Abstract

An electro-optic device mounted on a slit lamp to assess the degree of polarization of a light beam that has double passed through the retina about the optic-nerve head in the living human eye is described. The asymmetric structure of the retinal nerve’s fiber layer possesses a linear-form dichroism and will partially polarize an unpolarized light beam that is scattered at the fundus of the eye and has double passed the ocular media (cornea, lens, retina). This partial polarization is a function of the retinal nerve’s fiber layer thickness, and its measurement may be used for exploring glaucoma and other retinal neuropathies. Experimental conditions allow us to neglect corneal dichroism. The first clinical measurements show a different degree of polarization between normal and glaucomatous eyes and a good correlation with the results obtained by optical coherence tomography.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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