Do you know you have a dominant eye? Here’s how to find out
Article by Chew’s Optics Specialist. 31 March 2023
Many people have a dominant eye, but most don’t know which one it is. If you’re among this group of the population, read on for an optometrist-approved guide to discovering your dominant eye – and why this even matters!
What is the dominant eye test?
The first and most used version of the dominant eye test goes like this:
1. Identify a distant object and focus on it, wherever you are.
2. While looking at it with both eyes open, make a triangle with your hands.
3. Stretch your arms straight out and get the object to appear at the center of your triangle.
4. A further step you can take is to make your triangle as small as possible. You’re still making the same gesture so the shape of your fingers will stay the same, but your hands are moving closer together.
5. While doing this, keep the object at the center of the triangle.
6. If you close your left eye and the object remains at the center, your right eye is the dominant one.
7. If you close your left eye and the object has disappeared from view, your right eye is the non-dominant one.
If you’re struggling to keep only one eye shut at a time, here’s a fun variation to the classic eye dominance test that you can try:
1. The test starts the same way. Extend your arms, use your hands to make the shape of a triangle, and tighten up the triangle so there’s less space between the object and the borders of your “triangle”.
2. Now, this is the fun part. Without altering the shape of your hands, slowly move them toward your face.
3. As your hands get closer to your face, the space surrounding the object will get larger. Here you’ll have to close up your triangle, making it progressively smaller as you go.
4. Once your hand reaches your face, you’ll realize it has landed straight onto one of your eyes. That is your dominant eye.
What do the results mean?
Contrary to popular belief, just because one of your eyes is non-dominant, it doesn’t mean it is weaker or has a poorer vision. Your dominant eye simply sends more visual information to your brain, and with greater accuracy. This is also known as sighting dominance – whereas sensory dominance refers to one eye having a stronger vision.
The importance of knowing your dominant eye
It’s common for right-handers to be right-eye dominant, while left-handers are left-eye dominant. However, there can be no correlation as well. Having opposing hand and eye dominance is known as cross-eyed dominance. Trying the at-home eye tests above will help you know for sure.
What’s more, knowing which eye is more dominant can change the way you approach certain activities – going beyond relying on right or left-handedness.
Sports: For instance, if you’re an avid pool player, knowing your dominant eye may improve your game. A simple way to apply this is to align your dominant eye behind your line of aim, ensuring that it’s straight as you prepare to shoot. The same applies to billiards and snooker.
If you’re a fan of shooting or visiting the air rifle ranges in Singapore, you can choose to close your less dominant eye to help you shoot more accurately. Other activities that can benefit from an eye dominance test include golf, archery and baseball.
Photography: Besides sports, eye dominance can also be a critical factor for photographers when looking through the camera’s viewfinder. You may find that the framing of your shots is more balanced and precise.
What if I don’t have a dominant eye?
This would be a rare occurrence, but if you performed the dominant eye test and discovered that the object you’re focusing on remains off-center for both eyes, it means you don’t have a dominant eye. You can get an optometrist in Singapore to confirm this if you’re unsure.
The flip side of being ambi-ocular (no dominant eye) is to either have both eyes as equally dominant or have alternating dominance where one eye is preferred for certain activities while the other is dominant in different scenarios.
What’s important to know is that, although incredibly rare, your eye dominance may change. Often, this is due to non-natural factors such as undergoing LASIK and cataract surgery or obscuring your dominant eye over a long period.
For a full range of eye tests, visit an optometrist in Singapore
Whether you’re looking to determine your dominant eye or get a full check-up for various eye conditions, Chew’s Optics houses a team of certified optometrists who can cater to your every need.
A quaint neighborhood optical shop with optometrists who have been around for over 30 years, we pride ourselves on providing thoughtful eye care services and personalized advice.
Walk into our optical shop, or book an appointment with us here. We’re located at 144 Teck Whye Lane, #01-211, Singapore, and we’re open daily except for Mondays.
Got more questions? Reach out to us on WhatsApp at +65 8314 7093.