Age and the transmittance of the human crystalline lens

J Physiol. 1988 Jan;395:577-87. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1988.sp016935.


1. Conflicting data both on the transmission of the human crystalline lens in the ultra-violet part of the spectrum and on its variation with age necessitate a re-examination of the subject. 2. Twenty-four excised lenses in the age range of 0-85 years were studied with a Perkin-Elmer spectrophotometer between 327 and 700 nm. 3. Some lenses were homogenized and the homogenates were similarly examined. 4. A systematic increase in absorbance with age was observed both in the visible and the ultra-violet parts of the spectrum. 5. An exponential function describes the data, facilitating comparison with, and prediction of, other values. 6. The absorbance of homogenized material was found to be predictable from that of intact lenses, and does not support the notion that mechanical trauma may account for high values in earlier studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology*
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Ultraviolet Rays