Method for quantifying optical properties of the human lens. The present invention includes the application of fiberoptic, OMA-based instrumentation as an in vivo diagnostic tool for the human ocular lens. Rapid, noninvasive and comprehensive assessment of the optical characteristics of a lens using very modest levels of exciting light are described. Typically, the backscatter and fluorescence spectra (from about 300- to 900-nm) elicited by each of several exciting wavelengths (from about 300- to 600-nm) are collected within a few seconds. The resulting optical signature of individual lenses is then used to assess the overall optical quality of the lens by comparing the results with a database of similar measurements obtained from a reference set of normal human lenses having various ages. Several metrics have been identified which gauge the optical quality of a given lens relative to the norm for the subject's chronological age. These metrics may also serve to document accelerated optical aging and/or as early indicators of cataract or other disease processes.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Regents of the University of California. The government has certain rights in the invention.