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Optical Properties of the Eye and Their Changes Over the Lifespan in Normal Eyes

We have measured the optical quality in normal developing eyes and have compared its changes to models of growth. We have shown that the image quality improves faster than model predictions, suggesting that in the growing eye, there is feedback from an increasingly sensitive retinal mechanism. Our theoretical and experimental studies in this area are continuing.

The crystalline lens has a gradient of refractive index which changes with growth throughout life while maintaining a sharp image on the retina (in normal eyes). Our work has shown that the loss of near vision with age is a result of age related changes in the crystalline lens of the eye which limits the change in shape of the lens which is possible in older eyes. Work is continuing on gradient refractive index optical models of the eye and on possible cures for presbyopia.

The amount of light scattered in the eye increases with age. We have shown that the design of instruments for imaging the rear of the eye should account for this effect.

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