Pilot study: Effect of age on visual acuity with defocus and astigmatism

Mathur, Ankit, Suheimat, Marwan, & Atchison, David A. (2015) Pilot study: Effect of age on visual acuity with defocus and astigmatism. Optometry and Vision Science, 92(3), pp. 267-271.

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To investigate how distance visual acuity in the presence of defocus and astigmatism is affected by age and whether aberration properties of young and older eyes can explain any differences.


Participants were 12 young adults (mean [±SD] age, 23 [±2] years) and 10 older adults (mean [±SD] age, 57 [±4] years). Cyclopleged right eyes were used with 4-mm effective pupil sizes. Thirteen blur conditions were used by adding five spherical lens conditions (-1.00 diopters [D], -0.50 D, plano/0.00 D, +0.50 D, and +1.00 D) and adding two cross-cylindrical lenses (+0.50 DS/-1.00 DC and +1.00 D/-2.00 DC, or 0.50 D and 1.00 D astigmatism) at four negative cylinder axes (45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees). Targets were single lines of high-contrast letters based on the Bailey-Lovie chart. Successively smaller lines were read until a participant could no longer read any of the letters correctly. Aberrations were measured with a COAS-HD Hartmann-Shack aberrometer.


There were no significant differences between the two age groups. We estimated that 70 to 80 participants per group would be needed to show significant effects of the trend of greater visual acuity loss for the young group. Visual acuity loss for astigmatism was twice that for defocus of the same magnitude of blur strength (0.33 logMAR [logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution]/D compared with 0.18 logMAR/D), contrary to the geometric prediction of similar loss.


Any age-related differences in visual acuity in the presence of defocus and astigmatism were swamped by interparticipant variation.

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ID Code: 88680
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: age, astigmatism, defocus, visual acuity
DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000459
ISSN: 1040-5488
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2015 00:58
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2015 01:06

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