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Peripheral Prism Glasses: Effects of Dominance, Suppression, and Background

Ross, Nicole C.*; Bowers, Alex R.; Peli, Eli

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3182678d99
Original Articles

Purpose. Unilateral peripheral prisms for homonymous hemianopia (HH) place different images on corresponding peripheral retinal points, a rivalrous situation in which local suppression of the prism image could occur and thus limit device functionality. Detection with peripheral prisms has primarily been evaluated using conventional perimetry, where binocular rivalry is unlikely to occur. We quantified detection over more visually complex backgrounds and examined the effects of ocular dominance.

Methods. Detection rates of eight participants with HH or quadranopia and normal binocularity wearing unilateral peripheral prism glasses were determined for static perimetry targets briefly presented in the prism expansion area (in the blind hemifield) and the seeing hemifield, under monocular and binocular viewing, over uniform gray and more complex patterned backgrounds.

Results. Participants with normal binocularity had mixed sensory ocular dominance, demonstrated no difference in detection rates when prisms were fitted on the side of the HH or the opposite side (p > 0.2), and had detection rates in the expansion area that were not different for monocular and binocular viewing over both backgrounds (p > 0.4). However, two participants with abnormal binocularity and strong ocular dominance demonstrated reduced detection in the expansion area when prisms were fitted in front of the non-dominant eye.

Conclusions. We found little evidence of local suppression of the peripheral prism image for HH patients with normal binocularity. However, in cases of strong ocular dominance, consideration should be given to fitting prisms before the dominant eye. Although these results are promising, further testing in more realistic conditions including image motion is needed.


PhD, MCOptom, FAAO


Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and New England College of Optometry, Boston, Massachusetts.

Received December 30, 2011; accepted June 4, 2012.

Eli Peli Schepens Eye Research Institute 20 Staniford Street Boston, MA 02114-2500 e-mail:

© 2012 American Academy of Optometry