If you have two eyes, do you know which is dominant?
Until just a few weeks ago, I thought I did.
I'm right-handed, and I've always kept my right eye open when doing single-eye activities like taking photographs or viewing slides in 10th-grade Biology.
But, while watching YouTube one night, Sid and I came across an eye dominance test video, and everything changed!
The test was this:
- Hold your arms out straight at eye level with your hands overlapped, creating a small triangle.
- Find something small you can fully see through the triangle in the distance.
- Keeping both eyes open, slowly move the triangle back towards your face.
- As you move, the triangle will gravitate, so you only see through your dominant eye.
You may have to try this a couple of times.
There's also this test from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
- Form a circle with your hand and fully extend your arm in front of you.
- Look through your hand circle at a distant object, like a clock or a door knob.
- Close one eye and then the other, and take note of the object’s position.
- The object will stay centered with your dominant eye open.
I always assumed that hand and eye dominance were the same. I'm right-handed, so my dominant eye should be my right, right?
But the tests both concluded that my LEFT eye is dominant. What?!
According to a 1999 study, only 35% of right-handed people are left-eye dominant. And, 57% of left-handed people were left-eye dominant. While being cross-dominant is less common than same-side dominant, a small number of people lack a dominant eye. This means either eye can be used for tasks requiring only one.
So why is this important?
Photography, golf, archery, darts, baseball, shooting, and using science-y tools like telescopes and microscopes are just a few of the activities in which knowing which eye is dominant can really make a difference.
Which are you? Try the tests above and leave a comment. Especially let us know if the test results are different than you thought, like me!