If you’re a fan of photography or astronomy, you’re probably familiar with the term “aperture.” By definition, an aperture is a “hole or opening through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument.” But the definition doesn’t do justice to its far-reaching uses and benefits. In fact, did you know that the simple concept of reducing aperture size is the crux of modern technologies that provide cataract patients with a full range of vision from near to far?
To understand how aperture works, let’s start by looking at a camera.
How Does an Aperture Work in Photography
On a camera, the aperture, or opening of the lens is called an f-stop. It determines how much light comes in and therefore how much is in focus in front of and behind the subject (also called depth of field). The higher the lens’ f-stop number is set (for example f/22 or f/23), the smaller the aperture. You may hear small aperture sometimes referred to as slow aperture because the small opening lets in less light and therefore requires a longer shutter speed to compensate. One area small aperture is frequently used is in landscape photography. It allows the image to be focused on both the foreground and the background at the same time.
How Does an Aperture Work in Astronomy
Another area where aperture principles are used is in astronomy, specifically in telescopes. Telescopes rely on the principles of aperture size to help people see far-off objects in space. Unlike a camera, the term aperture when used in relation to a telescope does not refer to the opening of the lens but rather the diameter of optical element, which is either a lens or a mirror depending on the type of telescope. The larger the aperture, the more light can enter the scope, making images appear brighter and sharper. By adjusting aperture size objects can be brought into clear focus.
What Does an Aperture Have To Do With Cataract Surgery
Sometime in our 40s and 50s, we begin to notice a decrease in our quality of vision. It typically starts with blurry near vision, known as presbyopia, and progresses to a loss of image sharpness due to the formation of cataracts. All of this is due to changes in the natural lens of the eye as we age. Common corrections for presbyopia include using reading glasses or contact lenses that enhance near vision. But for cataracts that have developed enough to interfere with everyday vision, the only solution is cataract surgery, which involves removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens or IOL.
Until more recently, IOLs were typically designed to correct vision at one distance, usually far vision, thus requiring glasses after surgery for near and intermediate vision. But new technologies employing the principles of the aperture, much like in a camera, allow people to seamlessly see both far and near.
What is the IC-8 Lens
One such new technology is called the IC-8 lens. It’s a clear artificial lens (an IOL) with a small mini-ring in the center that funnels light through its center, only allowing focused light rays to enter the eye. It puts the principles of small aperture to work, restoring the eye’s natural range of vision.
The IC-8 lens is ideal for individuals who want to see clearly across the entire range of vision so that they can read an SMS, watch television and drive without having to rely on glasses or contact lenses.
Want to learn more about the IC-8 lens? Read more and take a look at this this short video to find out how the IC-8 lens is bringing back every day vision.
Now that you have an understanding of how an aperture affects visual images, you can see your world in a whole new way!
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