Just like we are Right or Left Hand Dominant, almost all of us have a dominant eye. That means the brain prefers visual input from one eye over the other – similar to the way most of us prefer to perform difficult tasks with our favored hand. Being a “righty” or a “lefty” doesn’t mean that your dominant eye will be on the same side.
Like handedness, right eye dominance is more common than left. Roughly 10% of the world’s population is left-handed, while about 1/3 is left eye dominant. Just like only the rare person is truly ambidextrous, it is very uncommon but possible to have no preference for either eye.
What role does eye dominance play in your life? If you are a hunter or photographer, for example, you certainly know which is your dominant eye. It’s the eye you use to aim at your target. If you are a hunter who has “cross dominance” (that’s a dominant eye on the opposite side from the dominant hand), then you probably understand how strong the preference for the dominant eye can be. That’s a tricky problem to deal with!
Eye dominance is something your Eye Doctor will consider if you are a contact lens wearer who is considering a monovision fit (one eye corrected for distance vision & the other corrected for near vision). It also plays a role when considering outcome options for Refractive Surgery or Cataract Surgery.
Below is a simple method to check which eye is your dominant eye – Give it a shot!
Step 1. Extend your arms out in front of your body, wrists flexed upward. Put your hands together, making a triangle with your index fingers & thumbs, as shown below. Then move your hands together a bit more, overlapping your fingers and thumbs to make the triangle smaller – about 2 inches across.
Step 2. Keeping both eyes open and arms extended, raise your arms and look through the triangle at a small object across the room. Then close your left eye. If you can still see the object through the triangle, then you are right eye dominant. If not, you are left eye dominant. The eye you used to site the object through the triangle is your dominant eye!
Written by Bart W., Ophthalmic Technician for Milwaukee Eye Care