Quantitative photorefraction using an off-center flash source.

School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
American journal of optometry and physiological optics 01/1989; 65(12):962-71. DOI: 10.1097/00006324-198812000-00008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT When an eye is refracted by "eccentric photorefraction" with a flash source off-centered from a camera lens, a crescent of light is formed in the margin of the pupil. The size of the crescent varies directly with the eye's refractive error. This photographic method has been used in vision screening studies of young children where the appearance of a crescent indicated that the refractive error was above a certain threshold. Usually quantification of the refraction could not be achieved by the photorefractor but relied upon subsequent testing using retinoscopy. My research aimed to expand eccentric photorefraction so as to enable it to provide quantification of the eye's refractive error. This was achieved by varying the eccentricity of the flash source from the camera lens and then calibrating the instrument over a large range of refractive errors. The calibration modified a previously derived optical relation which defined the eye's refractive error in terms of the eccentricity of the source for a given pupil size. Eccentric photorefraction of 26 infants and children aged 7 to 48 months showed a good correlation with retinoscopy (r = 0.82). It is concluded that this method would be complementary to other photorefractive methods (e.g., isotropic) particularly as it is able to measure a large range of refractive errors once the astigmatic meridians of the eye are known.