Pseudomyopia refers to an intermittent and temporary shift in refractive error of the eye towards myopia, in which the focusing of light in front of the retina is due to a transient spasm of the ciliary muscle causing an increase in the refractive power of the eye. It may be either organic, through stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, or functional in origin, through eye strain or fatigue of ocular systems. It is common in young adults who have active accommodation, and classically occurs after a change in visual requirements, such as students preparing for an exam, or a change in occupation.
The major symptom is intermittent blurring of distance vision particularly noticeable after prolonged periods of near work, and symptoms of asthenopia. The vision may clear temporarily using concave (minus) lenses. The diagnosis is done by cycloplegic refraction using a strong cycloplegic like atropine or homatropine eye drops. Accommodative amplitude and facility may be reduced as a result of the ciliary muscle spasm.
Treatment is dependent on the underlying aetiology. Organic causes may include systemic or ocular medications, brain stem injury, or active ocular inflammation such as uveitis. Functional pseudomyopia is managed though modification of working conditions, an updated refraction, typically involving a reduction of a myopic prescription to some lower myopic prescription, or through appropriate ocular exercises.
Chentsova O, Shatalov O (2002). "Comparative analysis of the efficacy of some methods of conservative treatment of accommodation spasms and myopia in children". Vestn Oftalmol. 118 (6): 10–2. PMID 12506647.