Refractive development of the human eye

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985 Jun;103(6):785-9. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1985.01050060045020.


A complete refractive investigation was performed on 148 normal eyes of 79 patients ranging from premature newborns to 36-year-old adults. Cycloplegic refraction, keratometry, and axial length measurements were performed. From these data, we then calculated the refractive power of the lens. The change with respect to age in these measurements was subjected to cross-sectional analysis. The full-term newborn eye had a mean axial length of 16.8 mm, a mean keratometric power of 51.2 diopters (spherical equivalent), and a mean lens power of 34.4 D. The adult values for these measurements were 23.6 mm, 43.5 D, and 18.8 D, respectively. This information concerning the expected change with age in the refractive components should aid in the refractive management of pediatric patients requiring cataract extraction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Infant, Premature
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology
  • Myopia / pathology
  • Refraction, Ocular*