Eye Dominance: What It Is and How to Test It

Eye dominance, often referred to as ocular dominance, is a fundamental aspect of our visual perception. Understanding which eye is dominant can be crucial in various activities, from sports like shooting and archery to photography and even daily tasks like aiming a camera or playing certain musical instruments. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what eye dominance is and explore methods to test it.


What Is Eye Dominance?

Eye dominance is the phenomenon where one eye takes the lead when it comes to processing visual information from the environment. While both eyes work together to create a three-dimensional image of the world, the dominant eye provides the brain with slightly more accurate and detailed information. The brain then prioritizes the input from the dominant eye.


Why Is Eye Dominance Important?

Knowing your dominant eye can be essential in activities that require precise aiming or focus. For example:

  • Shooting Sports: In sports like archery, shooting, or golf, aligning the dominant eye with the target can improve accuracy and consistency.
  • Photography: Photographers often use their dominant eye to look through the camera’s viewfinder, ensuring that they capture the scene as intended.
  • Musical Instruments: Musicians may need to identify their dominant eye when playing instruments like the flute or saxophone to enhance their performance.


How to Test for Eye Dominance:

Photo by Milton Moreira

Determining your dominant eye is relatively straightforward and can be done using the following method:

  • Extend both arms in front of you, forming a small triangular opening by overlapping your thumbs and index fingers.
  • Choose a distant object as your target, such as a doorknob or a picture on the wall.
  • Keeping both eyes open, center the object within the triangular opening.
  • Close one eye at a time while keeping the object in view. The eye that remains aligned with the object is your dominant eye.

Understanding your dominant eye is a valuable piece of information that can enhance your performance in various activities. Whether you’re an athlete, photographer, or musician, knowing which eye to prioritize can improve your accuracy and consistency. Testing for eye dominance is simple and can provide valuable insights into your visual perception. So, go ahead and discover which eye takes the lead in your visual world – it might just make a world of difference in your pursuits.


About the Author: Dr. Steven Liem, OD, FAAO

Dr. Steven Liem, O.D., F.A.A.O. is an optometrist based in Pasadena, California. After obtaining his doctorate from UC Berkeley’s School of Optometry, he completed his residency in Pediatrics, Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. When he isn’t busy streaming or making Youtube videos about video games, Dr. Liem aims to broaden accessibility to vision health through his involvement in optometric industry and tech.