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Thoughts on Ocular Dominance—Is It Actually a Preference?

Laby, Daniel M M.D.; Kirschen, David G O.D., Ph.D.

Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice: May 2011 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 140-144
doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e31820e0bdf

Background: Ocular dominance has been studied for many years, and there have been many attempts to correlate eye dominance with athletic performance. Although many reports have failed to show a correlation, some reports have shown a relationship between sports performance and eye dominance.

Methods: This report reviews some of those studies and the tests of eye dominance used in the reports. Additionally, we review the physical basis of eye dominance and the role of the binocular visual system in its determination. Lastly, a review of common facts and fallacies relating to ocular dominance is provided.

Results/Conclusion: It is suggested that the visual system is designed as a binocular system, and only tests that allow for maintenance of binocular vision during the determination of ocular preference should be used if an accurate evaluation is to be made.

From the Department of Ophthalmology (D.M.L.), Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Department of Ophthalmology (D.G.K.), Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles and the Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, CA.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Daniel M. Laby, M.D., Suite 592, 95 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021; e-mail:

Accepted December 31, 2010.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.