The lens paradox: why does the eye lose power as it grows?

Jul 31, 2018Ageing Vision, Research

Our eyes become more farsighted as we age due to the loss of refractive power in the ocular lens. This is termed the lens paradox because the eye is expected to gain power as it grows. Why or how it occurs is unclear.

We believe that an age-related shift of the densest point of the ocular lens towards the front of the eye contributes to the lens paradox. This shift in density can be monitored clinically with MRI.

This study recruits volunteers of various ages to undergo an eye exam and MRI scan to measure the lens power and pinpoint its densest point. Preliminary data supports our hypothesis, and if proven, enables us to inform treatments for ocular lens rejuvenation and prevention of spectacle prescription change in older age.

RIGHT: Images of the eye under MRI. The lens is colourful because it has been post-processed to reflect density.

Author: Alyssa L. Lie


Collaborators: Mr Xingzheng (Wilson) Pan, Prof Paul J. Donaldson, Prof Thomas W. White, Dr Ehsan Vaghefi

Funding details: National Institutes of Health Grant R01 EY 026911-01

Status: Funded & running