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J Refract Surg. 2000 Sep-Oct;16(5):S547-51.

Limits to vision: can we do better than nature?

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 78230-6230, USA.


Non-invasive wavefront sensing of the human eye provides the necessary information to design corrections which minimize the monochromatic optical errors of the eye beyond simple sphere (defocus) and cylinder (astigmatism). These "ideal" corrections must move with the eye, maintaining proper alignment with the eye's optics. Viable modes of correction include contact lenses, refractive surgery and intraocular lenses. Will these "ideal" corrections lead to better vision? If so, how much better? Here we explore the limits imposed by the optical and neural design of the eye. For larger pupil sizes (>3 mm diameter) "ideal" corrections improve the optical quality of the retinal image beyond the limits imposed by photoreceptor spacing. Photoreceptor spacing limits visual acuity to between 20/8 and 20/10. Correcting the higher order aberrations will provide images with higher contrast and crisper edges. When perfected, "ideal" corrections will provide for high contrast visual acuity between 20/8 and 20/10.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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