An optical study of human ocular dimensions

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Many workers have studied the ocular components which occur in eyes exhibiting differing amounts of central refractive error but few have ever considered the additional information that could be derived from a study of peripheral refraction. Before now, peripheral refraction has either been measured in real eyes or has otherwise been modelled in schematic eyes of varying levels of sophistication. Several differences occur between measured and modelled results which, if accounted for, could give rise to more information regarding the nature of the optical and retinal surfaces and their asymmetries. Measurements of ocular components and peripheral refraction, however, have never been made in the same sample of eyes. In this study, ocular component and peripheral refractive measurements were made in a sample of young near-emmetropic, myopic and hyperopic eyes. The data for each refractive group was averaged. A computer program was written to construct spherical surfaced schematic eyes from this data. More sophisticated eye models were developed making use of linear algebraic ray tracing program. This method allowed rays to be traced through toroidal aspheric surfaces which were translated or rotated with respect to each other. For simplicity, the gradient index optical nature of the crystalline lens was neglected. Various alterations were made in these eye models to reproduce the measured peripheral refractive patterns. Excellent agreement was found between the modelled and measured peripheral refractive values over the central 70o of the visual field. This implied that the additional biometric features incorporated in each eye model were representative of those which were present in the measured eyes. As some of these features are not otherwise obtainable using in vivo techniques, it is proposed that the variation of refraction in the periphery offers a very useful optical method for studying human ocular component dimensions.
Date of Award1987
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDerek A. Barnes (Supervisor)


  • human
  • ocular dimensions

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