In the first part of this chapter, the optical condition of astigmatism is defined. The main causes and available classifications of ocular astigmatism are briefly described. The most relevant optical properties of image formation in an astigmatic eye are analysed and compared to that of an emmetropic eye and an eye with spherical ametropia. The spectacle prescription and axis notation for astigmatism are introduced, and the correction of astigmatism by means of lenses is briefly described.
The formation of the retinal image for extended objects and the related blurring are also analysed, and the real limits of tolerance of uncorrected astigmatism are provided. Simulations of retinal images in astigmatic eyes, obtained by means of commercial optical design software, are also presented.
Finally, the clinical assessment of retinal image quality by means of wavefront aberrometry and double-pass systems in eyes with astigmatism is presented, and current trends in research related to this topic are highlighted.
CitationVilaseca, M. [et al.]. Optics of astigmatism and retinal image quality. A: "Astigmatism – Optics, physiology and management". INTECH, 2012, p. 33-56.
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