Accessibility Toolbar

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Bascom Palmer hosts Accommodation Club Meeting: the search for a solution to ‘old sight’ continues

Posted: 07.02.2010

Over 150 world leaders in science, engineering and clinical practice met at the 7th Accommodation Club meeting in Miami, Florida, to solve the problem of how to give presbyopes near vision as good as when they were young. More than one billion people in the world are presbyopic, which is growing as the world’s population grows and ages. An estimated 517 million of these are without correction for functional presbyopia.

Presbyopia (or ‘old sight’) occurs when the eye’s natural lens hardens with age, gradually losing its flexibility and ability to change focus (a process vision scientists call “accommodation”). This is largely dependent on the flexible lens being able to change shape and has a fundamental influence on the ability to focus on close objects, such as when reading. Most people will experience presbyopia by the age of 45, requiring glasses or lenses to see clearly and read.

The 2010 meeting of the Accommodation Club included sessions covering fundamental knowledge relating to the accommodation system, cause of presbyopia, methods and devices for restoring accommodation, and strategies for overcoming LEC proliferation (an issue associated with implantation of intra-ocular lens (IOLs).

The current best practice correction for presbyopia are reading, bifocal, or multifocal spectacles, or less successfully, contact lenses; and for cataract the best practice treatment is cataract extraction and IOL implantation. These conventional approaches suffer from many shortcomings causing vision problems, including limited range of near focus, low contrast, glare, haloes, optical distortion and aberrations, limited field of view and ghosting.

Professor Arthur Ho of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Secretary General of the Acccommodation Club, said, “The meeting’s record attendance this year demonstrates that the research world is becoming more aware of the importance of research to improve vision for presbyopes.”

Researchers from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and notably the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center directed by Jean-Marie Parel, Ph.D., attended and presented information on anatomy, physiology and growth; mechanics and optics; imaging; vision; and existing and imminent technology.

The Accommodation Club was established in 1991 Dr. Parel. This year’s meeting was co-hosted by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, and timed to coincide with the annual ARVO meeting held each year in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the largest annual international meeting in ophthalmology and vision science.

“We started many years ago as a handful of enthusiasts trying to solve the presbyopia problem,” Dr. Parel said. “It is wonderful to see so many internationally renowned vision scientists now directing their attention to this vision problem.”

Further information about the Club and future meetings are available at http://www.accommodationclub.org.