Purpose: Guidelines for predicting accommodative amplitude by age are often based on subjective push-up test data that overestimate the accommodative response. Studies in which objective measurements were used have defined expected amplitudes for adults, but expected amplitudes for children remain unknown. In this study, objective methods were used to measure accommodative amplitude in a wide age range of individuals, to define the relationship of amplitude and age from age 3.
Methods: Accommodative responses were measured in 140 subjects aged 3 to 40 years. Measurements were taken with the Grand Seiko autorefractor (RyuSyo Industrial Co., Ltd., Kagawa, Japan) as the subjects viewed a high-contrast target at 33 cm through minus lenses of increasing power until the responses showed no further increase in accommodation.
Results: The maximum accommodative amplitude of each subject was plotted by age, and a curvilinear function fit to the data: y = 7.33 - 0.0035(age - 3)(2) (P < 0.001). Tangent analysis of the fit indicated that the accommodative amplitude remained relatively stable until age 20. Data from this study were then pooled with objective amplitudes from previous studies of adults up to age 70. A sigmoidal function was fit to the data: y = 7.083/(1 + e([0.2031(age-36.2)-0.6109])) (P < 0.001). The sigmoidal function indicated relatively stable amplitudes below age 20 years, a rapid linear decline between 20 and 50 years, and a taper to 0 beyond 50 years.
Conclusions: These data indicate that accommodative amplitude decreases in a curvilinear manner from 3 to 40 years. When combined with data from previous studies, a sigmoidal function describes the overall trend throughout life with the biggest decrease occurring between 20 and 50 years.