Wave-front analysis data from the human eye are commonly presented using the aberration coefficient (primary spherical aberration) together with an overall measure of all higher-order aberrations. If groups of subjects are compared, however, the relevance of an observed difference cannot easily be assessed from these summary aberration measures. A method was developed for estimating various optical variables relevant to visual perception from summary wave-front analysis data. These variables were the myopic shift (the difference in the optimal focus between high and low spatial frequencies, a threat to the simultaneous in-focus viewing of fine and coarse patterns), the depth-of-focus (at 8 cpd), and the modulation transfer at high (16 cpd; reading small print) and low (4 cpd; edge detection) spatial frequencies. The depth-of-focus was defined in two ways: using a relative measure (the full width at half-height of the through-focus curve) and an absolute measure (the range where the through-focus curve exceeds a predefined modulation transfer value). The method was shown to be accurate by using previously published contrast sensitivity data and wave-front analysis data. The applicability of the method was illustrated by applying the method to wave-front analysis measurements performed in pseudophakic patients with aspheric and spherical intraocular lenses.
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