April 1994
Volume 35, Issue 5
Articles  |   April 1994
Evaluating diffusion of light in the eye by objective means.
Author Affiliations
  • G Westheimer
    Division of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.
  • J Liang
    Division of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 1994, Vol.35, 2652-2657. doi:
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      G Westheimer, J Liang; Evaluating diffusion of light in the eye by objective means.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(5):2652-2657.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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PURPOSE: The authors have developed an index of diffusion that describes the relative spread of light inside and outside the region of image focus of the living human eye. It provides in numerical terms a measure of light scatter and can be used to characterize the optical deficit in eyes with age- and disease-related abnormalities of the anterior segment. METHOD: An improved version of the double-pass method of examining the aerial image formed by reflection of the retinal image of a point source is employed, together with a new way of analyzing the image. Experimental estimation shows the contaminating effect of back scatter from the media and corneal reflection to be negligible. Measurements are objective and do not require any responses on the part of the patient. Data become available practically on-line. RESULTS: Index of diffusion values were obtained on 13 patients and varied from 0.22 to 1.04, strongly tending to increase with age. They are rather robust to pupil size, exposure duration, and small amounts of defocus. CONCLUSION: The index appears to provide a promising measure of optical performance of the media of the anterior segment of the eye, which might be useful in studying the effect of aging, injury, and disease.


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