The Relationship between Ciliary Muscle Contraction and Accommodative Response in the Presbyopic Eye

  • John L. Semmlow
  • Lawrence Stark
  • Corina Vandepol
  • An Nguyen
Part of the Perspectives in Vision Research book series (PIVR)


Donders (1864) described presbyopia as a farsightedness with age that was unrelated to the hyperopia caused by corneal refractive error. Donders, like Hess (1901), was in agreement with the Helm-holtz theory of accommodation, which has been described as a “dual” (there are lenticular and extra-lenticular components), “indirect” (the ciliary muscle acts through the suspensory ligaments), and “active” (contraction of the ciliary muscle produces increased accommodation) theory (Stark, 1987). Hess was able to demonstrate several consequences of the Helmholtz theory such as the lack of tension in the suspensory ligaments when the lens was fully accommodated. He also demonstrated the lack of vitreous support during accommodation when he observed a vitreous bulge produced by an accident and found no change during accommodation.


Ciliary Muscle Nonlinear Gain Suspensory Ligament Accommodative Response Helmholtz Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Semmlow
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lawrence Stark
    • 3
  • Corina Vandepol
    • 3
  • An Nguyen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery (Bioengineering)UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  3. 3.School of OptometryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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