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Vision Res. 1998 Jun;38(11):1643-53.

Static aspects of accommodation: age and presbyopia.

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  • 1SUNY/State College of Optometry, Department of Vision Sciences, New York 10010, USA.


Although the progressive reduction in accommodative amplitude with increased age is well documented, little is known about several other aspects of static or steady-state accommodation to provide a comprehensive assessment of changes related to age and presbyopia. Static components of accommodation (tonic accommodation, depth-of-focus, slope of the stimulus/response function, and accommodative controller gain) were assessed objectively using an infrared (IR) optometer in 30 human subjects aged 21-50 years; depth-of-focus was also determined psychophysically as was accommodative amplitude. Tonic accommodation and the amplitude of accommodation decreased with increased age, whereas the subjective depth-of-focus increased; the other parameters remained unchanged. The decrease in tonic accommodation and amplitude of accommodation was attributed to biomechanical factors, whereas the increase in subjective depth-of-focus was believed to result from increased tolerance to defocus related to the gradual onset of presbyopia. Constancy of the objective depth-of-focus suggested absence of age effects on the neurologic control of reflex accommodation, whereas the lack of systematic change in slope and controller gain provided support for the Hess-Gullstrand theory of accommodation and presbyopia.

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