We explored effects of measurement conditions on wave aberration estimates for uncorrected, axially myopic model eyes. Wave aberrations were initially referenced to either the anterior corneal pole or the natural entrance pupil of symmetrical eye models, with rays traced into the eye from infinity (into the eye) to simulate normal vision, into the eye from infinity and then back out of the eye from the retinal intercepts (into/out of the eye), or out of the eye from the retinal fovea (out of the eye). The into-the-eye and out-of-the-eye ray traces gave increases in spherical aberration as myopia increased, but the into/out-of-the-eye ray trace showed little variation in spherical aberration. Reference plane choice also affected spherical aberration. Corresponding residual aberrations were calculated after the models had been optically corrected, either by placing the object or image plane at the paraxial far point or by modifying corneas to simulate laser ablation corrections. Correcting aberrations by ablation was more complete if the original aberrations were referenced to the cornea rather than to the entrance pupil. For eyes corrected by spectacle lenses, failure to allow for effects of pupil magnification on apparent entrance pupil diameter produced larger changes in measured aberrations. The general findings regarding choice of reference plane and direction of measurement were found to be equally applicable to eyes that lacked rotational symmetry.
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