Bi-directional Refractive Compensation for With-the-Rule and Against-the-Rule Astigmatism in Young Adults

Kin-Ho Chan, Ho-Tin Shik, Kwan William Kwok, Chea-Su Kee, Tsz-Wing Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term effect of imposing astigmatism on the refractive states of young adults.

Nineteen visually healthy low-astigmatic young adults (age = 20.94 ± 0.37 years; spherical-equivalent errors [M] = −1.47 ± 0.23 diopters [D]; cylindrical errors = −0.32 ± 0.05 D) were recruited. They were asked to wear a trial frame with treated and control lenses while watching a video for an hour. In three separate visits, the treated eye was exposed to one of three defocused conditions in random sequence: (1) with-the-rule (WTR) astigmatism = +3.00 DC × 180 degrees; (2) against-the-rule (ATR) astigmatism = +3.00 DC × 90 degrees; and (3) spherical defocus (SPH) = +3.00 DS. The control eye was fully corrected optically. Before and after watching the video, non-cycloplegic autorefraction was performed over the trial lenses. Refractive errors were decomposed into M, J0, and J45 astigmatism. Interocular differences in refractions (treated eye – control eye) were analyzed.

After participants watched the video with monocular astigmatic defocus for an hour, the magnitude of the J0 astigmatism was significantly reduced by 0.25 ± 0.10 D in both WTR (from +1.53 ± 0.07 D to +1.28 ± 0.09 D) and 0.39 ± 0.15 D in ATR conditions (from −1.33 ± 0.06 D to −0.94 ± 0.18 D), suggesting an active compensation. In contrast, changes in J0 astigmatism were not significant in the SPH condition. No compensatory changes in J45 astigmatism or M were found under any conditions.

Watching a video for an hour with astigmatic defocus induced bidirectional, compensatory changes in astigmatic components, suggesting that refractive components of young adults are moldable to compensate for orientation-specific astigmatic blur over a short period.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022


  • astigmatism
  • compensation
  • adaptation
  • astigmatic defocus


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