Author(s): Ho JD, Liou SW, Tsai RJ, Tsai CY
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Abstract PURPOSE: To evaluate age-related changes in astigmatism of both corneal surfaces and the whole cornea. METHODS: The right eyes of 370 subjects were measured with a rotating Scheimpflug camera (Pentacam). Astigmatisms of the anterior and posterior corneal surfaces were determined. The total corneal astigmatism was derived using power vector summation and vergence tracing. Age-related changes to corneal astigmatism were evaluated using polar value analysis (both in diopter and millimeter). RESULTS: For the anterior and total cornea, the proportion of with-the-rule astigmatisms decreased and those of oblique and against-the-rule astigmatisms increased with age. For the posterior cornea, most eyes displayed against-the-rule astigmatisms in all age groups. There was a significant trend toward against-the-rule astigmatism associated with increasing age for both anterior and total corneal astigmatisms (mean changes of -0.18 and -0.16 diopters/5 years, respectively), and toward with the rule in posterior corneal astigmatism (a mean change of 0.022 diopters/5 years). Regarding shape changes, a "flat meridian toward a more vertical orientation" trend with increasing age for both the anterior and posterior corneal surfaces was observed (mean changes of 0.0295 and 0.0224 mm/5 years, respectively). The posterior corneal surface compensated for the astigmatism arising from the anterior corneal surface in 91.4\% and 47.7\% of eyes in the 21-30 and > or =71 years groups, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: There were age-related shifts toward against-the-rule and with-the-rule astigmatisms for the anterior and posterior corneal surfaces, respectively. The compensating effects of the posterior corneal surface on anterior corneal astigmatism decreased with advancing age.
This article was published in Cornea
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology