We calculated the impact of higher-order aberrations on retinal image quality and the magnitude of the visual benefit expected from their correction in a large population of human eyes. Wave aberrations for both eyes of 109 normal subjects and 4 keratoconic patients were measured for 3-, 4-, and 5.7-mm pupils with a Shack–Hartmann sensor. Retinal image quality was estimated by means of the modulation transfer function (MTF) in white light. The visual benefit was calculated as the ratio of the MTF when the monochromatic higher-order aberrations are corrected to the MTF corresponding to the best correction of defocus and astigmatism. On average, the impact of the higher-order aberrations for a 5.7-mm pupil in normal eyes is similar to an equivalent defocus of ∼0.3 D. The average visual benefit for normal eyes at 16 c/deg is ∼2.5 for a 5.7-mm pupil and is negligible for small pupils (1.25 for a 3-mm pupil). The benefit varies greatly among eyes, with some normal eyes showing almost no benefit and others a benefit higher than 4 at 16 c/deg across a 5.7-mm pupil. The benefit for keratoconic eyes is much larger. The benefit at 16 c/deg is 12 and 3 for 5.7- and 3-mm pupils, respectively, averaged across four keratoconics. These theoretical benefits could be realized in normal viewing conditions but only under specific conditions.
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ErrataAntonio Guirao, Jason Porter, David R. Williams, and Ian G. Cox, "Calculated impact of higher-order monochromatic aberrations on retinal image quality in a population of human eyes: erratum," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 620-628 (2002)