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Atanu Ghosh, Michael J. Collins, Scott A. Read, Brett A. Davis; Axial Length Changes with Shifts of Gaze Direction in Myopes and Emmetropes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(10):6465-6471. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-9973.
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the changes in axial length occurring with shifts in gaze direction.
Axial length measurements were obtained from the left eye of 30 young adults (10 emmetropes, 10 low myopes, and 10 moderate myopes) through a rotating prism with 15° deviation, along the foveal axis, using a noncontact optical biometer in each of the nine different cardinal directions of gaze over 5 minutes. The subject's fellow eye fixated on an external distance (6 m) target to control accommodation, also with 15° deviation. Axial length measurements were also performed in 15° and 25° downward gaze with the biometer inclined on a tilting table, allowing gaze shifts to be achieved with either full head turn but no eye turn, or full eye turn with no head turn.
There was a significant influence of gaze angle and time on axial length (both P < 0.001), with the greatest axial elongation (+18 ± 8 μm) occurring with inferonasal gaze (P < 0.001) and a slight decrease in axial length in superior gaze (−12 ± 17 μm) compared with primary gaze (P < 0.001). In downward gaze, a significant axial elongation occurred when eye turn was used (P < 0.001), but not when head turn was used to shift gaze (P > 0.05).
The angle of gaze has a small but significant short-term effect on axial length, with greatest elongation occurring in inferonasal gaze. The elongation of the eye appears to be due to the influence of the extraocular muscles, in particular the oblique muscles.
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