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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 2000
  • pp: 1697–1702

Optical aberrations of the human cornea as a function of age

Antonio Guirao, Manuel Redondo, and Pablo Artal  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 17, Issue 10, pp. 1697-1702 (2000)

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We investigated how the optical aberrations associated with the anterior surface of the human cornea change with age in a normal population. Aberrations were computed for a central part of the cornea (4, 5, and 6 mm in diameter) from the elevation data provided by a videokeratographic system. Measurements were obtained in 59 normal healthy, near-emmetropic [spherical equivalent lower than 2 diopters (D)] subjects of three age ranges: younger (20–30 years old), middle-aged (40–50 years old), and older (60–70 years old). The average corneal radius decreased with age and the cornea became more spherical. As a consequence, spherical aberration was significantly larger in the middle-aged and older corneas. Coma and other higher-order aberrations also were correlated with age. The root mean square of the wave aberration exhibited a linear positive correlation (P<0.003) with age for the three ranges of pupil diameter. Despite a large intersubject variability, the average amount of aberration in the human cornea tends to increase moderately with age. However, this increase alone is not enough to explain the substantial reduction previously found in retinal image quality with age. The change in the aberrations of the lens with age and the possible loss of part of the balance between corneal and lenticular aberrations in youth may be the main factors responsible for the reduction of retinal image quality through the life span.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.4460) Vision, color, and visual optics : Ophthalmic optics and devices
(330.5370) Vision, color, and visual optics : Physiological optics
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

Original Manuscript: February 4, 2000
Revised Manuscript: May 31, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: May 31, 2000
Published: October 1, 2000

Antonio Guirao, Manuel Redondo, and Pablo Artal, "Optical aberrations of the human cornea as a function of age," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1697-1702 (2000)

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