I'm writing an ophthalmology-related tutorial, and I need to reference the distinction between left and right eyes — for instance, if I'm referring to this case information: "Male; 29 years old; Left eye", I would want to write,

"the header displays the patient's gender, age, and _________"

referring to the case's specification of which eye it documents (awkward sounding examples: eye polarity, eye handedness, etc). Is there an existing generic term for this?



  • chirality
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 2, 2016 at 20:10
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What's the single-word for "left or right handed"?
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 2, 2016 at 20:11
  • 6
    I think I'd probably say affected eye or eye affected. Especially so for a tutorial, which generally calls for simpler, more common language than a technical document does.
    – PellMel
    Jun 2, 2016 at 20:12
  • 2
    I agree with @PellMel and in fact you could just say, “Eye” and then the entry can just be left or right
    – Jim
    Jun 2, 2016 at 21:57
  • 1
    @JohnLawler or Both
    – Mitch
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


I am unaware with any single word that specifically expresses the distinction between the left eye and the right eye. @Mitch's more general laterality expresses the association of a condition with one side of the body or the other, so you might use that, but as I wrote in comments, I'm inclined to prefer affected eye or eye affected as a less technical term more suited to a tutorial. @Jim's alternative of shortening that to simply eye is viable, too, but I think one of the longer forms fits a bit better in your example sentence.

  • I agree that the syntax of my sentence isn't conducive at all for an elegant way to put it. I went with "the patient’s age, gender, and which eye is being shown." Not elegant, but it's a longer form that fits the sentence better as you mentioned, and "affected eye" has the implication that the other one doesn't have any problems. Thanks for your suggestions.
    – user178179
    Jun 3, 2016 at 18:47

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