Visual acuity with computer simulated and lens-induced astigmatism

The relationship between spherical and astigmatic refractive errors and their associated visual acuity is investigated in this work by means of two different approaches. In the first one, different refractive errors were induced in normal subjects by trial lenses. In the second one, defocused images were simulated numerically by the optical transfer function of a model eye and then judged by the same subjects. The amount of defocus (measured in terms of the modulus of the dioptric power vector) necessary to reduce the visual acuity to 0.1 logMAR and to 0.4 logMAR was computed with each method and then compared. We found that the visual system is clearly more tolerant to lens-induced defocus than for the computer simulated one. However, no significant differences in visual acuity were found for astigmatism of the same power but different axes in each method.