Abstract

From both a fundamental and a clinical point of view, it is necessary to know the distribution of the eye’s aberrations in the normal population and to be able to describe them as efficiently as possible. We used a modified Hartmann–Shack wave-front sensor to measure the monochromatic wave aberration of both eyes for 109 normal human subjects across a 5.7-mm pupil. We analyzed the distribution of the eye’s aberrations in the population and found that most Zernike modes are relatively uncorrelated with each other across the population. A principal components analysis was applied to our wave-aberration measurements with the resulting principal components providing only a slightly more compact description of the population data than Zernike modes. This indicates that Zernike modes are efficient basis functions for describing the eye’s wave aberration. Even though there appears to be a random variation in the eye’s aberrations from subject to subject, many aberrations in the left eye were found to be significantly correlated with their counterparts in the right eye.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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