Abstract

This study examines the extent to which a Zernike-based optical correction can restore acuity in keratoconus as a function of disease severity and contrast level. Increasingly complete Zernike corrections in the presence of Zernike-fit error were simulated. Acuity for keratoconic eyes with <60D maximum corneal power reached 2013 with a fifth-order Zernike correction under high-contrast conditions and exhibited a loss of 0.1 logMAR (minimum angle of resolution) (from 2032 to 2040) for low-contrast conditions. Acuity for keratoconic eyes with >60D maximum corneal power approached 2013 with sixth–tenth-order corrections under high-contrast conditions but did not return to similar levels with a tenth-order correction for low-contrast conditions. The results suggest that fit error affects visual performance for more difficult tasks and that restoring high-contrast acuity (2016 or better) using a fifth-order Zernike correction is not limited by Zernike-fit error for over 88% of keratoconus cases.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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