The Rodenstock Optic Nerve Head Analyzer was used to study the age distribution of the neuroretinal rim area in 194 eyes of 122 normal subjects aged 7-84 years. No significant linear correlation was found between neuroretinal rim area and age. Linear regression analysis of the neuroretinal rim area in the temporal disc quadrant as a function of age led to the following equation: y = 0.00029x + 0.245; r = 0.052. Linear regression analysis of the neuroretinal rim area in the total disc as a function of age led to the following equation: y = 0.001x + 1.314; r = 0.0053. The 99% confidence limits of the regression slope ranged from -0.0025 to + 0.0045 (temporal disc quadrant) and from -0.00077 to + 0.0013 (total disc), respectively. A nonlinear correlation between neuroretinal rim area and age is very unlikely. Using the Mann-Whitney U-test, no statistically significant difference between the smallest (group of subjects aged 7-19 years) and the largest mean neuroretinal rim area (group of subjects aged 30-39 years) was detectable. From our data we conclude that there are no age-related changes in the neuroretinal rim area as measured with the Optic Nerve Head Analyzer. Changes in the neuroretinal rim area during follow-up examinations of glaucoma suspects may therefore be interpreted as an important sign of early glaucomatous damage. This confirms our previous suggestion that follow-up examinations of the optic disc structure with the Rodenstock Optic Nerve Head Analyzer are useful to confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma, even at a stage where a visual field loss cannot yet be detected by routine perimetry.