How to Figure out Which Eye Is the Dominant One

How to Figure out Which Eye Is the Dominant One

We all have a side that we prefer to use, whether we’re writing, kicking a soccer ball around, or throwing some punches at some punching bags at the gym. For some, the right side leads most of the time, but for others it’s their left side. For those few extremely lucky ambidextrous people, both the right and left sides are equally as functional.

Like any other body part that may have a dominant side (like hands and feet), eyes also have a dominant eye. One eye is always weaker than the other. We may not notice it in our day to day that’s because the eyes are constantly working together; where the dominant eye fills in for the weaker eye.

But how does that work? Is it true that some people are left-brained while other are right-brained?

The Right Brain-Left Brain Theory

The right brain-left brain theory is a theory is a common theory that most likely everyone has heard of before. Television, movies, and general pop culture all fuel this theory by claiming it to be true.

We’ve all heard people saying that they’re a left brain because they’re more logical or a right brain is more of the creative type.

This theory, that suggests that one side of the brain is more dominant than the other won Roger W. Sperry a Nobel Prize in 1981. His theory suggested that the brain was separated into two hemispheres: the left and the right.

Sperry’s theory came to him when studying epilepsy and found that by cutting the corpus callosum (the bit that connects the two sides of the brain), seizures were reduced in patients. To him, this meant that the two sides of the brain must work separately.

However, holes in his theory almost immediately appeared when his patients had difficulty identifying objects that were traditionally associated with the right side of the brain. This meant that without that connecting bit between the left and the right side, the brain was unable to function properly because the two sides are not independent of one another.

For some reason, many still believe this right brain-left brain theory to be true. There may be a more dominant side, but in the end both sides are needed to be highly functional. Otherwise information gets lost and you’ll find yourself unable to recognize things you once were able to.

The brain is a complex organ and trying to understand it has never been easy. Even with the technology that was available in the 1980s, the brain continued to dupe scientists. But today, we know that both hemispheres are crucial to a healthy brain.

Ocular Dominance

The same applies to any body part, including the eyes. You may be right-handed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t write with your left hand. And it certainly doesn’t mean that if you were to cut off your left hand, everything would be hunky-dory because your right hand is still attached to you.

There is always one dominant eye. This doesn’t always mean that one eye sees better than the other (however, sometimes it does and special glasses need to be made). All it means is the brain prefers visual input from a certain eye. Kind of like having a favorite child, it’s all right, you can admit it.

In its most extreme form, ocular dominance can be seen in children with lazy eyes. This is a condition that is often fixed during childhood by forcing the brain to use the weaker eye by wearing an eye cover or eye patch over the dominant eye.

Now, that’s an extreme case. For most of us, a dominant eye is only dominant by a smidgen. If you close one eye and then close the other, you’ll see the same image in about the same clarity. If you don’t, talk to your eye doctor about having an eye exam.

In most cases, the dominant eye will match up with your dominant hand because the hemispheres of the brain are aligned. But this isn’t true for everyone. Because both hemispheres of the brain are used to control both eyes, sometimes the opposite eye is the dominant one.

About two-thirds of the world’s population is right eye dominant, while one-third is left eye dominant. However, a very tiny amount (so tiny, there isn’t a statistic for it) of the population is neither eye dominant!

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Are you Right Eye or Left Eye Dominant?

How to Figure out Which Eye Is the Dominant OneSo now you’re wondering, which eye of yours is most dominant? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. All you need is a few minutes to spare and a want to learn more about your eyes!

Step One: You’re first step is to pick an object that’s 15 feet away from you. Pictures or paintings work well in this case, because the image is clearly identifiable. If you don’t an object, ask a friend to stand 15 feet away from you!

Step Two: Hold your arms out in front of you with your hands in the form of a triangle. Take your pointer fingers and make sure they’re touching, and then make the base of the triangle with your thumbs.

Step Three: Look at the object through the triangle. Make sure that the object is in the center of your triangle.

Step Four: For the last step, close your left eye. Can you still see the object or does it look like your left hand is covering it? Now close your right eye. Again, is the object visible or is your right hand seemingly blocking it from view?

If you could see the object through your open right eye, this means you’re right eye dominant.

If the opposite is true, and you could see the object through your opened left eye, then you’re left eye dominant.

Of course, if you could see the object through both eyes perfectly, you’re neither eye dominant!

Now it’s your turn. Pick an object and give this little experiment a go!

About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics with the dreams of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he and his brother decided to start Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent over a decade studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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