Accommodative Spasm Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Accommodative spasm is a common condition of eye. Also known as spasm of accommodation, in this condition the ciliary muscle of eye remains constantly in the state of spasm or contraction. The function of ciliary muscles in eye is to contract and relax whenever necessary so that the lens can change its shape to control the amount of light entering in the eye (focusing).

The most important function of ciliary muscles in eye is accommodation. Accommodation is process by which the eye is able to change its optical power to see the image of an object clearly. This makes the eye focus very well on any object whether at a distance or nearby. But in accommodative spasm the ciliary muscle remain in contraction constantly. This causes difficulty in seeing distant object clearly after focusing on close up task. The object appears blurred. Generally accommodative spasm is a temporary spasm. But if it occur frequently patient is given corrective glasses to wear or contact lenses. Even eye exercises are beneficial for gaining control over accommodative spasm.

Causes of Accommodative Spasm:

There are several factors that may be responsible for accommodative spasm. In accommodative spasm, the ciliary muscles remain in spasm for a long period of time. This may cause difficulty in focusing for distant objects. Hence the distant object may appear blurred. Constant contraction of ciliary muscle can occur for following reasons:

  • Eye fatigue because of constant load on eye for example straining your eyes while working on computer for long time, watching TV, reading books in dim light.
  • Bad lighting arrangement in workplace.
  • Weakness of back and neck muscles.
  • Reduced blood circulation in cervical spine.
  • Insufficient sleep.
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Reading and writing at very less distance.
  • Lack of physical activity.

Symptoms of Accommodative Spasm:

Accommodative spasm or constant contraction of ciliary muscle is commonly encountered by many of us. However, this is not regular phenomenon. Sometime when you are reading or writing and suddenly you have to look at a distant object, the distance vision may become blurry. However, this remains for few seconds and you are able to see the object clearly after few seconds. But in accommodative spasm caused from the above mentioned problems, you may suffer from several accompanying symptoms which include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Redness and burning in eyes due to eye strain.
  • Frontal headache
  • Vision fluctuation
  • Because of poor accommodation person loses his concentration while working.

Accommodative spasm is present in children as well as adults. Often the condition is accompanied with shortsightedness and long sightedness.


Since in most cases of accommodative spasm no treatment is needed as it is a temporary phenomenon. However, if the symptoms and blurring of vision is too often while accommodating the near and distant vision, some remedial measures must be taken. Vision therapy is one such measure. It consists of certain useful eye exercises that will help in focusing as it relaxes the ciliary muscles. Use of corrective glasses and contact lens is also beneficial. Some doctors also recommend relaxing techniques. For example person suffering from this disorder must take break from working on computer after every 30 minutes for few seconds or minutes. He may also plan a short vacation after a busy schedule where he may have experienced too much of eye strain. Vitamin supplements and shoulder massage are also beneficial in reducing the problem.