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May 1939


Author Affiliations


Arch Ophthalmol. 1939;21(5):833-843. doi:10.1001/archopht.1939.00860050117010

Refraction is a procedure of major importance in the practice of ophthalmology. The majority of all patients who consult the ophthalmologist do so because of refractive errors the proper correction of which relieves them of symptoms of ocular distress. It is well known, too, that refractive errors may be etiologically important when symptoms seem to indicate extraocular or intraocular disease. Thus in numerous instances symptoms of apparent muscle imbalance, psychogenic disorder or involvement of the central nervous system can be correctly evaluated only after existing refractive conditions have been thoroughly considered.

The numerous and diverse methods used for refraction may be divided into two general groups: the subjective and the objective. The first involves the use of visual acuity charts, trial lenses etc., and depends on the patient's judgment of his visual capacity with different lens combinations. Objective methods of refraction employ such instruments as the retinoscope and the ophthalmometer

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