SIGNIFICANCE This study provides a descriptive characterization of higher-order optical aberrations for the eyes of a larger number of Chinese children and adolescents. PURPOSE To determine the distribution of higher-order aberrations (HOAs) of Han Chinese young subjects with normal vision and their relationship to age. METHODS Children and adolescents, aged from 3 to 17 years, with normal visual acuity were enrolled, and their wavefront aberrations for a 6-mm pupil were evaluated by the Zywave II aberrometer. Their correlations with age were analyzed, and the 95% statistical reference ranges were computed for each Zernike term. RESULTS A total of 1634 eyes (287 for preschool-age children, 897 for school-age children, and 450 for adolescents) were analyzed. There was a significant correlation with age and the root mean square (RMS) of total HOAs (r = 0.256, P <.0001), third-order aberrations (r = 0.062, P =.029), fourth-order aberrations (r = 0.197, P <.0001), fifth-order aberrations (r = 0.067, P =.017), and trefoil-like aberrations (r = 0.100, P <.0001) in the myopic group. There were significant differences in RMS values (except coma-like aberrations, χ 2 = 4.179, P =.124) as well as the Zernike coefficients among three different age groups. Therefore, the 95% statistical normal reference values were calculated separately for three age groups. CONCLUSIONS The RMS value of total HOAs, coma-like, trefoil-like, third-order, fourth-order, and fifth-order aberrations are correlated with age, and the RMS values and Zernike coefficients of aberrations were different in different age stages of the subjects. This study described the distribution of HOAs in children and adolescents and established 95% statistical normal values of HOAs for different ages of children and adolescents by analyzing the HOAs in a large number of the Han Chinese clinical population.
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