Ageing Eyes

A large blue and red cube frame that has purple and green information banners hanging between top and bottom bars of the cube.

As humans age, the corneas in their eyes start to thicken, causing effects on their vision similar to yellowing.

How it works

Look at coloured words through yellow lenses (that represent eyes of elderly people).

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Are any colour combinations more difficult to see through the yellow filter?
  • Looking through the yellow filter is similar to the effect of our eyes becoming cloudy as we age. What other difficulties in vision occur as we age?

Background

As we grow older, the corneas and lenses of our eyes continue to grow and thicken. This makes them turn slightly yellow. As light enters the yellowed corneas and lenses, less blue light is able to pass through to reach the retina, which makes it difficult to discern between certain colour combinations.

Finding the science in your world

For people aged around 80 years old, certain colour combinations become more difficult to separate and badly-designed signs can become confusing.