Why Does My Left Eye Sees Darker Than Right Eye?

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If you notice that the left eye is seeing darker than the right, it could indicate an eye problem’s emergence. Most eye conditions result from cataracts, glaucoma, optic neuritis, retinal detachment, or an eye stroke. It could also be an age-related factor. Instead of waiting for your eyes to improve, seeking an ophthalmologist’s advice immediately is better.

Our eyes prove to be an essential part of our body makeup. Vision demonstrates a critical aspect of our daily lives. The eyes operate uniquely, using the optic nerve and the retina.

Suppose you develop eye problems on the retina or the optic nerve. The chance of one eye having a darker vision goes high.

Sometimes, when both eyes get affected, your vision might get darker in both eyes.

If you want to know why the left eye is seeing darker than the right eye, keep reading this article for causes responsible.

Why does my left eye see darker than the right eye?

Our eyes can indicate severe health conditions, especially deep in the brain. So, having dark vision gives you a reason to visit your eye doctor immediately.

Some eye diseases that lead to blindness start with a simple darker vision, but it could also be an age-related factor.

1. It could be age-related

Studies by the American Optometric Association (AOA) show that older adults may get their vision blurred and darker as their age increases.

They suggest that as we age, our eye lenses change color. If your right or left eye lenses change color, it might prompt a specific change in the eye coloring.

Therefore, your left eye might see darker than the right and vice versa.

2. Cataracts

A young man is rubbing his eyes while working due to vision problems.

Studies show that more than 12 million people get blind due to cataracts. This condition might result from old age, other eye operations, or injuries.

Childhood cataracts contribute to many causes of blindness.

Cataracts occur after eye lenses develop cloudy patches. The cloudy patches originate from protein buildup on the eye lenses.

As the condition progresses, the patches may grow and lead to eventual blindness.

If cataracts affect the left side, things may seem darker on the left eye than on the right. If it happens in the right eye, a similar effect gets experienced.

Sometimes cataracts may also affect both eyes.

Some of the symptoms of cataracts to look out for include the following:

  • Darker or dim vision
  • You may experience difficulty seeing at night or in poor lighting
  • Light might seem glaring or too bright
  • Colors appear faded
  • Bright lights appear having a “halo”
  • Most objects appear washed out and not as they should appear

Cataracts might get treated through surgery or by the use of a replacement lens.

3. Glaucoma

Although over 64 million people worldwide might be living with glaucoma, 4.5 million get blind from it.

Glaucoma occurs when the fluid in the eyes builds up and fails to drain correctly.

This buildup causes pressure, pressing on the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain.

The continued pressure as the fluid keeps building up damages the nerve eventually.

If this condition affects the left eye, it may experience darker vision than the left.

Glaucoma may occur due to a family history of the disease, old age, diabetes, short-sightedness, and racial background.

If the fluid buildup gets caught on time, the condition might get treated to avoid blindness. Since the disease doesn’t present previous symptoms, it often gets diagnosed late.

Although the disease can’t cure after it has already happened, treatment through surgery prevents further sight loss.

4. Optic Neuritis

Sometimes, you may experience a swelling that affects the optic nerve, a condition called optic neuritis.

This inflammation presses on the bundle of nerve fibers responsible for transmitting information to the brain.

If this inflammation occurs in the left eye, you might have darker vision and also experience painful eye movement.

The eye might also experience temporary eyesight loss.

Often, patients who have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) might experience optic neuritis.

This condition causes inflammation to occur on the nerves of the brain. When the inflammation spread and presses on the optic nerve, you may suffer from this condition.

Sometimes, optic neuritis may signify the occurrence of MS.

Other symptoms of optic neuritis include the following:

  • Eye pain worsens with eye movement
  • Darker vision or eyesight loss in one eye
  • Lack of color identification
  • Flickering lighting with eye movement

Could it be retinal detachment?

With retinal detachment, a thin retinal tissue detaches from the normal positioning of the eye.

When this separation happens, the detached part lacks blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen.

Since the detached area lacks nourishment, you might get darker vision and might experience varying vision.

If the detachment happens on the left eye, you might see it darker than the right eye.

A young woman is squinting because her vision is blurry.

Symptoms of retinal detachment

  • You may experience tiny floaters or specks on your vision field
  • Photopsia or light flashes on one or both eyes
  • Vision gets blurred
  • Reduced side vision (peripheral vision)
  • You might also have a curtain-like vision

You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms. An untreated case of retinal detachment might lead to blindness.

Am I experiencing an eye stroke?                 

If the tissues at the front of the optic nerve receive less blood flow, you could be experiencing an eye stroke.

Eye stroke might result from inflammations occurring at these tissue areas blocking the flow of oxygen and blood.

Retinal detachment may be associated with an eye stroke. Since the cells in the affected area start to die, you require medical attention immediately.


Why does one eye see a different shade than the other?

Cone cells in the eyes might make your eyes see different shades of color. Also, if one eye sees darker than the other eye, you might experience different shades of vision from each eye.

Is it normal to see differently out of each eye?

You should see the same out of each eye if you have no underlying eye problem. If you experience a change in how your eyes perceive objects and colors, visit your eye specialist.

What is an eye stroke?

Eye stroke occurs when cells and tissues around the retina don’t receive enough blood and oxygen. Due to the absence of nourishment and oxygen, the cells begin to die.

What causes shadowing in one eye?

Cataracts often cause shadowing in one eye as protein buildup causes patches on the eye lenses.


Often, eye problems may lead to blindness if left untreated. Diseases and conditions affecting the eyes require utmost attention since eye damage proves irreversible.

If your eyesight changes and your left eye is seeing darker than your right, seek medical help immediately. 

There could be multiple reasons behind this; to receive the correct treatment, it’s better to seek professional advice.

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Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.

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