Modeling human eye aberrations and their compensation for high-resolution retinal imaging

Optom Vis Sci. 1998 Nov;75(11):827-39. doi: 10.1097/00006324-199811000-00025.


We introduced a mathematical eye model using Gullstrand's six-surface eye model modified by clinically measured aspherical data to study human eye aberrations and their compensation for high-resolution retinal imaging. Ray tracing was used to characterize aberrations and point spread functions (PSFs) of the eye model. By using the Zernike polynomial decomposition of the calculated pupil function, we quantified the wavefront aberrations. Based on calculated PSFs, we designed optical inverse filters to reduce the aberrations for a large pupil size and improve the resolution. Spherical aberration and oblique astigmatism were found to be in good agreement with published experimental measurements. Spherical aberration and defocus were the most significant aberrations for on-axis imaging, whereas oblique astigmatism and coma combined with spherical aberration and defocus were most significant for off-axis imaging. The best retinal image resolution occurred at 2- to 3-mm pupil diameter. After aberration correction for an 8-mm diameter pupil, the resolutions for on-axis or 9 degrees off-axis imaging points were very close to diffraction-limited resolutions. Over a limited field of view (FOV), retinal image resolution of the eye model can be greatly improved by aberration correction using aspheric and astigmatic lenses. For imaging large FOVs, space-variant compensation techniques will be required for aberration correction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astigmatism / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Retina / physiopathology*