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Norberto López-Gil, Sofia C. Peixoto-de-Matos, Larry N. Thibos, José Manuel González-Méijome; Shedding light on night myopia. Journal of Vision 2012;12(5):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.5.4.
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First described during the 18th century, the cause of night myopia remains a controversial topic. Whereas several explanations have been suggested in the literature, particularly related with accommodation or chromatic shift in scotopic light conditions, no definitive explanation for its aetiology has been provided. We describe an experiment in which ocular refractive state was objectively and subjectively measured while viewing two kind of stimulus: letters on a bright background and a punctual source of light in a dark background. We found that under photopic conditions the optimum refractive state of the accommodating eye is significantly more myopic when maximizing perceived quality of a point source on a dark background compared to a conventional letter chart with black letters on a white background. Optical modeling suggested this difference in refractive state is due to spherical aberration. Since isolated point sources are more likely encountered at night, whereas extended objects are more likely encountered in the daytime, our results suggest that a significant part of the night myopia phenomenon is determined by the nature of the visual stimulus and the visual task used to assess ocular refractive state.
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