Article Date: 4/1/2013

Instrument Focus
instrument focus

Splitting the Difference

Device offers alternate way to administer astigmatism test.



The nature of astigmatism necessitates the use of several tests to identify its presence and severity. While the corneal imaging techniques used in astigmatism assessment have undergone huge advancements in recent years, the determination of astigmatic refractive error has remained at a stand-still.

As eye specialists continue to search for effective ways to manage patients and encourage patient proactivity, the CV-5000S, from Topcon Medical Systems Inc., provides a tool for determining astigmatic refractive error.


The Topcon CV-5000S is an automated vision testing system that features a simultaneous cross cylinder test. This makes the measurement of cylinder power and axis accurate for astigmatic patients.

The system also offers the option of switching between two different forms of the test: two images in a simultaneous split-screen or successive images, which is similar to the format of the Jackson cross cylinder test.

Also, the CV-5000S offers the benefit of PC-compatible controller software, provision of 21-point refraction and an automatic vision tester head that allows highspeed lens rotation during eye examinations.

The system is EHR-compatible as well, which enhances my practice’s efficiency. By allowing the data being collected to be immediately sent to the EHR, transcription errors associated with manual data entry are eliminated. The paperless test also helps to improve our practice’s data management and workflow efficiency, since all the data from the lensmeter, autorefractor/tonometer and CV-5000S is automatically sent to the patient record.

In addition, the CV-5000S features a design that is small enough to fit on a desktop. I’ve found this eliminates the discomfort and shoulder pain that I have experienced when manipulating a phoropter. Further discomfort and inconvenience is avoided by the system’s automated action, which ensures that the user never has to reach for the projector.


The Topcon CV-5000S is an automated vision testing system that features a simultaneous cross cylinder test.


The O.D. touches the screen to select the desired test, and, in doing so, the chart changes and the test lenses (if required) automatically drop into place.

The Topcon CV-5000S simultaneous cross cylinder test presents the red and green-framed images simultaneously in a split-screen. As such, the optometrist can assess views of the front and the rear of the Jackson cross cylinder at the same time, rather than one after another. And as the patient sees both images together, he/she can be confident that he/she has correctly identified the sharper image and does not have to waste time going back to previous images to clarify the answer.

The device’s LED illumination provides adequate lighting for the near test chart without the need of additional external illumination. The user can observe the patient’s expression during the refraction.

By improving my patients’ understanding of the image comparisons during the examination, I have found that the astigmatic refraction examination now progresses more smoothly than in the past.


Topcon offers on-site training and helps to set up the new device. With their help, we had the CV-5000S up and running within one day. We have also used follow-up support via phone and e-mail for questions.

Return on investment

I have found that, because of the split screen image-viewing offered by the CV-5000S, I get to my end point about six minutes earlier than with the Jackson cross cylinder test. If I see 10 astigmatic patients in one day, using the device saves me about an hour.

Further, the device has the added benefit of improving patient care. If patients don’t like a particular test, they attend clinic as infrequently as possible. By the time an optometrist sees a patient who has been delaying his/her astigmatism examination, his/her vision may have worsened significantly. Eliminating confusion makes patients more diligent clinic attendees.

The combination of time-saving and patient satisfaction provided by the Topcon CV-5000S presents an opportunity to advance the assessment of astigmatism-related refractive error in the same direction as the rest of the optometric field.

Both patients and optometrists can reap benefits from this method of testing. OM


Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: April 2013, page(s): 46 47