Do You Know Your Dominant Eye?

Do You Know Your Dominant Eye?

If you have two eyes, do you know which is dominant?

paws over eyes

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! 

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