November 2011
Volume 52, Issue 12
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Clinical and Epidemiologic Research  |   November 2011
Association between Ocular Dominance and Spherical/Astigmatic Anisometropia, Age, and Sex: Analysis of 10,264 Myopic Individuals
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephan J. Linke
    From the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany;
    Care-Vision/Clinica Baviera, Frankfurt, Germany, and Vienna, Austria;
  • Julio Baviera
    Clinica Baviera, Valencia, Spain; and
  • Gur Munzer
    Care Vision Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Johannes Steinberg
    From the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany;
  • Gisbert Richard
    From the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany;
  • Toam Katz
    From the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany;
    Care-Vision/Clinica Baviera, Frankfurt, Germany, and Vienna, Austria;
  • Corresponding author: Stephan. J. Linke, Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany; slinke@uke.uni-hamburg.de
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science November 2011, Vol.52, 9166-9173. doi:10.1167/iovs.11-8131
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      Stephan J. Linke, Julio Baviera, Gur Munzer, Johannes Steinberg, Gisbert Richard, Toam Katz; Association between Ocular Dominance and Spherical/Astigmatic Anisometropia, Age, and Sex: Analysis of 10,264 Myopic Individuals. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(12):9166-9173. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8131.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose.: To determine the association between ocular dominance and spherical or astigmatic anisometropia, age, and sex.

Methods.: Medical records of 10,264 myopic refractive surgery candidates were filtered. Ocular dominance was assessed with the hole-in-the-card test. Manifest refractive error was measured in each subject and correlated to ocular dominance. Only subjects with corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) of >20/22 in each eye were enrolled, to exclude amblyopia. Associations between ocular dominance and refractive state were analyzed by means of the t-test, χ2 test, Spearman correlation, and multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results.: Right and left eye ocular dominance was noted in 61.7% and 35.6% of the individuals. Ocular dominance had no significant impact on SE refraction in subjects with SE or cylindrical anisometropia <0.5 D. For anisometropia >2.5 D (n = 278) the nondominant eye was more myopic in 63.7% (SE −5.8 ± 2.64 D) compared to 36.3% (−4.69 ± 2.39 D; P < 0.001; adjusted P (Padj) < 0.001) for the dominant eye being more myopic. Nondominant eyes showed higher astigmatic power than dominant eyes (−0.95 ± 0.91 D versus −0.89 ± 0.84 D; P < 0.001). For astigmatic anisometropia >2.5 D, nondominant eyes exhibited a higher amount of astigmatism in 75% of subjects. Nondominant eyes of subjects <29 years and 30 to 39 years of age had a significantly higher astigmatic power than did dominant eyes of the same age group.

Conclusions.: In contrast to previous reports, this study, including myopic refractive surgery candidates, revealed that the nondominant eye was more myopic for SE anisometropia >2.5 and more astigmatic for cylindrical anisometropia >0.5 D.

Functional lateralization occurs in the paired organs of the body, such as hands, legs, and cerebral hemispheres. Ocular dominance was first described in 1593 by Porta. In general, it is defined as the tendency to prefer visual input from one eye over the other 1,2 and may further be characterized as a state wherein one of the eyes commonly dominates or leads the other eye, both in fixation and attention or in perceptive function. 3 In 1903, Rosenbach claimed that most individuals have a dominant eye, even though each of their eyes in isolation may provide equal vision, and that, in unequal vision, the dominant eye is not always the eye with better visual acuity. 4 Ocular dominance is related to some ocular mechanism or function, such as eye movement 5 or amblyopia, 6 and is thought to be important in the control of reading. 7  
The role of ocular dominance in surgically induced monovision can be assessed by looking at success and patient satisfaction after monovision refractive surgery. 8 10 This clinical practice is based on the assumption that it will be easier to suppress blur in the nondominant eye than in the dominant one and that surgically induced anisometropia should not exceed 2.5 D 11,12 with the dominant eye usually being corrected for distance and the nondominant eye for near vision. 
If ocular dominance has a role in the mechanism and progression of myopia, this effect is expected to be most manifest in subjects with anisometropic myopia. 13 Only a limited number of studies have attempted to explore the effect of ocular dominance on refractive state, and the results of the existing studies are conflicting. Cheng et al. 13 showed that dominant eyes are more myopic than nondominant eyes in a small cohort (n = 22) of anisometropic (>1.75 D) myopic adult subjects, whereas Chia et al. 14 could not confirm this association in children. 
In the present study, we sought to resolve disparate results in existing reports by analyzing the association between ocular dominance and refractive asymmetry in a large series of refractive surgery candidates. 
Methods
Study Population and Clinical Measures
The study population consisted of 10,264 individuals attending Care Vision refractive clinics in Germany and Austria between April of 2006 and August of 2010 for treatment of ametropias. The refractive clinics were not selected according to defined epidemiologic sampling criteria. Because of the selection bias, there is a deficit of both the number of preteenage and teenage subjects (<18 years) as well as older individuals (>65 years). Most of the subjects were candidates for refractive surgery with excimer laser, either LASIK or PRK. Subjects exceeding the range for laser vision correction were candidates for phakic intraocular surgery or clear lens extraction. 
We examined the medical records of all cases in detail. In addition to general medical and ophthalmic histories, preoperative measurements included uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), manifest refraction, cycloplegic refraction, tonometry, pupillometry, pachymetry, corneal topography (Orbscan; Bausch and Lomb, Rochester, NY; or Pentacam; Oculus, Wetzlar, Germany), slit lamp examination of the anterior segment, and funduscopy. We converted all refractive data to minus cylinder form to prevent confusion during analysis. Only subjects with CDVA ≥20/22 in each eye (i.e., the absence of amblyopia) were included in the study, to avoid any effect of amblyopia on ocular dominance. Subjects were excluded from the study for any one of the following diagnoses: history of ocular surgery including cataract or refractive surgery, ptosis, any clinically significant retinal pathology, glaucoma, optic neuropathy, optic disc anomalies or other diseases that might affect visual acuity, and the presence of marked facial asymmetry. The study protocol complied with the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association regarding scientific research on human subjects. Informed consent was obtained from the subjects after explanation of the nature and possible consequences of the study. The analysis of the data was approved by the local ethics committee. 
Ocular Dominance
To determine ocular dominance or motor dominance, the hole-in-the-card test (Dolman method) was performed. The patient holds a card with a hole in the middle using both hands and is asked to view (manifest correction) a 6-m target through the hole in the card. The observer then occludes each eye alternately to establish which eye is aligned with the hole and the distance target. The selected eye is considered the dominant eye. The process is then repeated. The second time, the subject moves the card slowly toward his face without losing alignment with the fixation point until the hole is over an eye. This is considered to be the dominant one. This test is a forced-choice test of dominance that allows only a right or left eye result. It might be difficult, however, to decide which eye deviates first in some subjects. If we did not observe a clear preference, ocular dominance was classified as undetermined. 
Statistical Analysis
After the data were compiled, they were entered into a spreadsheet program (Hamburg Refractive Data Base; Excel; Microsoft, Redmond, WA) and further statistically analyzed (SPSS software; ver. 15.0; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL). Both left eyes were included in the statistical analyses. Arithmetic means and standard deviation are shown for further descriptive comparison. 
The difference in refractive parameters (SE, astigmatism, power vector J0/J45) between dominant and nondominant eyes was compared with a paired Student's t-test and χ2 test. For the power vector approach, manifest refractions in conventional script notation ([S]phere, [C]ylinder, axis [α]) were converted to power vector coordinates by the following formulas: J0 = (−C/2) cos (2α) and J45 = (−C/2) sin (2α). The axis of cylindrical component in different age groups was further classified as with the rule (WTR) if the minus cylinder axis was within ± 22.5 of 180°, against the rule (ATR) if it was within ± 22.5 of 90°, or oblique (other than WTR or ATR). 
P < 0.05 was statistically significant. To control the inflation of an α error, the P values in Tables 2, 4, and 6 were adjusted with Bonferroni correction 1 − (1 − α) k . To determine the relationship between ocular dominance and the degree of anisometropic myopia, a graph was plotted with the average amount of myopia in the left and right eyes on the x-axis versus the amount of anisometropia on the y-axis. The likelihood that the nondominant eye was more myopic as a function of the amount of anisometropia was assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Anisometropia was further divided into four SE subgroups (<0.49, 0.5–1.74, 1.75–2.49, ≥2.5) and four astigmatism subgroups (<0.49, 0.5–1.74, 1.75–2.49, ≥2.5), to test whether there was a correlation with the likelihood that the nondominant eye was more myopic or astigmatic. Additional ANCOVAs were performed to control for the confounding effects of astigmatism in anisometropia subgroups, with a statistically significant effect of eye dominance on SE. 
Results
A total of 10,264 myopic individuals had complete data on ocular dominance and refraction and could be enrolled into statistical analysis. Mean age was 34.94 ± 9.3 years (ranging from 18 to 68 years), and mean spherical equivalent (SE) refraction was −4.01 ± 2.05 D. There was no significant difference in SE between right (−4.0 ± 2.04 D) and left eyes (−4.01 ± 2.05 D; P = 0.702). When ocular dominance was determined by the hole-in-the-card test, right eye ocular dominance was present in 61.7% (n = 6329) and left eye ocular dominance in 35.6% (n = 3654) of the candidates. Of the subjects, 2.7% (n = 281) were classified as having undetermined ocular dominance. 
Ocular Dominance and Sex
The majority (59%) of the subjects were female. The mean age of the female group was 34.9 ± 9.1 years, mean SE was −4.26 ± 2.1 D (range between −13.5 and −0.125 D), and mean astigmatism was −0.9 ± 0.86 D. For the male subjects, mean age was 35.06 ± 9.6 years, mean SE was − 3.7 ± 2.05 D (range, −12.5 to −0.125 D), and mean astigmatism was −0.95 ± 0.9 D. The men had a significantly (P < 0.001) higher rate of right eye dominance (64.9%) than did the women (62.4%) as shown in Table 1
Table 1.
 
Distribution of Ocular Dominance in Male and Female Subjects
Table 1.
 
Distribution of Ocular Dominance in Male and Female Subjects
OD OS Total P *
n % n % n %
Male 2662 64.88 1441 35.12 4103 41.10 <0.001†
Female 3667 62.36 2213 37.64 5880 58.90
Ocular Dominance and SE Anisometropia
In the whole study population, the difference in SE between the dominant (−3.98 ± 2.02 D) and the nondominant (−4.04 ± 2.06 D) eye was of borderline statistical significance (P = 0.027). The average cylinder of the dominant eye was −0.89 ± 0.84 D, and that of the nondominant eye was −0.95 ± 0.91 D, with the nondominant eye being more astigmatic (P = <0.001). 
When studying the demographics and statistical distribution of refractive error in the human population, a full description of refractive state including the magnitude and axis of astigmatism is needed. Therefore, we decided to analyze refractive state with the power vector approach. The difference in SE, astigmatism, and power vector values (J0 and J45) between the nondominant and dominant eyes was analyzed in the different SE anisometropia groups. 
For subjects with anisometropia <0.5 D, there was no significant difference in SE power (n = 5398; for both, SE −3.63 ± 1.89 D; P = 0.83; Padj = 0.995) and the mean values of the power vectors between the dominant and nondominant eyes, but the nondominant eye had a significantly higher astigmatic power (−0.86 ± 0.86 D) than did the dominant eye (−0.81 ± 0.79 D; P = 0.01; Padj = 0.043). 
In subjects with SE anisometropia 0.5 to 1.749 D, the amount of astigmatism and the mean values of J0 power vectors (but not J45) were significantly higher in the nondominant eye. The observed trend for the nondominant eye to be more myopic and more astigmatic for SE anisometropia <2.5 D became statistically significant in the high (>2.5 D) anisometropia subgroup. 
Additional ANCOVA revealed that the observed effect of ocular dominance on SE (nondominant more myopic) persisted when controlling confounding effects of astigmatism on ocular dominance. The results are summarized in Table 2
Table 2.
 
Refractive Parameters in the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Anisometropia SE Groups
Table 2.
 
Refractive Parameters in the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Anisometropia SE Groups
Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P * Padj†
All Subjects (n = 9983)
SE, D −3.98 ± 2.02 −4.04 ± 2.06 0.026‡ §
Astigmatism, D −0.89 ± 0.84 −0.95 ± 0.91 <0.001§
J0 0.008 ± 0.66 0.043 ± 0.89 <0.001§
J45 0.014 ± 0.29 0.013 ± 0.13 0.764
Anisometropic Myopia2.5 (n = 278)
SE, D −4.69 ± 2.39 −5.8 ± 2.64 <0.001§ ‖ <0.001§
Astigmatism, D −1.2 ± 1.03 −1.46 ± 1.1 0.011§ 0.043§
J0 0.297 ± 0.7 0.33 ± 0.72 0.575 0.967
J45 0.036 ± 0.39 0.036 ± 0.45 0.990 0.999
Anisometropic Myopia 1.75–2.49 (n = 389)
SE, D −4.8 ± 2.13 −5.07 ± 2.23 0.076 0.271
Astigmatism, D −1.08 ± 0.90 −1.1 ± 1.0 0.117 0.392
J0 0.13 ± 0.7 0.20 ± 0.72 0.155 0.490
J45 0.034 ± 0.34 0.22 ± 0.39 0.654 0.986
Anisometropic Myopia 0.5–1749 (n = 3918)
SE, D −4.32 ± 2.06 −4.37 ± 2.06 0.320 0.786
Astigmatism, D −0.95 ± 0.86 −1.02 ± 0.95 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.055 ± 0.65 0.1 ± 0.7 0.003§ 0.012§
J45 0.019 ± 0.32 0.014 ± 0.34 0.545 0.957
Anisometropic Myopia <0.5 (n = 5398)
SE, D −3.63 ± 1.88 −3.63 ± 1.88 0.83 0.999
Astigmatism, D −0.816 ± 0.79 −0.86 ± 0.86 0.011§ 0.043§
J0 −0.049 ± 0.64 −0.025 ± 0.66 0.052 0.192
J45 0.008 ± 0.26 0.009 ± 0.27 0.737 0.995
Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that in the subjects in whom anisometropia increased by 1.0 D, the odds ratio that the nondominant eye was more myopic was 1.153 (95% confidence interval, 1.086–1.224). 
For SE anisometropia lower than 0.5 D (n = 4362), the nondominant eye was more myopic in 51.8% of the subjects, and the dominant eye was more myopic in 48.2% subjects. The prevalence of more severe myopia in the nondominant eye increased as the amount of anisometropia increased, as shown in Table 3. For anisometropia, 1.75 to 2.49 D (n = 389), the nondominant eyes were more myopic in 57.3% of subjects and for anisometropia >2.5 D (n = 278) nondominant eyes were more myopic in 63.7% of subjects. 
Table 3.
 
Distribution of Myopia between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes in the Study Subgroups
Table 3.
 
Distribution of Myopia between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes in the Study Subgroups
Anidometropia (SE) Dominant Eye More Myopic Nondominant Eye More Myopic Total P *
n % n % n %
≤0.49 2102 48.19 2260 51.81 4362 48.75 0.097
0.5–1.74 1862 47.52 2056 52.48 3918 43.79 0.695
    0.5–0.99 1467 48.11 1582 51.89 3049 34.08 0.261
    1.0–1.74 395 45.45 474 54.55 869 9.71 0.254
1.75–2.49 166 42.67 223 57.33 389 4.35 0.062
≥2.5 101 36.33 177 63.67 278 3.11 <0.001†
In contrast the percentage of subjects with undetermined dominance decreased with increasing anisometropia: Three percent of the subjects with anisometropia <0.5 D did not demonstrate a clear ocular dominance (undetermined), whereas only 1.4% of the subjects with anisometropia >2.5 D were classified as undetermined. This observed tendency was not statistically significant (P = 0.14). 
Figure 1 shows a scatterplot of the average amount of myopia versus the amount of anisometropia for the more myopic dominant or nondominant eye. 
Figure 1.
 
The amount of anisometropia versus the average amount of myopia in each subject. The average amount of myopia was calculated as the mean spherical equivalent of the right and left eyes. The dominant eye was more myopic in 4231 (47.3%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more myopic in 4711 (52.7%) subjects.
Figure 1.
 
The amount of anisometropia versus the average amount of myopia in each subject. The average amount of myopia was calculated as the mean spherical equivalent of the right and left eyes. The dominant eye was more myopic in 4231 (47.3%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more myopic in 4711 (52.7%) subjects.
Ocular Dominance and Astigmatic Anisometropia
In 5883 (58.9%) subjects, the astigmatic power between the eyes was within <0.5 D, and the interocular difference in astigmatic power between the dominant (−0.73 ± 0.71 D) and nondominant eyes (−0.74 ± 0.71 D) was not statistically significant (P = 0.672; Padj = 0.988). There was also no significant difference in SE and the mean values of the power vectors between the dominant and nondominant eyes. 
For subjects with astigmatic anisometropia >0.5 D the amount of astigmatism and the mean values of J0 power vectors (but not J45) were significantly higher in the nondominant eyes. The observed tendency of the nondominant eye to be more myopic in anisometropic subjects was borderline statistically significant in the 1.75 to 2.49 D anisometropia group (dominant, −3.7 ± 2.12 D versus nondominant −4.3 ± 2.4 D; P = 0.014; Padj = 0.055). The results are summarized in Table 4
Table 4.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of the Astigmatism Anisometropia Groups
Table 4.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of the Astigmatism Anisometropia Groups
Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P * Padj†
All Subjects (n = 9983)
SE, D −3.9 ± 2.0 −4.0 ± 2.0 0.026‡ §
Astigmatism, D −0.89 ± 0.84 −0.95 ± 0.91 <0.001§
J0 −0.008 ± 0.66 −0.04 ± 0.7 <0.001§
J45 0.011 ± 0.29 0.01 ± 0.3 0.761
Anisometropic Astigmatism2.5 (n = 64)
SE, D −3.3 ± 2.1 −3.5 ± 2.1 0.572 0.966
Astigmatism, D −1.7 ± 1.5 −3.32 ± 1.8 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.49 ± 0.9 1.3 ± 1.3 <0.001§ <0.001§
J45 0.07 ± 0.6 0.18 ± 0.82 0.397 0.868
Anisometropic Astigmatism 1.75–2.49 (n = 195)
SE, D −3.7 ± 2.12 −4.3 ± 2.4 0.014§ ‖ 0.055
Astigmatism, D −1.5 ± 1.2 −2.4 ± 1.2 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.36 ± 0.8 0.68 ± 0.95 0.001§ 0.004§
J45 0.01 ± 0.5 0.03 ± 0.7 0.772 0.997
Anisometropic Astigmatism 0.5–1.749 (n = 3841)
SE, D −4.14 ± 2.1 −4.2 ± 2.1 0.154 0.488
Astigmatism, D −1.08 ± 0.9 −1.16 ± 0.96 <0.001§ 0.004
J0 0.087 ± 0.7 0.1 ± 0.7 0.019§ 0.074
J45 0.015 ± 0.34 0.011 ± 0.36 0.626 0.980
Anisometropic Astigmatism0.49 (n = 5883)
SE, D −3.88 ± 1.95 −3.92 ± 1.99 0.24 0.666
Astigmatism, D −0.73 ± 0.71 −0.74 ± 0.71 0.672 0.988
J0 −0.06 ± 0.60 −0.04 ± 0.6 0.168 0.521
J45 0.011 ± 0.24 0.01 ± 0.24 0.761 0.997
Figure 2 shows a scatterplot of the average amount of astigmatism versus the amount of astigmatic anisometropia for the more astigmatic dominant or nondominant eye. 
Figure 2.
 
The relationship between interocular difference in astigmatism and mean astigmatism. The dominant eye was more astigmatic in 3412 (45.9%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more astigmatic in 4020 (44.1%) subjects.
Figure 2.
 
The relationship between interocular difference in astigmatism and mean astigmatism. The dominant eye was more astigmatic in 3412 (45.9%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more astigmatic in 4020 (44.1%) subjects.
The prevalence of the nondominant eye being more astigmatic increased as the amount of astigmatic anisometropia increased as shown in Table 5. For anisometropia, 1.75 to 2.49 D (n = 195), nondominant eyes were more astigmatic in 72.3% of subjects and for astigmatic anisometropia >2.5 D (n = 64) nondominant eyes were more astigmatic in 75%. 
Table 5.
 
Distribution of Astigmatism between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes That Are Astigmatic in Different Cylindrical Power Anisometropia Subgroups
Table 5.
 
Distribution of Astigmatism between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes That Are Astigmatic in Different Cylindrical Power Anisometropia Subgroups
Anisometropia (Astigmatism) Dominant eye More Astigmatic Nondominant Eye More Astigmatic Total P *
n % n % n %
<0.49 1600 48.02 1732 51.98 3332 44.83 0.001†
0.5–1.74 1742 45.35 2099 54.6 3841 51.68 0.319
    0.5–0.99 1584 46.30 1837 53.70 3421 46.03 <0.001†
    1.0–1.74 158 37.62 262 62.38 420 5.65 <0.001†
1.75–2.49 54 27.69 141 72.31 195 2.62 <0.001†
≥2.5 16 25.00 48 75.00 64 0.86 0.001†
Ocular Dominance and Age
The amount of astigmatism and J0 power vector values were significantly different between the dominant and nondominant eyes only in subjects <29 and 30 to 39 years of age, with the nondominant eye showing higher astigmatic and J0 power vector values. In older age groups, no statistically significant differences were found for any of the analyzed refractive parameters (SE, astigmatic power, J0, or J45). No statistically significant difference was observed in each age group regarding the distribution of with-the-rule (WTR) and against-the-rule (ATR) astigmatism in the dominant and nondominant eyes. A summary of the refractive parameters in the dominant and nondominant eyes of the different age groups is listed in Table 6
Table 6.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Different Age Groups
Table 6.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Different Age Groups
Age Groups (y)/Parameters Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P *
29 (n = 3297)
Spherical equivalent, D −3.97 ± 1.99 −4.0 ± 2.04 0.219
Astigmatism, D −0.81 ± 0.81 −0.88 ± 0.90 0.001†
J0 0.01 ± 0.6 0.05 ± 0.65 0.005†
J45 0.01 ± 0.28 0.02 ± 0.3 0.113
WTR, n (%) 1993 (49.4) 2042 (50.6) 0.210
ATR, n (%) 536 (50.8) 520 (49.2) 0.595
Oblique, n (%) 768 (51.1) 734 (48.9) 0.333
30–39 (n = 3367)
Spherical equivalent, D −3.91 ± 2.0 −3.95 ± 2.0 0.418
Astigmatism, D −0.88 ± 0.8 −0.95 ± 0.88 0.001†
J0 0.001 ± 0.7 0.03 ± 0.7 0.034†
J45 0.01 ± 0.29 0.009 ± 0.3 0.751
WTR, n (%) 1914 (49.5) 1949 (50.5) 0.373
ATR, n (%) 623 (49.7) 630 (50.3) 0.817
Oblique, n (%) 830 (51.4) 786 (48.6) 0.214
40–49 (n = 2634)
Spherical equivalent, D −4.01 ± 2.05 −4.11 ± 2.08 0.103
Astigmatism, D −0.96 ± 0.9 −1.01 ± 0.96 0.054
J0 0.03 ± 0.68 0.05 ± 0.7 0.347
J45 0.019 ± 0.32 0.009 ± 0.33 0.244
WTR, n (%) 1482 (49.9) 1489 (50.1) 0.870
ATR, n (%) 491 (49.3) 505 (50.7) 0.632
Oblique, n (%) 659 (50.7) 640 (49.3) 0.533
50 (n = 685)
Spherical equivalent, D −4.12 ± 2.1 −4.2 ± 2.15 0.443
Astigmatism, D −0.99 ± 0.86 −1.0 ± 0.89 0.666
J0 −0.07 ± 0.7 −0.01 ± 0.7 0.135
J45 0.01 ± 0.32 −0.003 ± 0.34 0.209
WTR, n (%) 325 (48.7) 343 (51.3) 0.317
ATR, n (%) 169 (52.3) 154 (47.7) 0.347
Oblique, n (%) 191 (50.5) 187 (49.5) 0.822
Discussion
We present, to the best of our knowledge, the largest study on the association between ocular dominance and myopic refractive asymmetry, aiming to resolve the disparate results of existing reports. 
Only refractive surgery candidates who had decided to attend a laser clinic to correct refractive errors were included in this study. The clinical selection of subjects is thus biased toward persons with myopic refractive errors, mainly at the expense of emmetropes. Hypermetropes must certainly be analyzed and discussed separately. Originally, ocular dominance was thought to be independent of refraction, 15 but Cheng et al. 13 were the first to show that dominant eyes, determined by the hole-in-the-card test, had a significantly greater myopic SE (−5.27 ± 2.45 D) than did nondominant eyes (−3.94 ± 3.1 D, P < 0.001) in adult subjects with anisometropic (>0.5 D) myopia. The difference was more evident in those subjects with higher anisometropia (>1.75 D). 
In contrast, we observed the opposite trend, with the nondominant eye being more myopic (SE) in anisometropic subjects. This trend reached statistical significance for anisometropia >2.5 D (n = 278; P < 0.001), even after statistical adjustment for the confounding effects of astigmatism on SE refraction. The higher the amount of SE anisometropia, the greater the likelihood that the nondominant eye was more myopic than the dominant eye. 
Chia et al. 14 did not find a significant effect of ocular dominance on spherical equivalent in anisometropic myopic Singaporean children (n = 184), but showed that astigmatism was significantly lower in dominant eyes of anisometropic subjects. The authors hypothesized that interocular astigmatic differences, present since a young age, may result in eyes with less astigmatism (or better vision) becoming more dominant. 
Our comprehensive data on 10,264 myopic subjects confirmed the higher astigmatic power in nondominant eyes. We further observed a positive linear association between increasing anisometropia (SE and astigmatism) and increasing prevalence of the nondominant being more astigmatic (Tables 3, 5). 
Eser et al. 16 performed a retrospective study (n = 2453; mean age, 46 ± 12 years; mean SE = −2.28) using the-hole-in-the-card test and found right eye ocular dominance in 67% and left eye dominance in 33%, but no difference in mean SE of both eyes. In accordance with our results, the authors showed a higher rate of right eye dominance in males (70%) than in females (65%). Cheng et al. 13 reported a right eye ocular dominance in 63.6% and left eye dominance in 36.4% of anisometropic subjects (n = 55; 30.3 ± 9.5 years; mean SE = -4.66), which is close to our 61.7% (n = 6326) right eye ocular dominance and 35.6% left eye ocular dominance (n = 3653). 
The difference between the present results and those of earlier studies may be attributable to differences in sample size and in the characteristics of the study subjects. The strengths of our study include the large sample size, the homogeneity of the method of refraction, and the strict exclusion of ocular diseases and amblyopia, as a result of a detailed ophthalmic examination of the subjects. 
We decided to base our analysis primarily on manifest refraction, because ocular dominance is tested with the hole-in-the-card test without cycloplegia. As Cheng et al. 13 and Chia et al. 14 used cycloplegic autorefraction data for analysis and to further reduce the probability of methodological bias, we recalculated all comparisons based on cycloplegic refraction with the overall results and tendencies remaining (data not shown). 
The limitations and pitfalls of our study must be considered. First, there were no relevant data available in our study about hand dominance of the subjects. However, Cheng et al. 13 and Mansour et al. 17 found no correlation between handedness and refraction. 
Second, the reliability of ocular dominance tests in general should be addressed. Although ocular dominance is thought to be stable within a given viewing situation or stimulus arrangement, 1,18 it is difficult to characterize the strength and reliability of ocular dominance with the hole-in-the-card test only. To further characterize ocular dominance, Seijas et al. 8 recommended confirming its presence with a second test or a panel of test methods, to select those individuals with strong or clear dominance. They showed that the hole-in-the-card test only rarely produces results showing undetermined dominance. The certainty and simplicity of the test method probably account for its widespread use in determining ocular dominance. This motor test only indirectly approximates the strength of ocular dominance, by identifying the portion of subjects with undetermined dominance. Cheng et al. 13 suspected that the extent of ocular dominance varies among individuals and those with stronger ocular dominance may eventually develop higher amounts of anisometropia, whereas those with less dominance may not. 
Accordingly, we observed a decreasing prevalence of undetermined subjects with increasing anisometropia: 3% undetermined subjects for anisometropia <0.5 and 1.4% of undetermined subjects for anisometropia >2.5 D. This observed tendency was not statistically significant P = 0.14. 
It seems appropriate in future studies not to simply determine right or left dominance, but to perform more than one test or to develop methods that evaluate the magnitude of ocular dominance. 8  
It it is widely accepted that the prevalence of myopia is increasing, 19 and the environmental and genetic factors that contribute to its progression remain to be fully elucidated. 
Epidemiologic studies like ours that analyze the association between ocular dominance and refractive state may deliver additional aspects and may help contribute to the understanding of both the cause and the development of refractive errors. Since the cross-sectional nature and selection of refractive surgery candidates precludes any definite conclusions on the causality or temporal relationship between ocular dominance and myopia, future longitudinal studies are warranted. 
Thus, it appears that there has been little advancement in our understanding of eye dominance since Miles 20 concluded that “the significance of optical dominance is not yet fully evident, although it appears generally demonstrable as a habit.” Although some aspects of ocular dominance are resolved, the role that a dominant eye may play in visual, refractive and oculomotor processes remains obscure. Cheng et al. 13 summarized, that from an intervention point of view, it will be interesting to know whether different treatment modalities, such as eye drops or surgical correction of refractive error, in the dominant and nondominant eyes could effectively slow the progression of myopia in both eyes, particularly in patients with higher amounts of anisometropia. Future longitudinal studies are warranted to elucidate the mutual clinical impact of ocular dominance and refractive asymmetry. 
Conclusion
In contrast to previous reports, our study revealed that the nondominant eye exhibits a greater myopic and astigmatic refractive error than the dominant eye in anisometropic myopic refractive surgery candidates. 
We can only hypothesize about the causal relationship between ocular dominance and the higher refractive error in the nondominant eye. Although age-related accommodative failure is largely due to peripheral lenticular changes, the finding that the nondominant eye is more myopic and more astigmatic (our study) may be the result of neurosenescence, which in turn may force a tendency toward “evolutional monovision.” Nevertheless, given the cross-sectional design, one could not yet determine whether this significant association is the consequence of faster myopia/astigmatism progression in the nondominant eye or is caused by the tendency of the more myopic/astigmatic eye to be the nondominant eye. 
Once the influence of ocular dominance on refraction (and vice versa) is elaborated, future studies designed to explore the predictability and stability of refractive outcome in anisometropic subjects with respect to ocular dominance are warranted. 
Footnotes
 Disclosure: S.J. Linke, None; J. Baviera, None; G. Munzer, None; J. Steinberg, None; G. Richard, None; T. Katz, None
The authors thank the staff and patients of Care Vision for their support in establishing the anonymized refractive data collection (Hamburg Refractive Data Base); Udo Friedrich Wilhelm Bartsch for carefully reading the manuscript; and, particularly, Vasyl Druchkiv for supporting and supervising the database and for expert statistical analysis. 
References
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Figure 1.
 
The amount of anisometropia versus the average amount of myopia in each subject. The average amount of myopia was calculated as the mean spherical equivalent of the right and left eyes. The dominant eye was more myopic in 4231 (47.3%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more myopic in 4711 (52.7%) subjects.
Figure 1.
 
The amount of anisometropia versus the average amount of myopia in each subject. The average amount of myopia was calculated as the mean spherical equivalent of the right and left eyes. The dominant eye was more myopic in 4231 (47.3%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more myopic in 4711 (52.7%) subjects.
Figure 2.
 
The relationship between interocular difference in astigmatism and mean astigmatism. The dominant eye was more astigmatic in 3412 (45.9%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more astigmatic in 4020 (44.1%) subjects.
Figure 2.
 
The relationship between interocular difference in astigmatism and mean astigmatism. The dominant eye was more astigmatic in 3412 (45.9%) subjects, whereas the nondominant eye was more astigmatic in 4020 (44.1%) subjects.
Table 1.
 
Distribution of Ocular Dominance in Male and Female Subjects
Table 1.
 
Distribution of Ocular Dominance in Male and Female Subjects
OD OS Total P *
n % n % n %
Male 2662 64.88 1441 35.12 4103 41.10 <0.001†
Female 3667 62.36 2213 37.64 5880 58.90
Table 2.
 
Refractive Parameters in the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Anisometropia SE Groups
Table 2.
 
Refractive Parameters in the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Anisometropia SE Groups
Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P * Padj†
All Subjects (n = 9983)
SE, D −3.98 ± 2.02 −4.04 ± 2.06 0.026‡ §
Astigmatism, D −0.89 ± 0.84 −0.95 ± 0.91 <0.001§
J0 0.008 ± 0.66 0.043 ± 0.89 <0.001§
J45 0.014 ± 0.29 0.013 ± 0.13 0.764
Anisometropic Myopia2.5 (n = 278)
SE, D −4.69 ± 2.39 −5.8 ± 2.64 <0.001§ ‖ <0.001§
Astigmatism, D −1.2 ± 1.03 −1.46 ± 1.1 0.011§ 0.043§
J0 0.297 ± 0.7 0.33 ± 0.72 0.575 0.967
J45 0.036 ± 0.39 0.036 ± 0.45 0.990 0.999
Anisometropic Myopia 1.75–2.49 (n = 389)
SE, D −4.8 ± 2.13 −5.07 ± 2.23 0.076 0.271
Astigmatism, D −1.08 ± 0.90 −1.1 ± 1.0 0.117 0.392
J0 0.13 ± 0.7 0.20 ± 0.72 0.155 0.490
J45 0.034 ± 0.34 0.22 ± 0.39 0.654 0.986
Anisometropic Myopia 0.5–1749 (n = 3918)
SE, D −4.32 ± 2.06 −4.37 ± 2.06 0.320 0.786
Astigmatism, D −0.95 ± 0.86 −1.02 ± 0.95 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.055 ± 0.65 0.1 ± 0.7 0.003§ 0.012§
J45 0.019 ± 0.32 0.014 ± 0.34 0.545 0.957
Anisometropic Myopia <0.5 (n = 5398)
SE, D −3.63 ± 1.88 −3.63 ± 1.88 0.83 0.999
Astigmatism, D −0.816 ± 0.79 −0.86 ± 0.86 0.011§ 0.043§
J0 −0.049 ± 0.64 −0.025 ± 0.66 0.052 0.192
J45 0.008 ± 0.26 0.009 ± 0.27 0.737 0.995
Table 3.
 
Distribution of Myopia between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes in the Study Subgroups
Table 3.
 
Distribution of Myopia between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes in the Study Subgroups
Anidometropia (SE) Dominant Eye More Myopic Nondominant Eye More Myopic Total P *
n % n % n %
≤0.49 2102 48.19 2260 51.81 4362 48.75 0.097
0.5–1.74 1862 47.52 2056 52.48 3918 43.79 0.695
    0.5–0.99 1467 48.11 1582 51.89 3049 34.08 0.261
    1.0–1.74 395 45.45 474 54.55 869 9.71 0.254
1.75–2.49 166 42.67 223 57.33 389 4.35 0.062
≥2.5 101 36.33 177 63.67 278 3.11 <0.001†
Table 4.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of the Astigmatism Anisometropia Groups
Table 4.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of the Astigmatism Anisometropia Groups
Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P * Padj†
All Subjects (n = 9983)
SE, D −3.9 ± 2.0 −4.0 ± 2.0 0.026‡ §
Astigmatism, D −0.89 ± 0.84 −0.95 ± 0.91 <0.001§
J0 −0.008 ± 0.66 −0.04 ± 0.7 <0.001§
J45 0.011 ± 0.29 0.01 ± 0.3 0.761
Anisometropic Astigmatism2.5 (n = 64)
SE, D −3.3 ± 2.1 −3.5 ± 2.1 0.572 0.966
Astigmatism, D −1.7 ± 1.5 −3.32 ± 1.8 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.49 ± 0.9 1.3 ± 1.3 <0.001§ <0.001§
J45 0.07 ± 0.6 0.18 ± 0.82 0.397 0.868
Anisometropic Astigmatism 1.75–2.49 (n = 195)
SE, D −3.7 ± 2.12 −4.3 ± 2.4 0.014§ ‖ 0.055
Astigmatism, D −1.5 ± 1.2 −2.4 ± 1.2 <0.001§ <0.001§
J0 0.36 ± 0.8 0.68 ± 0.95 0.001§ 0.004§
J45 0.01 ± 0.5 0.03 ± 0.7 0.772 0.997
Anisometropic Astigmatism 0.5–1.749 (n = 3841)
SE, D −4.14 ± 2.1 −4.2 ± 2.1 0.154 0.488
Astigmatism, D −1.08 ± 0.9 −1.16 ± 0.96 <0.001§ 0.004
J0 0.087 ± 0.7 0.1 ± 0.7 0.019§ 0.074
J45 0.015 ± 0.34 0.011 ± 0.36 0.626 0.980
Anisometropic Astigmatism0.49 (n = 5883)
SE, D −3.88 ± 1.95 −3.92 ± 1.99 0.24 0.666
Astigmatism, D −0.73 ± 0.71 −0.74 ± 0.71 0.672 0.988
J0 −0.06 ± 0.60 −0.04 ± 0.6 0.168 0.521
J45 0.011 ± 0.24 0.01 ± 0.24 0.761 0.997
Table 5.
 
Distribution of Astigmatism between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes That Are Astigmatic in Different Cylindrical Power Anisometropia Subgroups
Table 5.
 
Distribution of Astigmatism between the Dominant and Nondominant Eyes That Are Astigmatic in Different Cylindrical Power Anisometropia Subgroups
Anisometropia (Astigmatism) Dominant eye More Astigmatic Nondominant Eye More Astigmatic Total P *
n % n % n %
<0.49 1600 48.02 1732 51.98 3332 44.83 0.001†
0.5–1.74 1742 45.35 2099 54.6 3841 51.68 0.319
    0.5–0.99 1584 46.30 1837 53.70 3421 46.03 <0.001†
    1.0–1.74 158 37.62 262 62.38 420 5.65 <0.001†
1.75–2.49 54 27.69 141 72.31 195 2.62 <0.001†
≥2.5 16 25.00 48 75.00 64 0.86 0.001†
Table 6.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Different Age Groups
Table 6.
 
Refractive Parameters in Dominant and Nondominant Eyes of Different Age Groups
Age Groups (y)/Parameters Dominant Eyes Nondominant Eyes P *
29 (n = 3297)
Spherical equivalent, D −3.97 ± 1.99 −4.0 ± 2.04 0.219
Astigmatism, D −0.81 ± 0.81 −0.88 ± 0.90 0.001†
J0 0.01 ± 0.6 0.05 ± 0.65 0.005†
J45 0.01 ± 0.28 0.02 ± 0.3 0.113
WTR, n (%) 1993 (49.4) 2042 (50.6) 0.210
ATR, n (%) 536 (50.8) 520 (49.2) 0.595
Oblique, n (%) 768 (51.1) 734 (48.9) 0.333
30–39 (n = 3367)
Spherical equivalent, D −3.91 ± 2.0 −3.95 ± 2.0 0.418
Astigmatism, D −0.88 ± 0.8 −0.95 ± 0.88 0.001†
J0 0.001 ± 0.7 0.03 ± 0.7 0.034†
J45 0.01 ± 0.29 0.009 ± 0.3 0.751
WTR, n (%) 1914 (49.5) 1949 (50.5) 0.373
ATR, n (%) 623 (49.7) 630 (50.3) 0.817
Oblique, n (%) 830 (51.4) 786 (48.6) 0.214
40–49 (n = 2634)
Spherical equivalent, D −4.01 ± 2.05 −4.11 ± 2.08 0.103
Astigmatism, D −0.96 ± 0.9 −1.01 ± 0.96 0.054
J0 0.03 ± 0.68 0.05 ± 0.7 0.347
J45 0.019 ± 0.32 0.009 ± 0.33 0.244
WTR, n (%) 1482 (49.9) 1489 (50.1) 0.870
ATR, n (%) 491 (49.3) 505 (50.7) 0.632
Oblique, n (%) 659 (50.7) 640 (49.3) 0.533
50 (n = 685)
Spherical equivalent, D −4.12 ± 2.1 −4.2 ± 2.15 0.443
Astigmatism, D −0.99 ± 0.86 −1.0 ± 0.89 0.666
J0 −0.07 ± 0.7 −0.01 ± 0.7 0.135
J45 0.01 ± 0.32 −0.003 ± 0.34 0.209
WTR, n (%) 325 (48.7) 343 (51.3) 0.317
ATR, n (%) 169 (52.3) 154 (47.7) 0.347
Oblique, n (%) 191 (50.5) 187 (49.5) 0.822
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