The effect of pupil size on visual acuity in uncorrected and corrected myopia

Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1979 May;56(5):315-23. doi: 10.1097/00006324-197905000-00006.


The effect of pupil size on the relation between Snellen visual acuity and corrected and uncorrected myopia was examined for 22 young subjects with degrees of myopia ranging from 0.75 D to 7.5 D. Effective pupil size was varied by inducing mydriasis and then placing artificial pupils of between 1.0 and 8.0 mm diameter before the eye. Both a constant chart luminance of 120 cd/m2 and a constant retinal illuminance of 2150 trolands were used. There was little difference in results for the two lighting conditions. For the corrected myopes considered as a group, maximum visual acuity occurred for 2--3 mm diameter pupils, but larger pupils reduced acuity only marginally. For the uncorrected myopes, variation in pupil size produced a large variation in visual acuity, and for refractive errors greater than about 1.5 D, the optimum pupil diameter was less than 1 mm. For uncorrected myopes of 3.0 D or less, visual acuity was nearly as good with a 1-mm pupil as for corrected myopes. The presented data are a useful guide to the clinician.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Pupil / physiopathology*
  • Retina / physiology
  • Visual Acuity*