Myopic anisometropia: ocular characteristics and aetiological considerations

Clin Exp Optom. 2014 Jul;97(4):291-307. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12171.


Anisometropia represents a unique example of ocular development, where the two eyes of an individual, with an identical genetic background and seemingly subject to identical environmental influences, can grow asymmetrically to produce significantly different refractive errors. This review provides an overview of the research examining myopic anisometropia, the ocular characteristics underlying the condition and the potential aetiological factors involved. Various mechanical factors are discussed, including corneal structure, intraocular pressure and forces generated during near work that may contribute to development of anisomyopia. Potential visually guided mechanisms of unequal ocular growth are also explored, including the influence of astigmatism, accommodation, higher-order aberrations and the choroidal response to altered visual experience. The association between binocular vision, ocular dominance and asymmetric refraction is also considered, along with a review of the genetic contribution to the aetiology of myopic anisometropia. Despite a significant amount of research into the biomechanical, structural and optical characteristics of anisometropic eyes, there is still no unifying theory, which adequately explains how two eyes within the same visual system grow to different endpoints.

Keywords: anisometropia; myopia; ocular biometrics; ocular growth; refractive error.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Anisometropia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*