To investigate the effect of accommodation on central and peripheral axial lengths in young adult emmetropes and myopes.
On-axis and peripheral axial lengths were measured with the Haag-Streit Lenstar in 83 young adult participants for 0D and 6D accommodation demands. A Badal system was used to both correct refractive errors and induce accommodation. Participants were emmetropes (n = 29, mean spherical equivalent refraction +0.35 ± 0.35D), low myopes (32, −1.38 ± 0.73D), and higher myopes (22, −4.30 ± 0.73D). Ages were similar for all groups (22 ± 2 years). Pupils were dilated with 2.5% phenylephrine to allow a large field of measurement while maintaining active accommodation. Axial lengths were measured in 5° steps to ±30° across the horizontal visual field.
With accommodation, axial length increased for all refractive groups at all positions, but with lessening effect away from fixation. Axial length changes were greater for higher myopes than for emmetropes on-axis (higher myopes 41 ± 14 μm, emmetropes 30 ± 12 μm, P = .005), for higher myopes than for low myopes at 30° nasal (P = .03), and for the higher myopes than for the other groups at 20° nasal (P < .05). There were significant correlations between myopia and changes in axial length at all positions, with the highest correlation on-axis (R2 = 0.30, P < .001).
During accommodation, eye length increased out to at least ±30° visual angle in young adult myopes and emmetropes. The increase was significantly greater for higher myopes than for the other groups at some positions. At all positions, there were significant correlations between myopia and accommodation-induced changes in axial length.