Abstract

The phenomenon of night myopia, wherein the eye becomes relatively nearsighted in dim light, was investigated in detail using high contrast grating test objects. Night myopia first appeared at the brightness level where rod vision began to take place and grew larger as the brightness was further reduced. At the lowest brightness investigated, the myopia attained a value of 1.5 to 2.0 diopters, depending upon the observer. Night myopia appeared when accommodation was prevented by an optical method and also when accommodation was paralyzed with homatropine. It was therefore concluded that accommodation was not a significant cause of night myopia in the observers examined.

The spherical aberration of the observers’ eyes was measured, and its effect upon the effective focal length of the eye was investigated with the aid of artificial pupils. Also studied were the properties of a simple glass lens having spherical aberration approximating that of the eye. All tests showed that night myopia, and its dependence upon the brightness level, is primarily a result of undercorrected spherical aberration of the eye. For some eyes, homatropine reduced night myopia slightly, but only to the extent that it reduced the spherical aberration. A review of the literature is included.

© 1951 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. Rayleigh, Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 4, 4 (1883).
  2. J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 38, 236 (1942).
  3. G. Wald and D. R. Griffin, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 321 (1947).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  4. A report on the fifty-fifth meeting of the Netherlands Ophthalmological Society, Am. J. Ophthalmology4, 609 (1921).
  5. Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).
  6. V. Ronchi, Rev. optique 27, 259 (1948), (Abstract).
  7. J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 39, 567 (1943).
  8. Y. Le Grand, Rev. optique 21, 71 (1942).
  9. E. Jackson, Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 5, 141 (1888).
  10. A. M. Monnier, Compt. Rend. Soc. de Biol. 137, 732 (1943).
  11. A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).
  12. J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 37, 459 (1941).
  13. M. Ríos Sasiain, Arch. Soc. oftal. hispano. am. 8, 925 (1948).
  14. M. Koomen, R. Tousey, and R. Scolnik, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 39, 370 (1949).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  15. P. Jiménez-Landi and J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 597 (1943).
  16. H. Schober, Arch Ophthalmol. 148, 171 (1947).
  17. A. Durán, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 579 (1943).
  18. J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 41, 449 (1945).
  19. A. Ames and C. A. Proctor, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 5, 22 (1921).
    [Crossref]
  20. C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).
  21. A. Ivanoff, Compt. rend. (Paris),  223, 1185 (1946).
  22. A. Ivanoff, Rev. optique 26, 145 (1947).
  23. A. Ivanoff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 730 (1947).
    [Crossref]
  24. A. C. S. van Heel, Dioptric Review 37, 496 (1935).
  25. A. C. S. van Heel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 237 (1946).
    [PubMed]

1949 (1)

1948 (3)

A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).

M. Ríos Sasiain, Arch. Soc. oftal. hispano. am. 8, 925 (1948).

V. Ronchi, Rev. optique 27, 259 (1948), (Abstract).

1947 (4)

G. Wald and D. R. Griffin, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 321 (1947).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

H. Schober, Arch Ophthalmol. 148, 171 (1947).

A. Ivanoff, Rev. optique 26, 145 (1947).

A. Ivanoff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 730 (1947).
[Crossref]

1946 (2)

A. C. S. van Heel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 237 (1946).
[PubMed]

A. Ivanoff, Compt. rend. (Paris),  223, 1185 (1946).

1945 (1)

J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 41, 449 (1945).

1943 (4)

A. Durán, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 579 (1943).

P. Jiménez-Landi and J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 597 (1943).

A. M. Monnier, Compt. Rend. Soc. de Biol. 137, 732 (1943).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 39, 567 (1943).

1942 (2)

Y. Le Grand, Rev. optique 21, 71 (1942).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 38, 236 (1942).

1941 (1)

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 37, 459 (1941).

1935 (1)

A. C. S. van Heel, Dioptric Review 37, 496 (1935).

1932 (1)

C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).

1921 (1)

1918 (1)

Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).

1888 (1)

E. Jackson, Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 5, 141 (1888).

1883 (1)

Rayleigh, Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 4, 4 (1883).

Ames, A.

Arnulf, A.

A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).

Cabello, J.

J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 41, 449 (1945).

P. Jiménez-Landi and J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 597 (1943).

Daizo,

Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).

Durán, A.

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 39, 567 (1943).

A. Durán, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 579 (1943).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 38, 236 (1942).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 37, 459 (1941).

Ferree, C. E.

C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).

Flamant, F.

A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).

Françon, M.

A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).

Griffin, D. R.

Hardy, C.

C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).

Ivanoff, A.

A. Ivanoff, Rev. optique 26, 145 (1947).

A. Ivanoff, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 730 (1947).
[Crossref]

A. Ivanoff, Compt. rend. (Paris),  223, 1185 (1946).

Jackson, E.

E. Jackson, Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 5, 141 (1888).

Jiménez-Landi, P.

P. Jiménez-Landi and J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 597 (1943).

Koomen, M.

Le Grand, Y.

Y. Le Grand, Rev. optique 21, 71 (1942).

Monnier, A. M.

A. M. Monnier, Compt. Rend. Soc. de Biol. 137, 732 (1943).

Ogata,

Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).

Otero, J. M.

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 39, 567 (1943).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 38, 236 (1942).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 37, 459 (1941).

Proctor, C. A.

Rand, G.

C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).

Rayleigh,

Rayleigh, Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 4, 4 (1883).

Ríos Sasiain, M.

M. Ríos Sasiain, Arch. Soc. oftal. hispano. am. 8, 925 (1948).

Ronchi, V.

V. Ronchi, Rev. optique 27, 259 (1948), (Abstract).

Schober, H.

H. Schober, Arch Ophthalmol. 148, 171 (1947).

Scolnik, R.

Tousey, R.

van Heel, A. C. S.

A. C. S. van Heel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 237 (1946).
[PubMed]

A. C. S. van Heel, Dioptric Review 37, 496 (1935).

Wald, G.

Weymouth,

Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).

Am. J. Ophthalmology (2)

Ogata, Daizo, and Weymouth, Am. J. Ophthalmology 1, 630 (1918).

C. E. Ferree, G. Rand, and C. Hardy, Am. J. Ophthalmology 15, 513 (1932).

Anales de fís. y quím. (3)

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 37, 459 (1941).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 38, 236 (1942).

J. M. Otero and A. Durán, Anales de fís. y quím. 39, 567 (1943).

Anales fís. y quím. (3)

P. Jiménez-Landi and J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 597 (1943).

A. Durán, Anales fís. y quím. 39, 579 (1943).

J. Cabello, Anales fís. y quím. 41, 449 (1945).

Arch Ophthalmol. (1)

H. Schober, Arch Ophthalmol. 148, 171 (1947).

Arch. Soc. oftal. hispano. am. (1)

M. Ríos Sasiain, Arch. Soc. oftal. hispano. am. 8, 925 (1948).

Compt. rend. (Paris) (1)

A. Ivanoff, Compt. rend. (Paris),  223, 1185 (1946).

Compt. Rend. Soc. de Biol. (1)

A. M. Monnier, Compt. Rend. Soc. de Biol. 137, 732 (1943).

Dioptric Review (1)

A. C. S. van Heel, Dioptric Review 37, 496 (1935).

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (5)

Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. (1)

Rayleigh, Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 4, 4 (1883).

Rev. optique (4)

A. Ivanoff, Rev. optique 26, 145 (1947).

V. Ronchi, Rev. optique 27, 259 (1948), (Abstract).

A. Arnulf, F. Flamant, and M. Françon, Rev. optique 27, 741 (1948).

Y. Le Grand, Rev. optique 21, 71 (1942).

Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. (1)

E. Jackson, Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 5, 141 (1888).

Other (1)

A report on the fifty-fifth meeting of the Netherlands Ophthalmological Society, Am. J. Ophthalmology4, 609 (1921).

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Figures (9)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Apparatus for the investigation of night myopia.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Threshold acuity as a function of spectacle power for a high contrast grating target at various brightnesses. (A) The night myopia of observer RS is apparent at 0.2 microlambert and has advanced beyond 2 diopters at 0.02 microlambert. Accommodation was prevented by optical means, and monocular vision was used. (B) Under conditions similar to A, the night myopia of observer MK approached 1.5 diopters at 0.02 microlambert. (C) Here observer MK exhibits the same night myopia as in B. In this case no accommodation-controlling apparatus was used, but a comparison with B shows that the observer still maintained relaxed accommodation.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Night myopia versus brightness: The night myopia is associated with rod vision and increases steadily as the brightness is decreased. (A) Observer MK exhibits the same night myopia curve for monocular or binocular vision, with accommodation controlled or free. (B) Observer RS shows a definite tendency to accommodate when optical means are not used to help prevent it. The involuntary accommodation results in spectacle corrections even more negative than the true night myopia. (C) Myope RT shows the typical night myopia. The plotted points represent two series of readings made approximately 2 1 2 years apart, indicating no tendency for night myopia to change with time.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Night myopia and homatropine. (A) Homatropine causes the entire threshold acuity curve of observer RS to shift towards more positive spectacle corrections at each brightness. There is no measurable change in the magnitude of the night myopia. Compare with Fig. 5(A), showing the effect of homatropine upon the spherical aberration of the eye of the observer. (B) For observer MK, homatropine causes a definite reduction in the magnitude of the night myopia, with no change in optimum correction at high brightness. Fig. 5(C), shows a corresponding reduction in the spherical aberration of the eye of the observer.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Spherical Aberration and Homatropine. (A) With homatropine, observer RS exhibits a shift of the entire aberration curve by about one diopter in the position direction, but there is no change in the magnitude of the spherical aberration. See Fig. 4(A). (B) Observer RT shows a small shift of the entire curve towards more positive spectacle corrections and a measurable reduction in the spherical aberration. (C) Observer MK shows a significant reduction in spherical aberration, but no shift in curve position. See Fig. 4(B).

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Night myopia and the focal properties of the eye, for portions isolated with circular and annular artificial pupils, for two observers with undercorrected spherical aberration. The curves for 5000 microlamberts show that the center of the eye pupil determines the focus at high brightness. The displacement between the curves for high and low brightnesses represents the night myopia when vision is limited by the artificial pupils. The data obtained at 0.04 microlambert, with annular and with circular pupils, indicates that the focus at low brightness may be considered as determined, approximately, by a zone which divides the pupil into equal inner and outer areas.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Comparison of the spherical aberration of the eye of observer RT with that of a simple glass lens.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Photographs of high-contrast grating targets using a simple plano-convex glass lens. Curves of light intensity at the film are superimposed. In A the film was placed at the paraxial focus of the lens. In B the focus was such that the image of the coarse grating was at maximum contrast. Here the fine grating is barely resolved. This adjustment corresponds closely to vision associated with low visual acuity and low brightness.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Night myopia of an eye compared with the “night myopia” of a glass lens having spherical aberration similar to that of the eye.