Oculomotor responses in emmetropia and myopia
It has been proposed that early-onset myopia (EOM) i.e. myopia onset before the age of 15 is primarily inherited whereas late-onset myopia (LOM) i.e. myopia onset after the age of 16 is induced by environmental factors, principally sustained near vision. No consensus exists as to which aspect of the near vision response; accommodation, vergence or their synergistic cross links promotes LOM development. Furthermore, the mechanism by which near vision could induce elongation of posterior chamber is obscure although there is evidence to show that ciliary muscle tone plays an important role. By comparing accommodation and vergence responses of emmetropes (EMMs), EOMs and LOMs under both open- and closed-loop conditions, this thesis aims to define further the oculomotor correlates of myopic development. A Canon Autoref R-1 optometer was used to measure accommodation responses while an Apple IIe controlled the flashed Maddox Rod sequence used when measuring vergence. Both techniques permitted open- and closed-loop measures to be obtained. The results presented demonstrate that it is unlikely that those individuals susceptible to LOM can be distinguished with regard to oculomotor responses or innervational characteristics of the ciliary muscle. The aetiology of LOM may be associated with ciliary muscle function but account needs to be taken of interactions between the ciliary muscle, choriod, sclera and introcular pressure and further research is necessary before those EMMs susceptible to LOM can be identified.