Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

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Study of the myopia-accommodation relationship. Cause or effect?

In 2000, 23% of the world population was myopic and 3% high myopic, numbers that are estimated to increase to 50% and 10% by the year 2050. One of the factors that has been studied as a possible cause of this myopia rise has been the increase of near vision tasks. Faced with this situation, the question that arises is: what is the physiological mechanism by which near vision tasks increase myopia? The answer to this question would help to better understand the progression of myopia and would serve to prevent what many authors already consider a pandemic. For some years now, scientists have studied the role that accommodation plays in the progression of myopia. It has been suggested that blurring due to accommodation error when performing close tasks could be a key factor influencing the development of myopia, although other authors disagree. In what does exist a greater consensus is in the fact that myopic patients present an anomalous accommodative response. This leads to the question of whether the accommodative error in near vision is the cause of myopia or, on the contrary, is a consequence of it.

Taking this into account, the Visual Optics and Spectral Imaging Group (VISPEC) of CD6 has started a project in which the accommodation of patients will be studied with a recently developed innovative system that can be incorporated into a phoropter and that allows the accommodative response to be measured in real time. In this way, the patient's accommodative response can be monitored throughout the refraction process and other optometric tests. The information from the study will make it possible to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between myopia and accommodation and try to answer whether the abnormal accommodation observed in myopic patients is a cause or an effect of myopia. Furthermore, the knowledge of accommodation in real time can be very relevant in the case of children, where the use of drops to paralyze accommodation during refraction is widespread. The use of this new system with which accommodation is known at all times could avoid the need of drugs during this process.

This project receives funding from the Official College of Opticians and Optometrists of Catalonia (COOOC) through the Miopmilla program.
CD6 Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development
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