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J Biomed Opt. 2001 Apr;6(2):200-4.

Ocular optical aberrometer for clinical use.

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  • 1University of Technology, Department of Ophthalmology, D 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Higher-order optical errors of the human eye are often responsible for reduced visual acuity in spite of an optimal spherical or cylindrical refraction. These optical aberrations are of natural origin or can result from operations in the eye that involve optical structures. The ocular aberrometer presented is based on Tscherning's aberroscope. A collimated laser beam (532 nm, 10 mW) illuminates a mask with a regular matrix of holes which forms a bundle of thin parallel rays of 0.3 mm diameter. These rays are focused by a lens in front of the eye so that their intraocular focus point is located a certain distance in front of the retina, generating a corresponding pattern of light spots on it. According to the existing ocular optical errors, this spot pattern is more or less distorted in comparison to the mask matrix. For a 6 mm pupil diameter 68 retinal spots are plottable for assessment of the optical aberrations. The retinal spot pattern is imaged onto the sensor of a low-light charge coupled device video camera by indirect ophthalmoscopy. Deviations of all spots from their ideal regular positions are measured by means of a PC, and from these values the intraocular wave front aberration is computed in the form of the sum of Zernike polynomials up to sixth order.

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