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How to figure out which eye is dominant


How To Find Your Dominant Eye

How to Find Your Dominant Eye

Published by Lance Kugler, MD on September 18, 2017

At Kugler Vision in Omaha, we know that your dominant eye is the eye that works harder and sends more visual messages to your brain. Typically, the terms “dominant eye” or “ocular dominance” are used to describe the normal vision condition in which both eyes function together and have a relatively equal visual acuity, with one eye as the leading eye.

Two Ways to Find Your Dominant Eye

It’s pretty easy to determine which eye is dominant by using sighting tests. At Kugler Vision, we have our patients follow the steps below:

  1. Extend your arms in front of you and create a triangular opening between your thumbs and pointer fingers by placing them together.
  2. With both of your eyes open, center this triangle on a distant object, like a clock or picture frame.
  3. Close your left eye.
  4. If the object stays centered when your left eye is closed, then your right eye (the eye that is open) is your dominant eye. If the object is no longer framed by the triangular opening, your left eye is your dominant eye.

Here is another simple way to find your dominant eye:

  1. Keep both eyes open and focused on a distant object, then extend your arm out and point with your index finger or thumb at the object.
  2. Alternately close one eye at a time
  3. The eye that keeps your finger directly in front of the object while the other eye is closed is your dominant eye.

In most cases, these two sighting tests will accurately identify your dominant eye. If you are having a difficult time identifying your dominant eye through these tests, please contact Kugler Vision to schedule an EyeAnalysisTM eye exam.  

Not Everyone Has A Dominant Eye

It is possible to not have a dominant eye, but it is very uncommon. Some people may have one eye that is very dominant, while others may have less of a difference in the dominance of their two eyes.

Eye Dominance and Hand Dominance Aren’t Necessarily Linked

Eye dominance and handedness are not directly related, but they are significantly associated. According to All About Vision, population studies have shown that about 90 percent of people are right-handed and about 67 percent are right-eye dominant. Despite this research, it is impossible to predict eye dominance based on handedness alone.

It Is Important to Know Which Eye Is Dominant

Your dominant eye is the eye that your brain is wired to favor. In other words, your dominant eye is the one that is primarily relied on for precise positional information, which is especially important in activities that require aim.

Using your dominant eye can help you perform better in activities such as:

  • Hunting – improve your shooting accuracy by knowing your dominant eye. Good eye and hand coordination is necessary to be successful. The dominant eye is the eye that looks directly at an object, a crucial factor for accurate shooting. You should shoot left-handed if you have a strong left eye and right-handed if you have a strong right eye.
  • Photography – look through the viewfinder with your dominant eye to have a more accurate preview of the shot. If you use your non-dominant eye, certain details you thought you were capturing can be displayed slightly off or completely out of the frame.
  • Playing sports – proper alignment is important in sports like baseball, softball, darts, and golf. It’s good to take full advantage of your dominant eye when playing these sports to achieve your best hits by keeping your dominant eye on the ball.

Contact Kugler Vision to Learn More

If you would like to know more information or have additional questions about your dominant eye, please contact Kugler Vision in Omaha, NE at 402.558.2211.

Lance Kugler, MD

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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How to Find Your Dominant Eye

By Gary Heiting, OD

Have you heard the terms “dominant eye” and “ocular dominance” but aren't sure what they mean or how you perform a dominant eye test? Here are the basics...

Dominant eye: What is it?

Your dominant eye is the eye that provides a slightly greater degree of input to the visual part of your brain and more accurately relays information about the location of objects.

Most of the time, the term “dominant eye” is used when describing the normal visual condition where the two eyes function well as a team and have equal visual acuity. One eye is simply the "leading" or preferred eye.

But sometimes, “dominant eye” is used to describe the normally sighted and functioning eye in dysfunctional cases of amblyopia and strabismus.

Dominant eye test

Here’s a simple dominant eye test to determine which eye is your preferred eye:

  1. Extend your arms out in front of you and create a triangular opening between your thumbs and forefingers by placing your hands together at a 45-degree angle (see animation).

  2. With both eyes open, center this triangular opening on a distant object — such as a wall clock or door knob.

  3. Close your left eye.

  4. If the object stays centered, your right eye (the one that’s open) is your dominant eye. If the object is no longer framed by your hands, your left eye is your dominant eye.

Here’s another easy dominant eye test:

  1. Extend one arm out, holding the thumb of that hand in an upright position. (Or you could use your index finger instead of your thumb.)

  2. Keeping both eyes open and focused on a distant object, superimpose your thumb on that object. (Don’t worry if it looks like your thumb partially disappears — that’s normal.)

  3. Alternately close one eye at a time.

  4. The eye that keeps your thumb directly in front of the object while the other eye is closed is your dominant eye.

Both of these dominant eye tests are categorized as “sighting” tests, since they involve aligning a visual target with a makeshift sighting device (mimicking the “sight” on the barrel of a rifle).

Some studies have shown that sighting dominant eye tests, though simple to perform and generally accurate, can be affected by handedness (see below) and other non-visual factors.

To avoid these confounding factors, some researchers argue that non-sighting dominant eye tests may be a more accurate way to determine eye dominance (also called ocular dominance).

In these tests, the subject keeps both eyes open, and visual stimuli are presented to each eye separately with the use of special optical devices. And this is the limitation of non-sighting dominant eye tests — the equipment and expertise required to perform them typically are found only in specialized vision clinics or research facilities.

In most cases, simple sighting eye tests like those described above will accurately identify your dominant eye.

Eye dominance and handedness

Though eye dominance and handedness (being right-handed or left-handed) are not directly related, these traits are significantly associated.

Population studies show that about 90% of people are right-handed and about 67% are right-eye dominant.

Although research has shown that the odds of a person who is right-handed being right-eye dominant are high — approximately 2.5 times greater than the odds of that person being left-eye dominant — it is impossible to predict eye dominance based on handedness alone.

No dominant eye: Is it possible?

Is it possible to not have a dominant eye? Perhaps, but it would be uncommon.

If a strong degree of dominance is not apparent in a dominant eye test, it’s more likely a person has mixed ocular dominance (also called alternating ocular dominance). In this case, one eye is dominant for certain functions or tasks, and the other eye is dominant at different times.

Some people may perform a sighting dominant eye test and find that the visual target is not perfectly aligned with the triangular opening between their hands or with their thumb (depending on which type of sighting test they perform) with either eye.

There is a spectrum of degree of eye dominance among individuals. (The same is true for handedness.) In other words, some people may have one eye that is very dominant, while others may have less of a difference in the dominance of their two eyes.

To some degree, however, eye dominance is hardwired in your brain.

Within the visual cortex (the part of the brain that processes visual information) are stripes of nerve cells (neurons) called dominant eye columns. These bands of neurons seem to respond preferentially to input from one eye or the other and are important to the development of binocular vision.

But researchers also believe there is some overlap and plasticity in these dominant eye columns — suggesting eye dominance can be variable, alternating and perhaps incomplete in some individuals.

Dominant eye in shooting, photography and sports

So what’s the practical importance of performing a dominant eye test?

Knowing which eye is your dominant eye can help you perform better in a variety of activities. Here are a few common examples:

If you are right-handed but your dominant eye is your left eye, this cross-dominance can pose challenges for shooting accuracy.

Dominant eye in shooting. Having trouble hitting moving targets with your rifle? It could be that you have crossed dominance — meaning, your dominant eye and dominant hand are on opposite sides of your body.

For example, if you are a right-handed (and therefore right-shouldered) shooter but have a dominant left eye, you may find yourself shooting behind a left-to-right moving target and in front of a right-to-left moving target. Being aware of this will help you make the correct adjustments to improve your shooting accuracy.

Another option to compensate for cross-dominance is to keep both eyes open until just before you take your shot. Keeping both eyes open enables you to use 100% of your peripheral vision and depth perception to get ready for the shot. Closing your cross-dominant left eye just before the shot lets you make the last-second adjustment to better align the barrel of your rifle with the moving target.

Dominant eye in photography. Knowing which eye is your dominant eye is important when composing a photograph by looking through the viewfinder of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera or similar film camera.

Using your dominant eye will give you an accurate preview of the actual shot. Using your non-dominant eye will cause certain details to be slightly displaced laterally or off-frame.

Dominant eye in sports. If (like most people) you’re right-handed and have a dominant right eye, certain sports will require you to position your head properly to take full advantage of your dominant eye.

For example, in baseball or softball, you need to turn your head enough when batting so your dominant right eye can see the rotation, speed and position of the approaching pitch. The same is true for cricket.

Another example is golf. Proper alignment of putts (and even fairway shots and drives) requires adequate head turns to fully use your dominant right eye to visualize the shot you’re about to take and accurately position your body and club head to achieve it.

If you are serious about sports and are looking for guidance on how to best use your eyes to enhance sports performance, consider visiting an eye doctor who specializes in sports vision.

Page published on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Page updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Determination of the dominant eye, which requires an examination.

The dominant, leading eye is the eye that functionally dominates in the process of binocular vision. At the same time, information from one eye dominates over the other. This phenomenon is similar to the principle of asymmetry of the left and right hand; but the dominant eye will not necessarily be the same as the dominant hand. And there was no direct connection between the predominant eye and hand.

Approximately, two-thirds of the inhabitants of the planet have the right eye - the leading one, and the remaining third - the left eye. But there are exceptions - a small percentage of people do not have a pronounced dominant eye. In this case, there may not be any visual pathologies. In such people, dominance depends on the direction of the gaze, on the size of the object in question.

The leading left eye is more common in combination with Williams-Beuren syndrome, as well as in chronic migraines. Dominance is conditionally divided into "strong" and "weak". A strong prevalence of one or the other eye may be due to strabismus or amblyopia.

Patients diagnosed with anisomitropic myopia (different degrees of myopia of the eyes), the eye with the best visual acuity is dominant.

Why do you need to determine the dominant eye

Binocular vision is normally accompanied by the parallax effect, that is, a person receives accurate spatial data precisely through the processed signals from the leading eye. This ability is extremely important and is used in some sports, such as archery, airgun shooting, darts. The coincidence of the dominant hand and the dominant eye is only beneficial when aiming.

Preliminary identification of the dominant eye is important before cataract surgery, vision correction, as well as when choosing contact lenses and using laser correction.

Methods for determining the dominant eye

There are quite a few ways to determine the dominant eye, but they are all based on a subjective comparison of two equal objects. Here are the methods that are used in optics:

  1. Miles test. Have the patient extend both arms forward to create a small opening between the palms. Looking at the object with both eyes, visually place it between the palms. Then you should alternately close your eyes, while if the object remains in the field of view with the right eye ajar, then it is the leading one and vice versa.
  2. Rosenbach test. A person is given a pencil or pen and asked to aim at an object without squinting. Then the assistant or doctor covers the patient's right and left eyes alternately. Which eye will be better targeted is the dominant one.
  3. Using the ring.
  4. Test Ports. The subject extends his arms in front of him and points his index finger or thumb at a certain object. Then he is asked to close his eyes one by one. Which eye will be more accurately aimed at the subject, the dominant one.
  5. Using the transcript method.
  6. Litinsky test, also represents the convergence of the nearest point in the field of view. A person observes an object that gradually approaches the bridge of the nose. In this case, the leading eye quickly adapts and fixes, and the non-leading eye will make movements in the horizontal plane.
  7. Dolman method (card with a hole). The ophthalmologist gives the subject a card with a small hole (1*1 cm). the patient holds the card on outstretched hands and look with both eyes through the hole at an object in the distance. Next, it is also necessary to close one or the other eye in turn. When the dominant eye is open, the object will be visible in the hole.
  8. The Dichoptic Consistency Edge Test provides not only a dominant eye but also a quantitative indication of it.
  9. Lens blur. A distant object is viewed by the patient through corrective lenses. For example, lenses of several diopters are inserted into special glasses in front of each eye. On which gas the blur will be more pronounced, that eye is considered the leading one.

Methods for determining the dominant eye make it possible to find out which eye is the leading one, but do not allow you to find out the degree of its dominance.

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Simple method for determining the dominant (leading) eye

Simple method for determining the dominant (leading) eye

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Methodology.

Interpretation of the result - The dominant (leading) eye is the one in front of which the finger remains to cover the object.


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An online vision test on a computer is available on the website of the Eye Eye Center, thanks to which it will be possible to draw a conclusion about the general condition of the eyes. Regular diagnostics will help to detect and prevent rapid deterioration of vision in time.

Need for an online vision test

Modern technologies provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to check their eyesight without leaving home. Such a diagnosis is necessary in the following cases:


  • people who work at the computer for a long time or whose activities involve small details;
  • for rapid eye fatigue;
  • in case of redness, tearing, burning or dryness of the organs of vision;
  • with frequent headaches while reading;
  • in case of the appearance of "flies" or a veil before the eyes.

In the process of conducting self-diagnosis, you should configure the computer screen in accordance with the instructions for passing the test. Lighting in the room should be uniform and bright enough. Diagnostics should be carried out without glasses, if you wear them, you need to keep your head straight, do not squint your eyes.

Experts do not recommend checking the quality of vision in case of poor health, fever, fatigue.

Characteristics of online diagnostics.

With the help of an online service, visual acuity testing will be easy and comfortable. We offer:


  • check visual acuity. Diagnostics is carried out according to the Sivtsev table, which consists of a standard set of characters of different sizes;
  • to determine the features of color perception. As you know, people perceive the world differently. The photosensitive receptors of the retina of the eyes are responsible for the identification of colors by a person, the width of the spectrum of recognizable colors depends on their number. This test will help you find out how many tones a person sees;
  • detect farsightedness and nearsightedness by performing a duochromic test. This method is based on the refraction of multi-colored rays of different wavelengths by the optics of the eyes;
  • determine myopia by the way the image on the screen is perceived. You will see the photo on the computer monitor. A person with normal vision sees Einstein on it, moving away a couple of steps, Marilyn Monroe will appear on the image, short-sighted people will see the girl immediately;
  • Recognize the dominant eye by overlapping the finger of the object with the finger of the object shown on the monitor. The test procedure is described on the website.

The remote examination of vision allows us to make an approximate conclusion about the state of the organs of vision. Such a diagnosis cannot be a full-fledged replacement for a doctor's consultation and medical examination. According to the results of the test, a person receives generalized information on indicators of visual functions. Any deviations are a reason to contact a specialist.

Experienced ophthalmologists work in the ophthalmological center "Glazka". Specialists prefer modern methods of combating various diseases of the organs of vision. An integrated approach to treatment allows you to achieve maximum results.


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