There is large evidence, primarily from experimental animal models, that poor retinal image quality during development results in myopia. On the other hand human high myopes tend to have larger amounts of optical aberrations. We address the question whether optical aberrations are a cause or a consequence of myopia.
Cross-sectional studies of the structural and optical properties of the ocular components in human eyes (myopic and hyperopic) allow to understand the sources of optical aberrations and differences across refractive errors. We found statistically significant differences in corneal asphericity and spherical aberration between two age-matched, absulte refractive-error matched groups of myopes and hyperopes (Llorente et al. 2004).
Experiments in experimental animal models of myopia (form-deprived chicks with diffusers) allow us to investigate longitudinal changes in aberrations during development in the normal and myopic eye. We also investigate alternative myopia models in chicks (by corneal refractive surgery) and optical aberrations in a mouse model.
We found that optical quality in young chicks improves with development in both normal and form-deprived eyes that develop myopia, although the myopic eyes show slightly lower quality than the contralateral untreated eyes (Garcia de la Cera et al. 2006
). Alternatively, eyes with artificially increased aberrations (through refractive surgery) did not develop myopia. (Garcia de la Cera et al. 2007
Mice show a poor optical quality, compared to humans or chicks (Garcia de la Cera et al 2006b). Knowledge of optical aberrations in mice is important to understand their response to form deprivation, or to address their potential correction with adaptive optics in retinal disease models in mice.