!” and a “Tweeeeeet TWEET!” whistle. 2. Noun, referring to a pair of spectacles which tends to elicit such a reaction in an OO.
- Hyper halos, term coined by me, just now 8-):
Reflections of light from plus lenses that make it appear as though the lenses themselves were glowing, which is hard to explain and lacked an adequate descriptive word, but can also be observed (though not nearly as beautifully) in a magnifying glass.
- Induced myopia:
A process by which a person hopes to make him/herself (more) myopic by doing a number of things that anecdotal evidence suggests can increase myopia, including reading a lot while holding the book as close as possible, doing lots of computer work and wearing minus glasses that are stronger than the person's real rx, if any.
- MIG, term of uncertain origin, appears to have been coined by Electra, uncertain date:
Acronym for Men/Man In Glasses, this is the standard term, though I have also seen “BWG” (Boys With Glasses) and the term “GyWG” (Guys With Glasses), used by LikeGlass in his “Glossary of Glasses Loving Lingo”, appears to be the earliest term to be used to describe bespectacled males.
- Optic-obsessive/OO, term coined by Lenslover, Eye Scene website, Poll 22 (Other people’s glasses), 28 September, 1997: Person with a passion for eyeglasses/vision defects, also called Specs-, Glass- or Lens-aholic/Lenshound/Glassophile.
3. "Philiac terms” which apply to some of us:
- Hypermyophiliac, term coined by Dr. Bob, Eye Scene website, Thought of the day thread, 31 May, 2002:
One who loves very nearsighted people-hyper=much, very; myo=myopia, nearsightedness; philiac=one who loves, is attracted to/aroused by.
- Myophiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob‘s “hypermyophiliac” :
One who loves nearsighted people.
- Hyperhyperphiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob‘s “hypermyophiliac” :
One who loves very farsighted people-hyper=much, very; 2nd hyper=hyperopia, farsightedness; philiac=one who loves, is attracted to/aroused by.
- Hyperphiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob‘s “hypermyophiliac” :
One who loves farsighted people.
- Autohypermyophiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob’s “hypermyophiliac”:
One who loves/enjoys/is aroused by his/her own high myopia (either real, simulated (for instance, by GOC), or only in fantasy (they like the IDEA of being very nearsighted, but wouldn’t necessarily want to be for real).
- Automyophiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob’s “hypermyophiliac”:
One who loves/enjoys/is aroused by his/her own myopia (either real, simulated (for instance, by GOC), or only in fantasy (they like the IDEA of being nearsighted, but wouldn’t necessarily want to be for real).
- Autohyperhyperphiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob’s “hypermyophiliac”:
One who loves/enjoys/is aroused by his/her own high hyperopia (either real, simulated (for instance, by GOC), or only in fantasy (they like the IDEA of being very farsighted, but wouldn’t necessarily want to be for real).
- Autohyperphiliac, term coined by me, just now, based on Dr. Bob’s “hypermyophiliac”:
One who loves/enjoys/is aroused by his/her own hyperopia (either real, simulated (for instance, by GOC), or only in fantasy (they like the IDEA of being farsighted, but wouldn’t necessarily want to be for real).
- Power rings, term of uncertain origin, first used on Eye Scene by Doctor Bob, Poll 61 (Glad for glasses?), 18 August, 1998, though the way he uses the term here suggests it wasn‘t new to him at that time:
White concentric circles of reflected light that can be seen along the edges of minus lenses (giving a kind of “bulls-eye effect”) when they are looked at from an angle other than head-on, for instance when the wearer looks down or off to the side, which increase in number in proportion to the lenses' strength.
- Scatter my datter, term coined by Filthy McNasty, Eye Scene website, Poll 32 (Accessories), 11 December, 1997 (in this case and often thereafter, this is used in it’s complete, formal form “Scatter my datter she cernly lookit well”):
An expression of admiration, kind of a McVersion of “That’s hot!”.
- Spexy, term coined (as “sexyspexy”) by Jennifer, Eye Scene website, Poll 26 (Glasses and personality), 3 November, 1997:
Sexily bespectacled; some of us who are turned-on by glasses say that we “spell sexy with a p”.
- Tilting, first used (as “tilt”) on Eye Scene website by MIKE, Poll 20 (Eyesight), 14 September, 1997, but based on an experience of Gayle, Eye Scene website, Poll 2 (What frames do you wear?), 19 April, 1997:
I think Gayle’s aforementioned post explains this best: “…Because my prescription was outdated, I was in the habit of wearing my glasses with the ear pieces above my ears instead of behind them on those occasions when I needed to see at longer ranges. For whatever reason, changing the angle of the lenses to my eyes and pressing them closer gave me better vision. …” This “wearing one’s glasses above one’s ears” in order to compensate for a too-weak prescription is called tilting.
- Tuggers, term coined by Hayes, Eye Scene website, Poll 27 (Multiple pairs), 8 November, 1997:
Glasses with slightly more minus correction than one’s actual script calls for, used to give extra long-distance clarity for, for example, night driving, or to try to keep up with rapidly increasing myopia without need for constant lens changes, though in the second instance some say it increases problems in the long run by accelerating the myopic increases.
Written by All4Eyes in December 2007