Accommodation is the process by which the eye focuses to see near objects.  A normal eye, that is to say, an eye that is neither nearsighted nor farsighted, is naturally focused to see distant objects clearly.  To see close-up objects, such as when reading, the flexible lens inside the eye changes shape and becomes “rounder.”  This process is called accommodation and is quite versatile when young.  After the age of 40, however, our lens becomes stiff and accommodation becomes more challenging.  We lose our ability to accommodate and we become more dependent on glasses and bifocals with time. This loss of accommodation is called presbyopia.

Accommodation of the Ciliary Muscle
With accommodation, the lens becomes rounder.


Finally, here is a rock song about accommodation:

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. Accommodation is very strong in childhood but weakens in adulthood. With children, we often have to dilate their eyes (using dilating drops) when we check them for glasses. Otherwise, they accommodate so hard, their glasses prescription becomes inaccurate.

    If you have questions about this topic, please feel free to comment! Thanks!

  2. Dr. Tim,

    You are simply the root of Ocular Education. Nobody compares to you except your humble self. I am so very impressed at your selfless services to the Ophtho world.

    Kindest appreciation always!

    Regards and God’s everlasting blessings to you and your family, AMEN!


  3. Hi there;
    …. it is always a pleasure to get “New Stuff” from Mr.Root. He´s get me learning “effortless” – thank you for that Mr.Root !

  4. Dear Dr. Root,

    Thank you for all of the great online resources you have created. I am currently a 3rd year pediatric resident on my ophthalmology rotation and your materials have been very useful.


    David Nawoor, MD.

  5. After 40 as your ability to accommodate diminishes, does wearing magnifiers make it worse? Should I be forcing the muscles to work or is this hopeless?


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