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James S. McLellan, Susana Marcos, Stephen A. Burns; Age-Related Changes in Monochromatic Wave Aberrations of the Human Eye. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(6):1390-1395.
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purpose. To investigate the relations between age and the optical aberrations of
the whole eye. The eye’s optical quality, as measured by the
modulation transfer function (MTF), degrades with age, but the MTF does
not provide a means to assess the contributions of individual
aberrations, such as coma, spherical aberration, and other higher order
aberrations to changes in optical quality. The method used in this
study provides measures of individual aberrations and overall optical
methods. Wave aberrations in 38 subjects were measured psychophysically using a
spatially resolved refractometer. Data were fit with Zernike
polynomials up to the seventh order to provide estimates of 35
individual aberration terms. MTFs and root mean square (RMS) wavefront
errors were calculated. Subjects ranged in age from 22.9 to 64.5 years,
with spherical equivalent corrections ranging from +0.5 to −6.0 D.
results. Overall RMS wavefront error (excluding tilts, astigmatism, and defocus)
was significantly positively correlated with age (r = 0.33, P = 0.042). RMS error for the highest order
aberrations measured (fifth through seventh order) showed a strong
positive correlation with age (r = 0.57, P = 0.0002). Image quality, as quantified by the
MTF, also degraded with age.
conclusions. Wave aberrations of the eye increase with age. This increase is
consistent with the loss of contrast sensitivity with age observed by
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