April 28, 2008, Cleveland, OH and Paris, France--Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic's Cole Eye Institute are using Imagine Eyes' crx1 Adaptive Optics Visual Simulator to explore noninvasive techniques for improving the quality of vision in refractive-surgery patients.
During the 2008 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO; Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Dr. Karolinne Maia Rocha, a member of Dr. Ronald Krueger's team at the Cleveland Clinic's Cole Eye Institute, will present results from studies showing that manipulating depth of focus (DOF) significantly improved overall visual acuity in most subjects. This preliminary study was designed to set the stage for upcoming experiments at the Clinic that will focus on developing novel techniques that may help refractive surgeons improve post-operative results, most notably for presbyopic patients.
Imagine Eyes loaned a crx1 Adaptive Optics Visual Simulator to the Cleveland Clinic in October 2007 to enable Dr. Krueger and his team to investigate the device's clinical applications in the field of custom wavefront guided refractive surgery. "Using adaptive optics to simulate and study the effects of potential surgical corrections without actually performing them offers us a unique opportunity to explore numerous avenues without risk to patients" notes Ron Krueger, MD. "This is the first time that this kind of technology will be used in experiments conducted in a clinical environment. We are very eager to learn how different optical factors play into human vision and to discover new surgical techniques based on exploiting them."
Over the course of 2008, researchers at the Clinic will concentrate on examining the impact of higher-order aberrations on vision. Higher-order aberrations are those that fall outside of the traditional lower-order sphero-cylinder aberrations that are commonly measured to perform standard refractive surgery or to prescribe optical corrections including spectacle and contact lenses. Because the crx1 allows professionals to simulate and measure both higher and lower-order aberrations, users can freely explore the effects that various corrections would have on visual acuity and patient comfort in a risk-free manner.
"It is very exciting to be at the forefront of research that may very soon play a role in improving the quality of life for so many people," Dr. Roche says. "The crx1 has provided us with the ability to simulate a wide variety of potential corrections, to objectively asses their effect on subjects' vision, and to receive feedback from subjects on comfort versus visual acuity while they are experiencing the simulated vision. The improvement in acuity that many subjects demonstrated when we modified their DOF was truly remarkable and shows real promise for developing future surgical techniques that may be employed to treat presbyopic patients."
Recent advances in refractive surgery techniques, notably custom wavefront guided LASIK, have drastically improved post-operative patient satisfaction by enabling surgeons to custom-tailor laser ablation patterns to individual patient needs. Future experiments with the crx1 at the Cleveland Clinic will aim to further surgeons' abilities to improve patient satisfaction.