The role of near adaptation in myopia development

Chwee Hong, Yeo (2011) The role of near adaptation in myopia development. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Prolonged near work is associated with myopia development in children and young adults but the reason underlying this association is unknown. Two potentially important factors are the near work induced ocular adaptations of contrast and accommodative adaptation. This study measured the degrees of contrast and accommodative adaptation during and following reading in myopic and emmetropic children and young adults in Singapore, where myopia is highly prevalent. Reading caused significantly greater contrast and accommodative adaptations in myopic children and myopic young adults compared to that measured in emmetropes of comparable ages. The adaptations were greater in magnitude in children than young adults, suggesting that children are more susceptible to ocular changes induced by reading and thus are potentially at greater risk of adverse refractive outcomes from these adaptations. In addition to the magnitude of the adaptations the regression time of these adaptations, (i.e. their durations) are also important. Longer accommodative adaptation regression times were measured for myopic children than for emmetropic children. Although the regression of contrast adaptation was not measured, its duration may likewise be important. The refractive effects of both of these adaptations are likely to be cumulative across the day and this could promote myopia in susceptible individuals performing considerable amounts of near work. Whether the type of text read affected the magnitude of the adaptations was also explored. Given the high prevalence of myopia in Chinese children and the fact that Chinese text is more complicated to write than English text, it was hypothesized that Chinese text would induce greater adaptation. However, both Chinese and English text produced similar amounts of accommodative and contrast adaptation in young adult subjects. We propose that children who spend prolonged periods reading at a young age are most vulnerable to near work induced adaptations and hence near work induced myopia. Both Chinese and English texts produce these effects and we propose that these adaptations are likely to occur for all types of common reading texts.

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ID Code: 48207
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Schmid, Katrina & Atchison, David
Keywords: accommodative adaptation, children, contrast adaptation, eye growth, form deprivation, hyperopic defocus, myopia, myopic defocus, near adaptation, peripheral defocus, reading, text, young adults
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 23 Jan 2012 06:42
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2012 06:42

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