Corneal and ocular aberrations were measured in a group of eyes before and after cataract surgery with spherical intraocular lens (IOL) implantation by use of well-tested techniques developed in our laboratory. By subtraction of corneal from total aberration maps, we also estimated the optical quality of the intraocular lens in vivo. We found that aberrations in pseudophakic eyes are not significantly different from aberrations in eyes before cataract surgery or from previously reported aberrations in healthy eyes of the same age. However, aberrations in pseudophakic eyes are significantly higher than in young eyes. We found a slight increase of corneal aberrations after surgery. The aberrations of the IOL and the lack of balance of the corneal spherical aberrations by the spherical aberrations of the intraocular lens also degraded the optical quality in pseudophakic eyes. We also measured the aberrations of the IOL in vitro, using an eye cell model, and simulated the aberrations of the IOL on the basis of the IOL’s physical parameters. We found a good agreement among in vivo, in vitro, and simulated measures of spherical aberration: Unlike the spherical aberration of the young crystalline lens, which tends to be negative, the spherical aberration of the IOL is positive and increases with lens power. Computer simulations and in vitro measurements show that tilts and decentrations might be contributors to the increased third-order aberrations in vivo in comparison with in vitro measurements.
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