Author(s): Timberlake GT, Doane MG, Bertera JH
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Abstract Hydrogel contact lens surfaces partially desiccate during extended interblink intervals, producing a microscopically rough and irregular surface that scatters light. Such light scattering could reduce retinal image contrast, elevating thresholds for target perception. To test this idea, we measured low (7\%)-contrast visual acuity of subjects who wore: (1) hydrogel contact lenses, (2) rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, and (3) no contact lenses when the subjects blinked normally and when they suppressed blinking. Acuity thresholds were determined using computer-generated acuity stimuli and a staircase psychophysical procedure. Cessation of blinking resulted in small reductions in low-contrast acuity for subjects wearing RGP lenses (mean loss: 0.1 line) or no lenses (mean loss: 0.3 lines). Subjects wearing hydrogel lenses, however, generally exhibited substantial reduction of acuity (mean loss: 4.1 lines) when blinking was suppressed.
This article was published in Optom Vis Sci
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology