September 1984
Volume 25, Issue 9
Articles  |   September 1984
The effects of image degradation by cataract on vernier acuity.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 1984, Vol.25, 1043-1050. doi:
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      E A Essock, R A Williams, J M Enoch, S Raphael; The effects of image degradation by cataract on vernier acuity.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1984;25(9):1043-1050.

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

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The resistance of certain types of hyperacuity tasks (eg, vernier acuity) to optical degradation of the retinal image has been demonstrated previously. This suggests that such a task might provide a means of filling the clinical need for a reliable test of retinal function in the presence of cataracts and other ocular opacities. In the present study, we measure several aspects of vernier acuity performance in cataract patients. These data provide an early basis for the development of a vernier acuity test to detect retinal/neural visual loss prior to cataract surgery. We report the results of measurements in 15 cataract patients using a two-dot vernier acuity task with variable separation between the two dots (gap). The data indicate that the shape and mean level of the vernier threshold-versus-gap function co-vary with the functional severity of the opacity as corroborated by Snellen acuity measures. Furthermore, the optical effects of the cataracts we studied are very similar to the effects of degrading the visual stimulus by interposing ground glass for a normal observer. We conclude that the shape of the vernier threshold-versus-gap function is a good indicator of the functional severity of the cataract in patients with otherwise normal vision.


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