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Yung-Feng Shih, Ting-Hsuan Chiang, Luke L.-K. Lin; Lens Thickness Changes among Schoolchildren in Taiwan. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(6):2637-2644. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-3090.
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purpose. To explore the possible influence of ocular growth, refractive error and age on the crystalline lens in school-age children.
methods. A Taiwan nationwide survey of myopia performed in 2006 was used to determine the prevalence and severity of myopia and the changes in ocular components. A total of 11,656 students were enrolled, including 5,390 boys and 6,266 girls, with ages ranging from 7 to 18 years. Refractive status was measured with an autorefractometer with the subject under cycloplegia. Lens thickness, anterior chamber depth, and axial length were measured with biometric ultrasound.
results. Data revealed that the crystalline lens became thinner between the ages of 7 and 11. Subsequent increases in the lens thickness correlated with age and the stability of myopia. This phenomenon was found not only in myopic eyes, but also in emmetropic and hyperopic eyes. The changes in anterior chamber depth inversely correlated with the changes in the lens. In school-age children, the ratio of lens/axial length was found to be significant: ∼0.147 in the emmetropic group. However the ratio was seen to increase with age. The ratio of anterior segment/axial length was found to be approximately 0.3 in emmetropic eyes among all age groups and less than 0.3 in the myopic eyes of schoolchildren.
conclusions. Lens thinning appeared to be compensatory in nature with respect to the increased axial length of normal eye growth. Myopic eye growth induces the lens to compensate by becoming much thinner. The change in anterior chamber depth corresponded inversely with lens thickness.
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