Spanish/English Translations of the Most Common Eye Conditions


Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) trips have to be some of the most challenging and rewarding trips during your optometry school careers. Challenging because some of us are trying techniques we learned in school for the first time, while others are seeing a whole bunch of people in a small amount of time. For everyone, there is a pretty nasty language barrier to try and work with to help your patients understand what is going on and how you can help them.

I do know a guy that is pretty good with that nasty Spanish language barrier… ME! I lived in Mexico for 2 years and learned quite a bit of Spanish. In fact, when I came back to the states it took me about a month to not speak “spanglish.” So, this is my plan after talking with my SVOSH president here at Southern College of Optometry (SCO). I was told that the biggest challenge isn’t necessarily doing chair skills  the refraction, or DFE, it’s explaining to the patient what kind of disease process they have going on in their eyes. The conditions that I feel will most likely be seen on these SVOSH trips are: diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, dry eye, pterygiums, and cataracts.

So lets get started!

Diabetes (Diabetes)

Al examinar sus ojos podemos ver los efectos de la Diabetes en sus ojos. La Diabetes afecta las venas y arterias pequeñas. La Diabetes causa daño a estos vasos sanguíneos en una manera que los vasos sanguíneos pierden fluido en la retina y otras partes del ojo. El fluido que sale de los vasos sanguíneos pequeños en sus ojos, causa daño a su lente adentro de sus ojos, a su retina, y su nervio optico. Recomendamos que vaya a un doctor del cuerpo para recibir tratamiento para su Diabetes.

English Translation

Upon examining you eyes we can see the effects of diabetes in your eyes. Diabetes affects the small veins and arteries. Diabetes causes damage to these blood vessels in a way that they lose fluid in the retina and other parts of the eye. The fluid that leaves the small blood vessels in the eyes causes damage to the lens inside your eyes, your retina, and your optic nerve. We recommend that you go to a primary care doctor to receive treatment for your diabetes.

Hipertension (Hypertension)

Al examinar sus ojos podemos ver los efectos de la Hipertension en sus ojos. La Hipertension causa daño a sus vasos sanguíneos de sangre en sus ojos. La Hipertension causa que sus arterias pequenas se hagan mas duras. Cuando ese efecto pasa, su retina y ojo en general tiene dificultad quitando la sangre vieja del ojo. Cuando su ojo no puede quitar la sangre vieja, su ojo impieza a dañarse. Recomendamos que usted vaya a un Doctor del cuerpo para recibir el tratamiento necesario para controlar su Hipertension.

English Translation

Upon examining your eyes we can see the effects of Hypertension in your eyes. Hypertension causes damage to the blood vessels in your eyes. Hypertension causes that the small arteries harden. When this effect occurs, your retina and eye in general has difficulty getting rid of the old blood in your eye. When your eye cannot get rid of the old blood, your eyes begin to become damaged. We recommend that you go to a primary care doctor to receive the necessary treatment to control your Hypertension.

Glaucoma (Glaucoma)

Despues de examinar sus ojos vimos que tiene Glaucoma. Glaucoma occura cuando el fluido que esta adentro de los ojos no sale de los ojos facilmente y la presion aumenta. La presion alta en sus ojos causa daño a su nervio optico y entonces causa que se pierda la vision de los lados. El tratamiento para esta enfermedad es con gotas recetadas para los ojos que baja la presion adentro de sus ojos.

English Translation

After examining your eyes we saw that you have Glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when the fluid inside of the eyes cannot leave the eyes easily and the pressure increases. The high pressure inside of your eyes causes damage to your optic nerve and can cause the loss of peripheral vision. The treatment for this disease is with prescribed drops for the eyes that lowers that pressure inside of your eyes.

Ojos Secos (Dry Eye)

Despues de examinar sus ojos vimos que tiene ojos secos. Esta enfermedad pasa porque sus glandulas que producen lagrimas no le funciona al cien porciento. Cuando las glandulas que producen lagrimas no funcionan bien sus ojos se ponen secos y causa que sus ojos duelan y se pongan rojos. El tratamiento por esta condicion es gotas lubricantes y limpiando sus parpados diariamente. A veces damos gotas o pastillas con medicina que ayuda a sus glandulas a producir lagrimas mejor.

English Translation

After examining your eyes we saw that you have dry eyes. This disease happens because your glands that produce tears don’t function 100%. When these glands don’t function well your eyes become dry and cause your eyes to hurt and become red. The treatment for this condition is lubricants and cleaning your eyelids daily. Sometimes we give drops or pills with medicine that help your glands to improve tear production.

Carnosidad del Ojo (Pterygium)

Al examinar sus ojos vimos que tiene carnosidad del ojo. La carnosidad del ojo se presenta cuando alguien trabaja afuera en la luz del sol y con polvo en el aire. La luz del sol y el polvo en el aire causa irritacion a nuestros ojos y nuestros ojos responden con esta carnosidad. La carnosidad se puede quitar con cirugia pero nosotros no lo hacemos. Podria ir a un oftalmólogo que le puede dar mas informacion o opciones de que puede hacer. Recomendamos que use lentes oscuros que protege a sus ojos de la luz del sol y el polvo en el aire.

English Translation

Upon examining your eyes we saw that you have a pterygium. A pterygium happens when someone works outside in the sunlight with dust in the air. The sunlight and dust in the air cause irritation to our eyes and our eye respond with a pterygium. Pterygiums can be taken off with surgery but we do not perform it. You can go to an ophthalmologist and he/ she can give you more information and options on what can be done. We recommend that you use sunglasses that protect your eyes from the sunlight and dust in the air.

Cataratas (Cataracts)

Cuando examinamos sus ojos vimos que el lente adentro de sus ojos tienen cataratas. Las Cataratas aparecen cuando el lente adentro de nuestros ojos empiezan a tener obscuridades y cambios de color. Todas las personas despues de los 50 anos de vida tendran cataratas. Las Cataratas se pueden quitar con cirugia. La cirugia que el oftalmólogo hace es muy común y la conduce muchas veces al dia. Recomendamos que vaya a un oftalmólogo para recibir mas informacion de el concerniente a la cirugia.

English Translation

When we examined your eye we could see the lenses inside of your eyes have cataracts. Cataracts happen when the lenses inside of our eye begin to have obscurities and change color. Everyone that is older than 50 years old will have cataracts. Cataracts can be taken out with surgery. The surgery that an ophthalmologist performs is very common and is done daily. We recommend that you go see an ophthalmologist in order to receive more information from he/she concerning the surgery.


Here is this article in word doc form so you can print it off and take it with you on you SVOSH trip. SVOSH TRIP SPANISH PREP.  I hope this helps you on your trips wherever you may be going. Thank you for your service, you are changing the world one pair of eyes at a time!

Thanks to Jeannine Elizabeth Gutierrez for proofing this article. She is the Chief of Private Practice Optometry for OS.

Ross Chatwin
Director of Financial and Business Content
Southern College of Optometry Class of 2014

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