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A N D

E X P E R I M E N T A L

OPTOMETRY

ORIGINAL PAPER

lens field expander

George C Woo* OD PhD

Brian Ing OD

Man-ho Lee* BSc (Hons)

* Department of Optometry and

Radiography, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Barrie Ontario

Accepted for publication: 12 February 2001

In 1984, Kozlowski, Mainster and Avila derived a formula for the power of the lens

needed in the negative lens field expander. Their method is based on the principle of

telescopic magnification. In this technical note, we use the principle of spectacle

magnification and obtain the power of the same lens. Both methods are presented for

comparison. Practitioners may choose either method in determining the power of the

negative lens field expander for their low vision patients, but the spectacle magnification

method has the advantages of simplicity and familiarity to ophthalmic practitioners.

(Clin Exp Optom 2001; 84: 3: 162164)

To enable low vision patients with peripheral field loss to improve mobility and

general orientation in unknown surroundings, a simple, inexpensive field

expansion device is usually used. The device is a hand-held negative-power, largediameter lens placed at a fixed distance

in front of the eye. It is analogous to a

reverse Galilean telescope, where the

hand-held negative lens represents the

objective and the accommodation of the

patient represents its ocular (eyepiece).

When a reverse Galilean telescope is used

as a field expander in the conventional

way, there is usually a lack of correlation

between the size of the patients residual

visual field and the field of view obtained

by the device. Based on the principle

of magnification of the telescope,

Kozlowski, Mainster and Avila1 derived a

few simple formulae, taking the visual

field factor into consideration. In this

technical note, an alternate method to

obtain the same entity is presented. The

principle of spectacle magnification is

expander as a simple spectacle lens.

Before prescribing the negative lens,

the maximum distance at which a lens of

a given diameter (d ) is held from the

reduced eyes nodal point is calculated in

order to obtain the largest possible field

of view without excessive loss of visual

acuity. If the lens were moved too far from

or too close to the eye, it would subtend

too small or too large an angle. In the case

where a small angle is subtended, the peripheral visual field would not be used and

there would be excessive loss of visual

acuity. For the large angle subtended, the

periphery of the lens would be projected

onto the scotomatous area and the lenss

larger diameter would not be fully used.

Kozlowski, Mainster and Avila 1 used

Equation 1 below to obtain the desired

distance (t).

The maximum distance (t) at which a

lens of a given diameter (d) is held from

the reduced eyes nodal point (N ) is calculated, as shown in Figure 1.

Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.3 May 2001

162

By trigonometry,

t=

d

2tan

(1)

Where d is the diameter of the lens in metres, t is the distance of the lens from the

nodal point (N) of the eye and is the

half angle of the patients remaining visual

field.

When is a small angle in radian, tan

t= d

2

When is in degrees,

t=

d

2( /180 )

28.6d

30d

(2)

principle of telescopic magnification and

noted that the angular magnification

depends on the equivalent power of the

eyepiece and the objective lens:

Fe

Fo

Where M is the magnification, F e the

equivalent powers of the eyepiece and Fo

the power of the objective lens.

The field expander is treated as a

reverse Galilean telescopic system. The

negative lens represents the objective (Fo )

and the positive Fresnel lens attached to

the patients standard spectacle correction

and/or the patients accommodation

(Acc) represents the eyelens (Fe ).The magnification (M) of the system is:

M= -

M= -

Acc

Fe

=Fo

Fo

at the reduced eyes nodal point (N )

angle 2

(3)

In order to obtain a clear view for distance,

when the lens is held in front of the eye,

as shown in Figure 2, accommodation

(Acc) required of the patient is equal to

the reciprocal of distance (t) minus focal

length (1/[t-f ]), where the focal length (f )

of the negative lens is negative.

Acc =

(4)

t-(1/Fo )

where f = 1/Fo

expander user

the Equation 3, the formula for the power

of the lens to be used (Fo ) is determined.

M=

1

1-tF0

By rearrangement,

F0 =

M-1

Mt

1-M in

t

formula is presented below. The principle of spectacle magnification (SM) is

used in the derivation. The field expander

device is treated as a simple spectacle lens

instead of a reverse Galilean telescope system. The distance (te ) is treated as vertex

distance of the negative lens from the

entrance pupil (E ) of the eye which is

close to the eyes nodal point.

Clinical and Experimental Optometry 84.3 May 2001

163

in Figure 3, where P1 , P2 are the first and

second principal planes of the negative

lens respectively, h' is the height of the

image formed, te is the distance of the lens

from the entrance pupil of the eye, t is

the distance of the lens from the nodal

point of the eye, f is the equivalent focal

length of the lens, 1 is the angle subtended by the image at the centre E of

the entrance pupil, 2 is the angle subtended by distant object at P2.

tan 1 =

h'

te - f

tan 2 =

h'

-f

SM =

SM =

tan 1

h'/(te - f)

=

tan 2

h'/ f

1

1 - te Fo

M=

tan 10

10

tan 30

30

= 0.333

Practically, the value is approximately

equal to the ratio of the original field to

the expanded field.

The maximum eye lens distance (t ) is

calculated from Equation (2).

t=

30d

(30)(0.035)

=

5

= 0.21 m

By the equation derived from telescopic

magnification,

Fo =

M-1

Mt

0.333 -1

(0.333)(0.21)

- 0.667

0.07

By rearrangement,

1

= 1 - te Fo

SM

Min = 1 - te Fo

Fo =

1-Min

te

factor

=

Since te t,

M-1

Mte

M-1

M-1

Mte

Mt

=

1 - Min

t

of the spectacle magnification equation.

To illustrate the application of the two

methods, the following example is given.

A young emmetrope suffered from

retinitis pigmentosa. His visual field was

only 10 degrees in diameter and it was

found that a minimum field of view of 30

degrees was needed for mobility. A negative lens 35 mm in diameter is used in this

case. The magnification M of the system is

= -9.53 D

By the equation derived from spectacle

magnification,

SM =

1

1 - t Fo

By rearrangement,

Fo =

(1-Min )

t

=

1-3

0.21

= -9.53 D

Thus the equation for spectacle magnification can also be used to obtain the

power of the lens. Spectacle magnification

is based on angular magnification. It is

simple and is familiar to ophthalmic

practitioners.

164

REFERENCE

1. Kozlowski JM, Mainster MA, Avila MP.

Negativelens field expander. Arch

Ophthalmol 1984; 102: 1182-1184.

Authors address:

Professor George Woo

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hung Hom, Kowloon

Hong Kong SAR

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