The Effect of Pupil Size on Visual Acuity in Uncorrected and Corrected Myopia

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The effect of pupil size on the relation between Snellen visual acuity and corrected and uncorrected myopia was examined for 22 young subjects with degrees of myopia ranging from 0.75 D to 7.5 D. Effective pupil size was varied by inducing mydriasis and then placing artificial pupils of between 1.0 and 8.0 mm diameter before the eye. Both a constant chart luminance of 120 cd/m2 and a constant retinal illuminance of 2150 trolands were used. There was little difference in results for the two lighting conditions. For the corrected myopes considered as a group, maximum visual acuity occurred for 2-3 mm diameter pupils, but larger pupils reduced acuity only marginally. For the uncorrected myopes, variation in pupil size produced a large variation in visual acuity, and for refractive errors greater than about 1.5 D, the optimum pupil diameter was less than 1 mm. For uncorrected myopes of 3.0 D or less, visual acuity was nearly as good with a 1-mm pupil as for corrected myopes. The presented data are a useful guide to the clinician.

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