Ophthalmology/Optometry Eye Abbreviations

A or Acc ………………… accommodation
AC ………………… anterior chamber
AC/A ………………… accommodative convergence/accommodation ratio
ACIOL ………………… anterior chamber intraocular lens
ALT ………………… argon laser trabeculoplasty
APD ………………… afferent pupil defect
ARMD ………………… age-related macular degeneration
ASC ………………… anterior subcapsular cataract
BD ………………… base down (prism)
BI ………………… base in (prism)
BID ………………… twice a day
BLP ………………… bare light perception
BTL ………………… blink to light
BO ………………… base out (prism)
BRAO ………………… branch retinal artery occlusion
BRVO ………………… branch retinal vein occlusion
BU ………………… base up (prism)
CACG ………………… chronic angle closure glaucoma
CE ………………… cataract extraction
CF ………………… confrontational fields or count fingers
CL ………………… clear, contact lens
CLARE ………………… contact lens associated red eye
CRAO ………………… central retinal artery occlusion
CRVO ………………… central retinal vein occlusion
CS ………………… conjunctiva and sclera
CSME ………………… clinically significant macular edema
CSR ………………… central serous retinopathy
D ………………… diopters
DFE ………………… dilated fundus exam
DLK ………………… diffuse lamellar keratitis
DQ ………………… deep and quite
DR ………………… diabetic retinopathy
E ………………… esophophoria
E’ ………………… esophoria at near
EOG ………………… electro-oculogram
EOM ………………… extraocular movements
ERG ………………… electroretinogram
ERM ………………… epiretinal membrane
ET ………………… esotropia
E(T)  ………………… intermittant esotropia
EXT ………………… external
FA ………………… fluorescein angiography
FC ………………… finger counting
FOL ………………… follicles
F/U ………………… followup
GL(S) ………………… glaucoma suspect
HE ………………… hard exudates
HM ………………… hand movement
HSV ………………… herpes simplex virus
HST ………………… horse shoe tear
HT ………………… hypertropia
I ………………… iris
IMHO ………………… in my humble opinion
IOL ………………… intraocular lens
IOOA ………………… inferior oblique overaction
IOP ………………… intraocular pressure
J1,J2 ………………… Jaeger (near vision scale J1+=20/20)
K ………………… cornea
KCN ………………… keratoconus
KPs ………………… keratic precipitates
L ………………… lens
LASIK ………………… laser in situ keratomileusis
LOL ………………… laugh out loud
LP ………………… light perception
LPI ………………… laser peripheral iridotomy
LL ………………… lids and lacrimation
LLL ………………… left lower lid
LUL ………………… left upper lid
MA ………………… microaneurysms
MP ………………… membrane peel
NI ………………… no improvement
NLP ………………… no light perception
NPDR ………………… non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
NSC ………………… nuclear sclerotic cataract
NV ………………… neovascularization
NVA ………………… neovascularization of the angle
NVD ………………… neovascularization of the disk
NVE ………………… neovascularization elsewhere
NVG ………………… neovascularization glaucoma
NVI ………………… neovascularization of iris
NFL ………………… nerve fiber layer
OD ………………… oculus dexter (the right eye)
ONH ………………… optic nerve head
OS ………………… oculus sinister (the left eye)
OU ………………… oculus uterque (both eyes)
P ………………… pupils
Pap ………………… papillae
PAS ………………… peripheral anterior synechiae
PCIOL ………………… posterior chamber intraocular lens
PCO ………………… posterior capsular opacification
PD ………………… pupillary distance
PDR ………………… proliferative diabetic retinopathy
PED ………………… pigment epithelial detachment
PED ………………… persistent epithelial defect
PEE ………………… punctate epithelial erosion
PEK ………………… punctate epithelial keratopathy
PERRLA ………………… pupils equally round and reactive to light and accommodation
PH ………………… pinhole
PHNI ………………… pinhole no improvement
PHPV ………………… persistent hyperplastic of primary vitreous
PI ………………… peripheral iridotomy
PK ………………… Penetrating keratoplasty (corneal xpl)
POAG ………………… primary open angle glaucoma
PPV ………………… pars plana vitrectomy
PRP ………………… panretinal photocoagulation
PSC ………………… posterior subcapsular cataract
PTC ………………… pseudotumor cerebri
PVD ………………… posterior vitreous detachment
PVR ………………… proliferative vitreoretinopathy
PXS/PXF ………………… pseudoexfoliation syndrome
QAM ………………… morning
QD ………………… once a day
QHS ………………… nighttime or bedtime
QID ………………… four times a day
RAPD ………………… relative afferent papillary defect
RD ………………… retinal detachment
ROFL ………………… roll on floor laughing
RLL ………………… right lower lid
ROP ………………… retinopathy of prematurity
RP ………………… retinitis pigmentosa
RPE ………………… retinal pigment epithelium
RUL ………………… right upper lid
Rx ………………… prescription
Sc ………………… sans correction (no glasses)
SCH ………………… subconjunctival hemorrhage
SLE ………………… slit-lamp exam
SLK ………………… superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis
SOOA ………………… superior oblique overaction
SPK ………………… superficial punctate keratopathy
SRF ………………… subretinal fluid
Sph ………………… spherical lens
T ………………… pressure
Tap ………………… pressure (applination)
TID ………………… three times a day
Tono ………………… pressure (tonopen)
V or Va ………………… vision or visual acuity
Vcc ………………… vision (with correction)
VEP ………………… visual evoked potential
Vsc ………………… vision (sans correction)
VH ………………… vitreous hemorrhage
Vit ………………… vitreous
VMT ………………… vitreo macular traction
W&Q ………………… white and quite
WNL ………………… within normal limits
XOXO ………………… hugs and kisses
XT ………………… exotropia
X(T) ………………… intermittant exotropia

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

166 COMMENTS

  1. A good list- here’s a few more:
    DFE- dilated fundus exam
    E(T)- intermittant esotropia
    X(T)’- intermittant exotropia at near
    E – esophoria
    E’ – esophoria at near
    You can probably extrapolate the rest of the basic strabismus ones. Others in strabismus:
    SOOA – superior oblique overaction
    IOOA – inferior oblique overaction
    And the basic slit lamp ones:
    F&R – flat and round (iris)
    SPK – superficial punctate keratopathy
    And finally:
    PTC- pseudotumor cerebri (I don’t know what is used by those who call it idiopathic intracranial hypertension)
    PCIOL -posterior chamber intraocular lens
    ACIOL -anterior chamber intraocular lens
    I’ll write up more as they come to mind!

  2. Hello..
    here is some more add Them…
    NFI- No further improvement.
    XOT- Exotropia.
    XOP- Exophoria.
    SOT- Esotropia.
    SOP- Esophoria.
    IPD- Interpupillary Distance.
    NCD- Near convergence distance.

  3. I just found your website and I am in LOVE. I am an Optician learning to become an Ophthamolic Tech and this website is extremely useful, and fun.
    I was wondering if you have a video on how to use a phoropter, as I am now moving in to this.

    Thanks,

    Jamie

  4. For putting drops in my eyes my drs notes read:
    BID (i think means twice a day).
    QID (maybe 4 times a day) and
    TID? And there are probably more I’ll come across.
    Do you know where I can find out what these mean?
    Also IO=Intra Ocular

    Thanks for your list, very helpful!

  5. To correct someone who said PERRL, I’ve never heard that one but I working as an EMT we use PEARL – Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light.

  6. PERRLA/ PERRL is an accepted medical/ nursing abbreviation for “Pupils Equal, Round, Reactive to Light Accomodation.”

    I’ve seen it written as Dan stated above, as well (PEARL).

  7. Yikes. Be careful with:
    QD – every day, or once a day – Latin, quaque die
    QID – 4 times a day – Latin, quater in die

    These are not recommended because of the obvious risk of the potentially dangerous confusion that could result in a once-a-day medication being given 4 times a day.

    English is better.

  8. Love this resource. I’m and RN and I start a new job in an ophthalmology office next month. It is a big switch going from Cardiac to eyes…this is a great prep for getting familiar and feeling less like a fish out of water. Thanks!

  9. I am in MedTrans, kindly help me to find the meaning of the acronyms/med. terms in Ophtha. The following are:
    1. AC 4/4 –
    2. BIO –
    3. ONH –
    4. CLARE –
    5. CLPU –
    6. CLAPC –
    7. Gutt/g
    I deeply appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

  10. For Lalaine:
    1. Probably Anterior Chamber angle open in all quadrants (not seen this written like this though)
    2. Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy
    3. Optic nerve head
    4. Contact Lens Associated Red Eye
    5. Not sure
    6. Contact Lens Associated Papilliary Conjuctivitis
    7. Gutt or g means (eye)drop

  11. Thanks for the wonderful help. Just starting typing at home and am used to all kinds of medical terminology, all except ophthalmology…go figure. Will make this site a favourite.

  12. another possibility for SCH: suprachoroidal hemorrhage

    does anyone know “sps” – referring to conjunctiva/sclera?

  13. Thank you so much for this much needed information. I am currently in school for medical transcriptionist/editor and this is like a goldmine. Thank you so much!

  14. Eye Coder at Denver Health- Is a YAG PI the same as an LPI? I am thinking the YAG is a peripheral Iridotomy done with a YAG laser and the LPI is a general term for Laser peripheral Iridectomy and both code to CPT 66761. Am I right???

  15. Reviewing an ophtho note for a patient with MS with prior episodes of optic neuritis.
    OHN (optic nerve head)s with stable increased COR.

    What is COR?
    Thanks!

  16. what is the meaning of the following abbreviation:

    Diagnosis: CS encircled M OD
    Operation performed: ECCE with PC IO/OD

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  17. We need someone to come up with an app for Opthalmic techs for all these terms and abbreviations. Anyone suggest an app they have found?

  18. Hi!
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful and helpful site!!

    The only abbreviation (if it is one)I am still missing is f/u, which is used immediately before what seems to be the name of the condition (“chronic ant uveitis”).
    Does anybody know what it means?
    Again, thank you very muchfor your help.

    Regards,

    Prof. Maria Cristina Vignolo

  19. Does anyone know what the following abbreviations stand for? I saw these in an ophthalmologist/optometrist report.

    1. NCT
    2. CS trace
    3 NS trace
    4. NFL (this can’t mean National Football League)
    5. c/l h/v
    6. CSME
    7. LDFE
    8. CMA (this can’t mean Chinese Martial Arts)

  20. Primary doc referral slip for ophthalmologist says HX & BS and
    EO POOLE. Can any one decifer this please

    Editor: I would have guessed:
    Hx: history
    BS: blood sugar?
    EO: possibly they meant EOM (extra ocular movements)
    POOLE: they may have meant PERRLA (pupils equally round reactive to light and accommodation)

    EO and POOLE are not abbreviations used in ophthalmology, at least not in my experience practicing in the us. PERRLA is very commonly used by non-eye doctors.

  21. georg,

    these could be some:

    1. NCT – we use it for non-contact IOP measuring methods;
    2. CS trace -regarding natural lens – cortical sclerosis;
    3 NS trace – nuclear sclerosis;
    4. NFL (this can’t mean National Football League)-(retinal) nerve fiber layer
    5. c/l h/v =maybe contact lens hard wearer (I’m not sure)
    6. CSME -clinically significant macular edema.

    Dear admin – your webpage is wonderful!!!

  22. Is this list of abbreviations accepted by the Joint Commission International Accreditations standards for hospitals?? Please let me know.

  23. Am doing a research paper on Abbreviations. Each discipline has its own with little overlap. This is a most enlightening list. Am also an RN with little experience in opthalmology. Thank you.

  24. I have been seeing a specialist for a corneal ulcer. (Today he said it has resolved!) but I noticed that each time he looks in my eye he says ‘deep and quiet’. What does that mean?

    Tim Root: Araceli, the term “deep and quiet” is used to describe an eye without any inflammation in the anterior chamber. If you want to understand this better, you may find my slit-lamp lecture useful.

  25. As a translator (English /Arabic vice versa ), I found this abbreviation package extremely useful ; and can honesly claim that it is almost exhasutiv as far as I view it in my capacity as a wise ordinary user , not – ofcourse- an eye specialist- ophthalmolgist. I am really thankful to you for this greaIt help to me for discharging my job.
    Wishing you good luck and continued success.

  26. GREAT SITE!!! ~ 17 year veteran of the ophthalmic world

    These 2 were used by my 1st employer, a cataract surgeon:

    AOOW = Almost Out Of the Woods
    DRTB = Don’t Rock The Boat

    And some actual eye abbreviations to add…

    DOB = Date of Birth
    PC-IOL = Presbyopia Correcting IOL
    BCVA = Best corrected visual acuity
    NV = Near Vision
    DV = Distance or Driving Vision
    p = (lower case P with a line/dash over it) = post or after
    c = (lower case c with a line over it)= with
    s = (lower case s with a line over it)= without
    PRN = as needed
    Tx = Treatment
    PD = pupillary distance
    OCT = Optical coherence tomography
    VF = Visual Field
    RT = return (appointment term – RT 2 wk VF)
    DAW = dispense as written (no generic)
    GPC = Giant Pappilary Conjunctivitis
    Dx = Diagnosis
    CC = Chief complaint
    Bx = Biopsy
    Sx = Surgery
    ASC = Ambulatory surgery center
    W/I = work-in (worked into the schedule, no appointment)
    SD W/I = Same day work-in
    c/o = Complains of
    Pt = Patient
    CVI = Certification of vision impairment (for disability, legally blind status, qualification for discount, etc.)
    H&P = History & physican

    AAO = American Academy of Ophthalmology
    AOA = American Opt0metric Association
    COA = Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
    COT = Certified Ophthalmic Technician
    COMT = Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technician
    COE = Certified Ophthalmic Executive
    CRA = Certified Retinal Angiographer
    OCS = Ophthalmic Coding Specialist
    NCLEC = National Contact Lens Examiners Certified
    ABOC = American Board of Opticianry Certified

    Then there’s text-speak used by staff…

    OMW = on my way
    DOTW = Doctor on the way
    LTB = Left the building (can be used to tell your location, or precede with D for Doctor) Originated from “Elvis has left the building”
    2PW, 3PW, etc… = 2 patient warning, 3 patient warning (used to tell someone how soon doctor will be done…let optical know when they can expect to leave, let manager know how soon they can start a meeting, telling doctor’s spouse how soon to pick them up for dinner, etc.)
    FDMV = Failed DMV – to alert Tech or Doc patient may want form (despite declining at front) or prepare for decreased vision

    Abbreviations used in eye-related list-serves:

    IMHO = In my humble opinion
    YMMV = Your mileage may vary
    TTYL = talk to ya later
    NSFW = Not safe for work
    BTW = By the way
    TY / Thx = Thank you / thanks
    NP / YW = No problem / You’re welcome
    IDK = I don’t know
    WTG = Way to go

    Back to the grind (should that be BTTG??) I’ll leave you wonderful people with…
    TYVM (thank you very much)

    (✿◠‿◠)

  27. For recurrent SCH – recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhage;
    1. CS trace – cortical spoking – trace (grading)
    2. NS trace – nuclear sclerotic (cataract)
    3. NFL (this can’t mean National Football League)- nerve fiber layer
    4. CSME – I see this one all the time as CME – cystoid macular edema
    6. LDFE – last dilated fundus exam

  28. Hi, I am translating an ophthalmological text and I have found: o.d. nvf .
    o.d. is: right eye but what is nvf?? Waiting for your answer, Rose

  29. Thanks, but what about “neovascularization at the fundus” ?? (I am just a translator and not an ophthalmologist):):)
    the whole text looks as follows:
    Diagnoses:

    Cat. cong. o.u. (congenital cataract of the right eye)
    Visual acuity and ocular pressure
    At admission:
    o.d. (right eye)
    nvf (neovascularization at the fundus)
    o.s. (left eye)
    nvf (neovascularization at the fundus)
    At discharge
    o.d. (right eye)
    paying attention to light
    o.s. (left eye)
    paying attention to light

    An operation was performed: extraction of crystalline lens of both sides.

  30. *snort* ROFL

    Our abbreviation list spans 13 pages. Of course this includes things specific to our short cuts, like CPM (continue present meds) and ccc (call with change).

  31. You can buy “The Ophthalmology Word Book” published by F.A. Davis Publishing Company. I think you can order on Amazon, also.

  32. First thank you for how quickly you got back to me on my last question. I have a couple more:

    DES
    SRFOD
    RBA
    and you said no idea what W/A stands for??

  33. Pam,

    RBA is most likely Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives (discussion pre surgery)

    SRFOD = Subretinal Fluid OD? My educated guess is that there should be a space between SRF and OD.

    This is what we use at our clinic 🙂

  34. ok not just one more, have a couple more

    does VT with DR so and so, mean Visit with Dr so and so?
    and what does CL mean when used in sentence “consider tinted CL”

  35. Here are some terms… RAPD-Relative afferent pupillary defect, TAPD- Total afferent pathway defect, SITA-Swedish interactive threshold algorithm.

  36. Debate has come up at our office. Is CAT appropriate abbreviation for a cataract. I use it only in assessment portion of patient chart. On lens exam we specify NS, Cortical or PSC etc., so it is well documented there. One of our other scribes can’t help but think of the fuzzy animal.

  37. Ever hear of a condition (and this is how it was relayed to me)called Pill-cut Vision; secondary to, or as a residual from a CVA/Thalmic stroke.

  38. I need some clarification .. if anyone can help please… Im new to this type of specialty and im trying to figure out what to bill if this is showing for Cataracts.. OS: 2+NS, trace PSC OD: 2+NS…. Would I bill both as 366.16 or do I consider the PSC and bill one each??

  39. What does LOL (not laugh out loud…) stand for in a binocular vision test measuring a patient’s horizontal vergence ranges? It is supposed to be some sort of target that the patient focuses on, but I do not know exactly what that is.

  40. You have been very helpful to me advancing in the Optometrist office I work in. When I search the internet for answers to my questions, I am led to you. I enjoy your humor also, IMHO & LOL on the abbreviation list, hilarious.

  41. I asked what FESA stood for 2 yrs. ago (4/29/2013 to be exact)… I found out the answer today…sad I know… anyway FESA= Full Extensive Smooth and Accurate…

  42. Can any suggest what AFT indicates. My summary from exam yesterday says: recommend AFT especially OD. I get the right eye but the doc said nothing abt AFT and I hate calling to ask if it’s something I should know.

  43. Hi! I noticed my doctor writing the following in his notepad after my checkup. Could someone please explain me in simple terms what it means?

    1. Left Eye: f 6/6
    2. Right Eye: r 6/6
    3. Fundus (N)

  44. In my last optometry exam notes the Dr. wrote “RE c P” under “asessment” section. The exact notation was as follows:
    Assessment:
    1. DES due to lagophthalmos OU
    2. RE c P

    I know what #1 means, but not #2. Any suggestions?

  45. What does LRI mean? Thank you for helping me know what BCVA and OD/OS2 means. And did you say what monofocal IOL means? And, actually, what does the 2 in the above initials indicate? Thanks for your help.

  46. What could GOA mean as in the following passage:
    Return to see me in six weeks. GOA, Comp exam, Refraction, Visual Fields, Fundus Photos scheduled.
    Thank you!

  47. In the section of the record for the ophthalmoscopy exam, there are two open sections for right and left (which I think is the place where the doctor can draw a picture of the eye) and in each, the doctor has written “III”. What does the “III” refer to?

  48. Fabulous site, so very helpful! Thank you.
    What does CSM stand for? I saw that CSME is clinically significant Macular edema. But, the doctor just wrote CSM.
    Thank you.

  49. Fabulous site, so very helpful! Thank you.
    What does CSM stand for? I saw that CSME is clinically significant Macular edema. But, the doctor just wrote CSM.
    Thank you.

  50. I keep reading reports from an ophthalmologist outside my hospital system that say:

    DM (sc with line over both) BDR.

    I know what DM, BDR, s w/line, c/with line mean.

    But was could sc w/line mean?
    and it is never cs/line…

  51. CSM = Central, Steady, Maintained
    LRI – Limbal Relaxing Incision
    sc = without correction (I assume this was a documentation mistake)
    FFA = I am not sure. We use FA for Fluorescein Angiography, and FAF for Fundus AutoFluoresence… so..
    ICG = Indofyanine Green angiography
    CE IOL = Cataract Extraction with insertion of Intraocular Lens

  52. We use the following abbreviation NBDR which is supposed to mean non background diabetic retinopathy.
    I can not find this abbreviation when googling.
    Is this an acceptable abbreviation?
    Would this mean the patient has diabetic retinopathy?
    I would think it means that there is NO diabetic retinopathy.
    Please help clear this issue up for me!!
    Thank you

  53. Lena,
    In my opinion NBDR is confusing… NPDR is non proliferative diabetic retinopathy, so doing NBDR can get confused with that.

    No BDR (or No DR) is how we describe it.. of course, as long as you have an abbreviation list that is kept somewhere in your office you can use whatever abbreviations you want. It just has to be listed so it will stand up in an audit.

    Hope this helps.

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