Abstract

Photorefractive methods have become popular in the measurement of refractive and accommodative states of infants and children owing to their photographic nature and rapid speed of measurement. As in the case of any method that measures the refractive state of the human eye, monochromatic aberrations will reduce the accuracy of the measurement. Monochromatic aberrations cannot be as easily predicted or controlled as chromatic aberrations during the measurement, and accordingly they will introduce measurement errors. This study defines this error or uncertainty by extending the existing paraxial optical analyses of coaxial and eccentric photorefraction. This new optical analysis predicts that, for the amounts of spherical aberration (SA) reported for the human eye, there will be a significant degree of measurement uncertainty introduced for all photorefractive methods. The dioptric amount of this uncertainty may exceed the maximum amount of SA present in the eye. The calculated effects on photorefractive measurement of a real eye with a mixture of spherical aberration and coma are shown to be significant. The ability, developed here, to predict photorefractive patterns corresponding to different amounts and types of monochromatic aberration may in the future lead to an extension of photorefractive methods to the dual measurement of refractive states and aberrations of individual eyes.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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