Age-related changes in corneal and ocular higher-order wavefront aberrations

Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;137(6):988-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2004.01.005.


Purpose: To investigate age-related changes in ocular and corneal higher-order wavefront aberrations and elucidate relative contributions of the cornea and the lens in the age-related changes.

Design: Observational case series.

Methods: Corneal and ocular higher-order wavefront aberrations in the central 6 mm diameter were measured with videokeratography and the Hartmann-Shack wavefront aberrometer in 75 normal eyes of 75 patients with a mean age of 43.5 +/- 11.7 years (range, 18-69 years). Higher-order wavefront aberrations were calculated with Zernike polynomials up to sixth order. From the Zernike coefficients, we calculated root mean square (RMS) of coma and spherical aberration. To examine age-related changes of the polarity of spherical aberration, the changes of the Zernike coefficient Z(4)(0) was also investigated.

Results: Both corneal (r =.307, P =.007) and ocular (r =.334, P =.0033) coma RMS showed positive correlations with age. There was a positive correlation between corneal and ocular coma RMS (r =.468, P <.0001). The RMS of corneal spherical aberration did not change with aging (r =.153, P =.1895), whereas the RMS of ocular spherical aberration had a positive correlation with aging (r =.308, P =.0068).

Conclusions: These results suggest that the ocular coma increases with age, mainly because of the increase in the corneal coma, and the ocular spherical aberration increases with age, mainly because of the increase in the spherical aberration in the internal optics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Cornea / physiopathology*
  • Corneal Topography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology