Article

Myopic children with esophoria underaccommodate at near

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Abstract

Purpose. Near esophoria has been linked to the onset and progression of myopia in children in two opposite ways: (1) esophoria is secondary to excessive accommodation at near which is thought to produce myopia, or (2) near esophoria leads to underaccommodation in order to maintain binocular fusion. The resulting blurred image produces myopia as in animal models. In order to differentiate between these competing hypotheses, we measured accommodation and phoric alignment in children with known refractive histories. Methods. Eighteen myopic and 44 emmetropic subjects, aged 7-21 yrs, were tested. Accommodation was measured for the right eye with an infrared autorefractor during monocular viewing of 20/100 letters at 4.0 m and 33 cm. Concomitant phorias were obtained with a Maddox rod and prism before the left eye. Results. Myopes who are esophoric accommodate significantly less to a near target than those who are exophoric (p<0.05). In the myopes, accommodation is significantly correlated with both near (r = -0.50, p<0.03) and distance phorias (r = -0.59, p<0.01). In the emmetropes, accommodation is significantly correlated with distance phoria (r = -0.38, p<0.01), but not near (r = -0.18, ns). Mean near phoria is 2 Δ exo for both refractive groups. Future measures will indicate whether emmetropes who become myopic are more esophoric than those who remain emmetropic. Conclusions. Progressing myopes with near esophoria tend to underaccommodate, lending support to the second hypothesis. Thus bifocal or progressive addition lenses, alleged to slow myopia progression, may accomplish this by eliminating the blur caused by underaccommodation rather than by reducing overaccommodation.

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... However, it is not clear, due to the nature of the study design, whether the various accommodation anomalies are independently linked to myopic progression or whether they are causal. Accommodation inaccuracy during prolonged near work may cause an increase in the accommodative lag, and the resulting hyperopic retinal defocus may then contribute to myopic progression [28][29][30][31][32][33]. Conversely, Mutti et al. [34] suggest that accommodative lag is a result of the myopia rather than a cause. ...
... Clinically, reduced accommodation is frequently associated with exophoria in near, and excessive accommodation with near-point esophoria [38,52]. However, some studies have found reduced accommodation to be associated with near esophoria [32,53]. We observed that subjects experienced a change in the near-point phoria in the convergent direction (about +2.40 Δ), when wearing SCL compared to spectacles. ...
... This finding contrasts with the results of Fulk et al. [7], who reported a change in exophoric values to near-point phoria with the use of contact lenses, although in their study the sample included only myopic adolescents initially with near esophoria. A few studies have reported that accommodative lag is associated with greater esophoria [32,53,54] suggesting that an esophoric child must relax accommodation to reduce accommodative convergence and thus maintain single binocular vision. The reduction in accommodation may prompt hyperopic defocus during near work, which could lead to the onset of myopia or progression of existing myopia [29]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretically, the accommodative and vergence demands are different between single-vision contact lenses and spectacle lenses. The aim of the present study was to determine whether these differences exist when these two correction methods are used in clinical practice. For this, different visual parameters that characterize the accommodative (accommodation amplitude, accommodative facility, and accommodative response) and binocular function (near and distance horizontal and vertical dissociated phorias, near and vertical associated phorias, near and distance negative and positive fusional vergence, vergence facility, near point of convergence, negative and positive relative accommodation, stimulus AC:A ratio and stereoacuity) were evaluated in a student population when their myopia was corrected with either spectacles or soft contact lenses (SCL). All parameters were measured on two separate occasions in 30 myopic habitual contact lens and spectacle wearers of mean age 19 ± 2.4 years. Some parameters such as accommodation amplitude, accommodative response, and stimulus AC:A ratio were measured using two measurement methods which are commonly used in clinical practice. Three measurements were taken for each parameter and averaged. For the comparative statistical analysis, we used the Student's t-test (p value < 0.05). The following statistically significant differences were found with the use of SCL in comparison to spectacles: higher accommodative lags, higher negative relative accommodation, more esophoric near horizontal dissociated phoria, and lower negative fusional vergence in near vision. The results found in this study show a definite trend towards poorer accommodative and vergence function with the use of contact lenses in comparison to glasses. This downward trend, though not statistically significant in accommodative function (lower PRA values and less lens amplitude of accommodation) might suggest that temporal insufficiency in the accommodation process could be occurring while contact lenses are used, thereby possibly creating a lag in accommodation to reduce associated overconvergence. This would be manifested in more esophoric values being found in the vergence function. The higher accommodative lags found in this study with SCL could indicate that prolonged use of SCL in near tasks may provoke a continuous hyperopic retinal defocus, a risk factor for the onset and progression of myopia, as indicated in numerous studies.
Chapter
Reduced blur-driven accommodation and near esophoria have been linked to the development and progression of myopia. Although both laboratory and clinical studies have reported that these conditions occur concomitantly with progressing myopia, less evidence is available that they occur before the onset of myopia. Obviously, the identification of predictive factors has important implications for the treatment and prevention of myopia, as well as for establishing the temporal order of causal mechanisms. Data from our laboratory indicate that accommodative insufficiency is an accompaniment of myopia. On the other hand, some clinical data show reduced accommodation before the onset of myopia. With respect to phorias, both laboratory and clinical data show a convergent (esophoric) shift in the near phoria as myopia develops. However, there is conflicting evidence as to the predictive power of esophoria relative to exophoria before the onset of myopia. What turns out to be highly predictive of later myopia is refractive error before the onset of myopia. Refractions of premyopic children are less positive than those of children who remain emmetropic. This finding could partially account for the differences in accommodation and phorias reported for these two groups of children.
Article
Purpose: Caucasian children with myopia have elevated response accommodative vergence to accommodation (AC/A) ratios. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine if response AC/A ratios vary with refractive error and with myopic progression rate in Hong Kong Chinese children, and to determine the effect of beta-adrenergic antagonism with topical timolol application on AC/A ratios. Methods: Thirty children aged eight to 12 years participated in the study. All refractive errors were corrected with spectacle lenses. Accommodative responses were measured using a Shin-Nippon autorefractor and concurrent changes in vergence were assessed using a vertical prism and a Howell-Dwyer card at three metres and 0.33 metre. Accommodative demand was altered using plus or minus two dioptre lenses and lens- and distance-induced response AC/A ratios were calculated. Measurements were repeated 30 minutes after the instillation of topical timolol maleate (0.5 per cent). Results: AC/A ratios appeared higher in progressing myopic children but the difference was not statistically significant. Timolol application reduced accommodative convergence (AC) in the stable myopes (reduction = -3 ± 1.14A) but not in the emmetropes (0.69 ± 0.9P) or progressing myopes (0.16 ± 0.43A) and this difference between refractive groups was statistically s ignificant (F2,27= 3.766; P= 0.036). However, timolol did not produce a significant change in the accommodative response to positive or negative lenses or response AC/A ratios. Conclusions: We did not find that AC/A ratios in myopic Chinese children were elevated and therefore, it is unlikely that elevated AC/A ratios are responsible for the high levels of myopia that occur in Hong Kong. The finding that timolol reduced AC in the stable myopes suggests that the autonomic control of accommodative convergence in these children may be different from that in emmetropic children and those with progressing myopia.
Article
While prolonged nearwork is considered to be an environmental risk factor associated with myopia development, an underlying genetic susceptibility to nearwork-induced accommodative adaptation may be one possible mechanism for human myopia development. As the control of accommodation by the autonomic system may be one such genetically predetermined system, this research sought to investigate whether an anomaly of the autonomic control of accommodation may be responsible for myopia development and progression. The emphasis of this work was determining the effect of altering the sympathetic input to the ciliary muscle on accommodation responses such as tonic accommodation and nearwork-induced accommodative adaptation in myopes and non-myopes. The first study of the thesis was based on observations of Gilmartin and Winfield (1995) which suggested that a deficit in the sympathetic inputs to the ciliary muscle may be associated with a propensity for myopia development. The effect of ß-antagonism with timolol application on accommodation characteristics was studied in different refractive error groups. Our results support the previous findings that a deficit of sympathetic facility during nearwork was not a feature of late-onset myopia. However it was found that classifying myopes according to stability of their myopia and their ethnic background was important and this allowed differentiation between accommodation responses and characteristics of the ciliary muscle autonomic inputs, with the greatest difference observed between Caucasian stable myopes and Asian progressing myopes. Progressing myopes, particularly those with an Asian background, demonstrated enhanced susceptibility to nearwork-induced accommodative adaptation and this was suggested to result from a possible parasympathetic dominance and a relative sympathetic deficit to the ciliary muscle. In contrast, stable myopes, particularly those with an Asian background, demonstrated minimal accommodation changes following nearwork (counter-adaptation in some cases), and increased accommodative adaptation with ß-antagonism, suggesting sympathetic dominance as the possible autonomic accommodation control profile. As ethnic background was found to be an important factor, a similar study was also conducted in a group of Hong Kong Chinese children to investigate if enhanced susceptibility to nearwork-induced changes in accommodation may explain in part the high prevalence of myopia in Hong Kong. Despite some minor differences in methodology between the two studies, the Hong Kong stable myopic children demonstrated counter-adaptive changes and greater accommodative adaptation with timolol, findings that were consistent with those of the adult Asian stable myopes. Both Asian progressing myopic children and adults also showed greater accommodative adaptation than the stable myopes and similar response profiles following ß-adrenergic antagonism. Thus a combination of genetically predetermined accommodation profiles that confer high susceptibility and extreme environmental pressures is a likely explanation for the increase in myopia over the past decades in Asian countries. The hypothesis that a sympathetic deficit is linked to myopia was also investigated by comparing the effect of â-stimulation with salbutamol, a ß-agonist, on accommodation with that of ß-antagonism using timolol. It was hypothesized that salbutamol would have the opposite effect of timolol, and that it would have a greater effect on subjects who demonstrated greater accommodative adaptation effects, i.e. the progressing myopes, compared to those who showed minimal changes in accommodation following nearwork. Consistent with the hypothesis, the effect of sympathetic stimulation with salbutamol application was only evident in the progressing myopes whom we hypothesized may have a parasympathetic dominance and a relative sympathetic deficit type of autonomic imbalance while it did not further enhance the rapid accommodative regression profile demonstrated by the stable myopes. Characteristics of the convergence system and the interaction between accommodation and convergence were also investigated in the Hong Kong children. No significant differences in response AC/A ratios between the emmetropic, stable and progressing myopic children were found and it was concluded that elevated AC/A ratios were not associated with higher myopic progression rate in this sample of Hong Kong children. However, ß-adrenergic antagonism with timolol application produced a greater effect on accommodative convergence (AC) in stable myopic children who presumably have a more adequate, robust sympathetic input to the ciliary muscle, but had little effect on AC of progressing myopic children. This finding again points to the possibility that the autonomic control of the accommodation and convergence systems may be different between stable and progressing myopia. The primary contribution of this study to the understanding of myopia development is that differences in the autonomic control of the ciliary muscle may be responsible for producing anomalous accommodation responses. This could have significant impact on retinal image quality and thus results in myopia development. This knowledge may be incorporated into computer models of accommodation and myopia development and provides scope for further investigation of the therapeutic benefits of autonomic agents for myopia control.
Article
Esophoria has been associated with onset and progression of myopia in children. The induction of myopia by optical defocus shown by animal models suggests that a high lag of accommodation during near work may contribute to myopia in children. This paper examines the relationship of nearpoint phoria and accommodative response in a sample of children with myopia. Accommodative response was measured under binocular conditions with the Canon Autoref R-1 autorefractor with a 40 cm viewing distance. Phorias were measured with the von Graefe method using a 40 cm test distance. In the statistical analysis exophoria was scored as a negative number and esophoria was scored as a positive number. The coefficient of correlation of accommodative response with phoria was -0.32 (n = 73; p<0.01), thus showing an association of a more positive (more convergent) near phoria with lower accommodative response. The correlation coefficient increased to -0.39 when an exponential function was used. When only esophores were considered, the correlation coefficient was -0.59 (n = 44; p<0.001). Lower accommodative response (higher lag of accommodation) was associated with greater esophoria.
Article
Bifocals have long been thought to reduce progression of childhood myopia. However, this hypothesis has not been definitively evaluated. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to test the hypothesis that bifocals slow myopia progression in children with near-point esophoria. Eighty-two myopic children were randomized to single-vision glasses (n = 40) or to bifocals with a +1.50 D add (n = 42) and were followed for 30 months. Refraction was measured by an automated refractor after cycloplegia. The primary outcome was myopia progression defined as the difference between the spherical equivalent at baseline and at the 30-month examination, averaged over both eyes. Follow-up was incomplete for six children in the bifocal group and one child in the single-vision group. Among the children completing the 30 months of follow up, myopia progression (mean spherical equivalent of the two eyes) averaged 0.99 D for bifocals and 1.24 D for single vision (unadjusted, p = 0.106; adjusted for age, p = 0.046). Treatment groups differed in their cumulative distributions (Kolmogorov-Smirnov procedure, p = 0.031). Evidence for a treatment effect on growth in vitreous chamber depth was similar (p = 0.046 by K.S.). Use of bifocals, instead of single-vision glasses, by children with near-point esophoria seemed to slow myopia progression to a slight degree.
Article
We previously reported results of a randomized clinical trial of bifocals as a type of myopia correction for children with near-point esophoria. After 30 months, the rate of myopia progression in 36 children wearing bifocals averaged 0.40 D/yr compared to 0.50 D/yr in 39 children wearing single-vision glasses (p= 0.046, age-adjusted). Here we report on the 46 children in that study who completed 54 months of followup. For each treatment group, we examined the pattern of change in myopia over the first and second halves of the 54-month period to see if the beneficial effect of wearing bifocals was present initially for those 46 children, as it was in the entire group, and to see if the myopia-slowing effect continued to accumulate during the second part of the study. During the last 12 months of the 54-month period, subjects were free to select any mode of myopic treatment, but this intent-to-treat analysis classified all children according to their original treatment assignment. During the first 24 months, the pattern of change in myopia differed between the two groups (p = 0.041), with those in bifocals showing slower progression. A similar trend was observed for vitreous chamber growth (p= 0.059). During the last 30 months, myopia progressed at a similar rate for both groups, including during the last year, when many subjects changed their mode of myopia correction. Wearing bifocals instead of single-vision glasses caused a slowing of myopia progression evident during the first two years. During the subsequent two-and-a-half years of followup, the difference in the degree of myopia was maintained, but did not increase.
Article
Monocular estimate (estimation) method (MEM) is a widely used clinical test of accommodative response. Normative data for MEM are available based on the central tendency measures from a population of schoolchildren but not a clinical population. Also, the relationship of accommodative response to refractive status and heterophoria has been researched, but not with MEM as the determinant of the manifestation of accommodative response. A group of 211 pre-presbyopic clinical subjects were tested with MEM for purposes of comparing the central tendency measures of a clinical population to established normative data and determining whether MEM varied with refractive status or near phoria. A lag of about one-third diopter was the mean MEM result for this clinical population. The median was +0.25 D. Myopia and near esophoria have a statistically significant relationship to MEM. The central tendency measures derived from MEM administered to this population replicate the central tendency measures found in a previous normative study. This study provides preliminary evidence that the difference between accommodative response and accommodative stimulus, as measured by MEM, may be influenced by myopia and esophoria.
Article
Background: A retrospective study was undertaken to examine the hypothesis that esophoria is associated with higher amounts of myopia. Methods: One hundred and forty-four subjects were selected from the files of optometry clinics at the Department of Optometry, National University of Malaysia, from the years 1995 to 1998 inclusive. These subjects were matched in terms of age group, sex, race and near phoria group. Near phorias were determined by Maddox wing technique and were classified into three groups: more than six prism dioptres exophoria, zero to six prism dioptres exophoria and any esophorias. Results: One way analysis of variance revealed that there were significant differences in mean myopias between the three phoria groups (ANOVA, F(2,141) = 5.34, p < 0.01). Further analysis with the Student-Newman-Keuls test showed that the amount of myopia is significantly higher in the esophoric group than in the other two groups. Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that near esophoria is associated with high myopia. This study suggests that near phoria might be an important factor in myopia development.
Article
At the end of a clinical trial of bifocals as myopia treatment, subjects were allowed to select any type of optical correction they wished and were asked to return in 1 year. This report gives results of that last examination with emphasis on how progression rates differed between those remaining in their original type of glasses compared with those who switched to soft contact lenses. We found that myopia progressed at an age-adjusted average rate of 0.74 D in 19 children who switched to soft contact lens wear compared with 0.25 D for 24 children remaining in glasses (p < 0.0001). Increased growth of the vitreous chamber appeared to account for much of this excess myopia progression, although the difference in that variable did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.101). We also noted a 0.203 D steepening in the corneal curvature in contact lens wearers compared with spectacle wearers whose corneas steepened very little (0.014 D, p = 0.007). Soft contact lens wear was also accompanied by a greater change in the near-point phoria which moved 4.5 prism dioptres in the exo direction compared with spectacle wearers who experienced only a 1.4 prism dioptre divergent shift (p = 0.048).
Article
Caucasian children with myopia have elevated response accommodative vergence to accommodation (AC/A) ratios. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine if response AC/A ratios vary with refractive error and with myopic progression rate in Hong Kong Chinese children, and to determine the effect of beta-adrenergic antagonism with topical timolol application on AC/A ratios. Thirty children aged eight to 12 years participated in the study. All refractive errors were corrected with spectacle lenses. Accommodative responses were measured using a Shin-Nippon autorefractor and concurrent changes in vergence were assessed using a vertical prism and a Howell-Dwyer card at three metres and 0.33 metre. Accommodative demand was altered using plus or minus two dioptre lenses and lens- and distance-induced response AC/A ratios were calculated. Measurements were repeated 30 minutes after the instillation of topical timolol maleate (0.5 per cent). AC/A ratios appeared higher in progressing myopic children but the difference was not statistically significant. Timolol application reduced accommodative convergence (AC) in the stable myopes (reduction = -3 +/- 1.14 prism dioptres) but not in the emmetropes (0.69 +/- 0.96 prism dioptres) or progressing myopes (0.16 +/- 0.43 prism dioptres) and this difference between refractive groups was statistically significant (F(2, 27) = 3.766; P = 0.036). However, timolol did not produce a significant change in the accommodative response to positive or negative lenses or response AC/A ratios. We did not find that AC/A ratios in myopic Chinese children were elevated and therefore, it is unlikely that elevated AC/A ratios are responsible for the high levels of myopia that occur in Hong Kong. The finding that timolol reduced AC in the stable myopes suggests that the autonomic control of accommodative convergence in these children may be different from that in emmetropic children and those with progressing myopia.
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