Eye alignment
: a novel approach

  • Joseph Davies

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis describes the design and development of an eye alignment/tracking system which allows self alignment of the eye’s optical axis with a measurement axis.

Eye alignment is an area of research largely over-looked, yet it is a fundamental requirement in the acquisition of clinical data from the eye. New trends in the ophthalmic market, desiring portable hand-held apparatus, and the application of ophthalmic measurements in areas other than vision care have brought eye alignment under new scrutiny. Ophthalmic measurements taken in hand-held devices with out an clinician present requires alignment in an entirely new set of circumstances, requiring a novel solution.

In order to solve this problem, the research has drawn upon eye tracking technology to monitor the eye, and a principle of self alignment to perform alignment correction. A handheld device naturally lends itself to the patient performing alignment, thus a technique has been designed to communicate raw eye tracking data to the user in a manner which allows the user to make the necessary corrections.

The proposed technique is a novel methodology in which misalignment to the eye’s optical axis can be quantified, corrected and evaluated. The technique uses Purkinje Image tracking to monitor the eye’s movement as well as the orientation of the optical axis. The use of two sets of Purkinje Images allows quantification of the eye’s physical parameters needed for accurate Purkinje Image tracking, negating the need for prior anatomical data. An instrument employing the methodology was subsequently prototyped and validated, allowing a sample group to achieve self alignment of their optical axis with an imaging axis within 16.5-40.8 s, and with a rotational precision of 0.03-0.043°(95% confidence intervals).

By encompassing all these factors the technique facilitates self alignment from an unaligned position on the visual axis to an aligned position on the optical axis. The consequence of this is that ophthalmic measurements, specifically pachymetric measurements, can be made in the absence of an optician, allowing the use of ophthalmic instrumentation and measurements in health professions other than vision care.
Date of Award30 Jan 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMark Prince (Supervisor) & James Wolffsohn (Supervisor)


  • alignment
  • purkinje images
  • self alignment
  • optical axis

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