Changes in myopia, visual acuity, and psychological distress after biofeedback visual training

Optom Vis Sci. 1996 Jan;73(1):35-42. doi: 10.1097/00006324-199601000-00006.


The effects of auditory biofeedback training on myopia, visual acuity (VA), and psychological distress were evaluated in a controlled prospective study involving 55 mildly myopic (< or = -3.5 D) high school students. These myopes were divided into 2 groups, matched for age and dioptric defect: 33 were treated with visual training and 22 were not; 27 emmetropic subjects formed a further control group. Subjects were evaluated at the baseline (T0), at 10 weeks after the end of the treatment (T1), and after an interval of 12 months (T2) from the baseline for: (1) manifest and cycloplegic refraction, and the difference between them (cycloplegic tonus); (2) VA measured with a conventional optotype in all subjects, and also with a computer-generated optotype in the treated group; and (3) psychometric values and personality profile. At T2, myopia had significantly worsened both in the treated and in the control myopes; VA in the treated myopes appeared significantly improved when measured by the conventional optotype, but unchanged when measured by computer. Psychometric scores improved significantly in the treated myopes and in the emmetropic controls. Objectively the autorefractometer showed that 38% of the myopes had voluntary control of positive accommodation, i.e., the ability to increase spherical defect; no voluntary control of negative accommodation was observed. An increase in VA was associated with a significant increase in the foveation time (i.e., the period of time when the target is imaged on the fovea and the eye is motionless), and was partly attributable to a learning effect. In conclusion, biofeedback visual training had a positive effect on psychological distress and subjective VA improvement, but failed to reduce the existing myopia or delay its evolution.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Myopia / therapy*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sensation
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Acuity*