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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 1999 Sep;16(9):2069-78.

Effect of aging on the monochromatic aberrations of the human eye.

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Department of Optometry, University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.


We measured the contrast sensitivity (CS) of a group of older subjects through natural pupils and compared the results with those from a group of younger subjects. We also measured each subject's monochromatic ocular wave-front aberrations using a crossed-cylinder aberroscope and calculated their modulation transfer functions (MTF's) and root-mean-squared (RMS) wave-front aberrations for fixed pupil diameters of 4 mm and 6 mm and for a natural pupil diameter. The CS at a natural pupil diameter and the MTF computed for a fixed pupil diameter were found to be significantly poorer for the older group than for the younger group. However, the older group showed very similar MTF's and significantly smaller RMS wave-front aberrations compared with the younger group at their natural pupil diameters, owing to the effects of age-related miosis. These results suggest that although monochromatic ocular wave-front aberrations for a given pupil size increase with age, the reduction in CS with age is not due to this increase.

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