Did you know your brain can play favorites? Many people have a dominant eye, which means their brains prefer the visuals obtained through one eye versus the other. Here are some interesting facts about eye dominance.
Sixty-five percent of people have a dominant eye that is the same as their dominant hand. That is, if they’re right handed, their dominant eye is their right eye (or left eye if they’re left-handed).
Eighteen percent of people are cross dominant, with their dominant eye different from their dominant hand. Interestingly, 17 percent of people have no identifiable dominant eye.
To establish which eye is dominant, extend one arm forward at shoulder height and form a small circle with your thumb and forefinger. Pick an object in the distance and center it in the circle with both eyes open. Now, close or cover one of your eyes and look through the same circle. Can you still see the object? Switch eyes. Can you see the object out of the other eye? Your dominant eye is the one that still sees the object within the small circle when the other is closed.
It has been speculated that eye dominance can affect sports like baseball, but studies have been inconclusive.
Cross dominance can be very challenging for shooting sports, especially with long guns. To compensate, some will shoot with their non-dominant hand while other will use glasses that block their dominant eye. Though not always, it can prove an issue in archery and dart games as well.
Eye dominance can be changed in some cases. However, this usually requires the patient to wear an eye patch covering the dominant eye for a significant period of time. Laser eye surgery is another possible option.
Not all eye dominance is created equally. Some eye dominance is weak while in other cases it’s strong, meaning sometimes the visual difference isn’t significant.
In some young children, eye dominance requires particular attention. If the non-dominant eye requires vision correction, the brain may begin to rely too much on the dominant eye, shutting the vision down in the non-dominant eye in a condition commonly referred to as lazy eye. This is a problem that can also occur if the eyes do not align properly.