More irregular eye shape in low myopia than in emmetropia.

Research paper by Juan J Tabernero, Frank F Schaeffel

Indexed on: 29 May '09Published on: 29 May '09Published in: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science


To improve the description of the peripheral eye shape in myopia and emmetropia by using a new method for continuous measurement of the peripheral refractive state.A scanning photorefractor was designed to record refractive errors in the vertical pupil meridian across the horizontal visual field (up to +/-45 degrees ). The setup consists of a hot mirror that continuously projects the infrared light from a photoretinoscope under different angles of eccentricity into the eye. The movement of the mirror is controlled by using two stepping motors. Refraction in a group of 17 emmetropic subjects and 11 myopic subjects (mean, -4.3 D; SD, 1.7) was measured without spectacle correction. For the analysis of eye shape, the refractive error versus the eccentricity angles was fitted with different polynomials (from second to tenth order).The new setup presents some important advantages over previous techniques: The subject does not have to change gaze during the measurements, and a continuous profile is obtained rather than discrete points. There was a significant difference in the fitting errors between the subjects with myopia and those with emmetropia. Tenth-order polynomials were required in myopic subjects to achieve a quality of fit similar to that in emmetropic subjects fitted with only sixth-order polynomials. Apparently, the peripheral shape of the myopic eye is more "bumpy."A new setup is presented for obtaining continuous peripheral refraction profiles. It was found that the peripheral retinal shape is more irregular even in only moderately myopic eyes, perhaps because the sclera lost some rigidity even at the early stage of myopia.