The effect of positive lens defocus on ocular growth and emmetropization in the tree shrew

J Vis. 2008 Mar 3;8(3):1.1-12. doi: 10.1167/8.3.1.


Optical defocus influences postnatal ocular development in animal models. Induced negative lens defocus results in accelerated ocular elongation and myopia. Positive lens-induced defocus findings across animal models have been inconsistent. Specifically, in the tree shrew, positive lens-induced defocus has produced equivocal results. This study evaluated the response of the tree shrew to induced positive lens defocus. One treatment group wore positive lenses binocularly, which were increased in power sequentially from +2 to +4, +6, +8, and +9.5 D over 8 weeks. Other groups wore +4, +6, and +9.5 D lenses, respectively, for 8 weeks. Animals wearing zero-powered (plano) lenses served as controls. Refractive error and ocular dimensions were measured at the start of treatment and every week thereafter. Sequentially increasing positive lens power caused a relative hyperopia of +5.6 D (p < 0.01) compared to the plano lens group (+10.9 +/- 1.8 D vs +5.3 +/- 0.5 D). Constant +4 D lens wear produced +6.9 D relative hyperopia, while +6 and +9.5 D lens wear did not induce hyperopia. Lens-induced defocus changes in refractive state were significantly correlated with vitreous chamber depth changes. The threshold for consistent responses to positive lens defocus in tree shrew was between +4 and +6 D. The results will enable targeted investigation of the efficacy of positive lens defocus in inhibiting myopic ocular growth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Eyeglasses*
  • Hyperopia / etiology
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology*
  • Myopia / prevention & control
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Tupaia*