Anterior segment anomalies and effects on visual quality

  • Samantha McGinnigle

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The tear film, cornea and lens dictate the refractive power of the eye and the retinal image quality is principally defined by diffraction, whole eye wavefront error, scatter, and chromatic aberration. Diffraction and wave aberration are fundamentally pupil diameter dependent; however scatter can be induced by refractive surgery and in the normal ageing eye becomes an increasingly important factor defining retinal image quality. The component of visual quality most affected by the tear film, refractive surgery and multifocal contact and intraocular lenses is the wave aberration of the eye. This body of work demonstrates the effects of each of these anomalies on the visual quality of the eye. When assessing normal or borderline self-diagnosed dry eye subjects using aberrometry, combining lubricating eye drops and spray does not offer any benefit over individual products. However, subjects perceive a difference in comfort for all interventions after one hour. Total higher order aberrations increase after laser assisted sub-epithelial keratectomy performed using a solid-state laser on myopes, but this causes no significant decrease in contrast sensitivity or increase in glare disability. Mean sensitivity and reliability indices for perimetry were comparable to pre-surgery results. Multifocal contact lenses and intraocular lenses are designed to maximise vision when the patient is binocular, so any evaluation of the eyes individually is confounded by reduced individual visual acuity and visual quality. Different designs of aspheric multifocal contact lenses do not provide the same level of visual quality. Multifocal contact lenses adversely affect mean deviation values for perimetry and this should be considered when screening individuals with multifocal contact or intraocular lenses. Photographic image quality obtained through a multifocal contact or intraocular lens appears to be unchanged. Future work should evaluate the effect of these anomalies in combination; with the aim of providing the best visual quality possible and supplying normative data for screening purposes.
Date of Award22 Oct 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorShehzad Naroo (Supervisor) & Frank Eperjesi (Supervisor)


  • dry eye
  • higher order aberrations
  • multifocal contact lens
  • refractice laser surgery
  • visual fields

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