purpose. To study the relationship between visual acuity (VA) and the eye’s optical quality in subjects with normal and excellent spatial vision. VA ranged from decimal values of 1.0 (20/20) to 2.0 (20/10) when defocus and astigmatism were carefully corrected.
methods. In 60 eyes of young subjects, visual and optical performance with the natural pupil were measured. A forced-choice procedure was used to measure tumbling-E high-contrast VA (HCVA) and low-contrast VA (LCVA). Wavefront aberration (WA) was measured using a Hartmann-Shack sensor. The associated point-spread function (PSF) and modulation transfer function (MTF) were also estimated. High-order aberrations (HOA) and several image quality parameters were represented as a function of VA. Subjects were classified into three groups according to their VA, and average optical parameters were calculated.
results. Coma and trefoil vary between 0 and 0.5 μm, and spherical aberration ranges from −0.40 μm to +0.45 μm, with an average value of approximately zero. LCVA is not correlated with any of the aberration terms. Coma and spherical aberration are not correlated with HCVA. However, eyes with trefoil equal to or higher than 0.25 μm have an HCVA less than 1.5. The average optical quality in eyes with HCVA greater than 1.4 is slightly better than in eyes with normal VA. However, some eyes had relatively poor image quality and excellent VA.
conclusions. No significant correlations were found between VA measurements and the optical quality of the eye in young subjects with normal or excellent spatial vision. Some subjects with normal degrees of aberrations attained excellent VA.