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What is accommodation and why is it important?

You may have heard your Optometrist use the term ‘accommodation’: this is the process that allows your eye to change it’s point of focus from objects in the distance to those nearby.

It happens when the muscles inside your eye contract, allowing the optical power of the crystalline lens to be increased so that near objects can be brought into focus on the retina.

When you were younger your eyes could do it without any trouble – and with objects that were very close to you. The older we get, the less power we have to ‘accommodate’.

To infinity and beyond!

When a healthy eye (not suffering from any refractive errors such as short-sight or long-sight) is relaxed, it’s focus is at optical infinity. This means that when a normal eye is relaxed, distant objects are in focus. Optical infinity extends from about 20 feet (6 metres) on front of your eyes to the distant horizon (‘infinity’).

A short-sighted (or myopic) eye, on the other hand, is focused at a point nearer than optical infinity when it is relaxed. This means that glasses or contact lenses are needed to enable it to focus properly at optical infinity.

Accommodation and Presbyopia

In individuals with normal sight, the ability to focus on nearby objects gradually deteriorates with increasing age. The process starts from birth and just gets worse; although most people don’t really notice it until they get to about 45. It’s a condition known as Newspaper and Reading Glassespresbyopia.

The ‘accommodation amplitude’ or ability to focus on nearby objects is almost completely lost between the ages of 45 and 50, and once it’s sufficiently reduced for people to have a major problem with reading or seeing print close to the eye, it’s recognised as an issue. Most people eventually – and reluctantly- accept the need for reading glasses!

Solutions for sight

However, you really don’t have to be slave to corrective eyewear, or have to reach for your reading glasses and let the world know you’re of a certain age. At Space Healthcare we have three different treatments that can address the issue of presbyopia.


Call us on 01926 282282 and find out more about Monovision, Raindrop and Supracor, the Space Healthcare solutions for presbyopia

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