The Development of Wavefront Technology and its Application to Ophthalmology
Wavefront technology was originally developed for the improvement of star images in optical astronomy. In 1978, this technology was for the first time applied to ophthalmology. At the University of Heidelberg, Germany, a closed loop adaptive optical system was designed to compensate for optical aberrations of the human eye. In the meantime, superresolution in retinal imaging has been achieved, providing detailed information on photoreceptors, small blood vessels, and nerve fiber structure in the human eye in vivo. Recently, new wavefront technology has been developed for the assessment of the human eye and it is now possible to apply a custom treatment to the eye, using the excimer laser. An adaptive optical closed loop system has been devised for preoperative simulation of refractive outcomes of aberration-free refractive surgical procedures. Treatment of a patient’s entire wavefront error has been demonstrated to improve the patient’s visual acuity beyond best spectacle-corrected vision.
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