A population study on changes in wave aberrations with accommodation

J Vis. 2004 Apr 16;4(4):272-80. doi: 10.1167/4.4.3.


Wave aberrations were measured with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWS) in the right eye of a large young adult population when accommodative demands of 0, 3, and 6 D were presented to the tested eye through a Badal system. Three SHWS images were recorded at each accommodative demand and wave aberrations were computed over a 5-mm pupil (through 6th order Zernike polynomials). The accommodative response was calculated from the Zernike defocus over the central 3-mm diameter zone. Among all individual Zernike terms, spherical aberration showed the greatest change with accommodation. The change of spherical aberration was always negative, and was proportional to the change in accommodative response. Coma and astigmatism also changed with accommodation, but the direction of the change was variable. Despite the large inter-subject variability, the population average of the root mean square for all aberrations (excluding defocus) remained constant for accommodative levels up to 3.0 D. Even though aberrations change with accommodation, the magnitude of the aberration change remains less than the magnitude of the uncorrected aberrations, even at high accommodative levels. Therefore, a typical eye will benefit over the entire accommodative range (0-6 D) if aberrations are corrected for distance viewing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Astigmatism / physiopathology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Humans
  • Mydriatics / administration & dosage
  • Pupil / drug effects
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology*


  • Mydriatics