Vertically yoked prisms have been used in treatment of binocular vision dysfunction despite minimal supporting evidence. In people with normal binocular vision, the impact on phorias has been assessed but not the impact on accommodation, accommodation vergence interactions, or the horopter. We found that vertically yoked prisms have minor effects during short-term wear in young adults.
The purpose of this study was to determine effects of vertically yoked prisms on accommodative response and several binocular vision tasks.
There were 45 participants aged 18 to 24 years. The 23 myopes wore distance-corrected soft contact lenses. In a random arrangement, each person wore spectacles containing planopower lenses with either 8 Δ base-up, 4 Δ base-up, zero, 4 Δ base-down, and 8 Δ base-down prisms. Before spectacle wear, baseline measurements of near heterophoria, accommodation response, negative and positive relative accommodations, fusional vergence, and Nonius-horopter spatial perception were taken. Measurements were repeated after a 40-minute wear, spectacles were removed, and tests were performed 20 minutes later. On a 22-participant subset, on a separate occasion, measurements of heterophoria, accommodation response, and relative accommodation were made immediately after spectacles were fitted.
Most changes relative to baseline were not significant. Where effects occurred, these were nearly all associated with prism presence rather than adaptation. There were significant effects on accommodation response, but these seem to be refraction effects produced by pantoscopic tilt–induced power changes rather than perceptual effects altering accommodation. There were statistically significant effects on negative relative accommodation (P < .01), with zero prism giving more negative relative accommodation than 8 Δ base-down prisms. Tendencies were noted for prisms to move horopter limits toward the observer. Effects were small and likely not of clinical relevance.
Vertically yoked prisms have minor effects on accommodation and binocular vision, at least during short-term wear in young adults with normal binocular vision.