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Determine your dominant eye in 4 simple steps

Ing. Petra Průchová

Medically reviewed by Ing. Petra Průchová, Optometrist, on 2 Nov 2020. Written by Lentiamo

Eye dominance – or what is technically known as ocular dominance – affects us all. We all have one dominant eye and one non-dominant eye. Very rarely do both eyes dominate at the same time.

Around two thirds of people are right-handed. For the majority of people, it can also be assumed the right eye is dominant. When the dominant eye and hand are on different sides of the body, this is known as cross dominance.

But why is determining your dominant eye important? The optometrists at Lentiamo have the answer.

Why is it relevant to know the dominant eye?

Eye dominance is improtant for glasses wearers and those who wear contact lenses. If you suffer from presbyopia or wear multifocal contact lenses in particular, eye dominanace is especially important.

With multifocal contact lenses or eyeglasses, the dominant eye is perfectly corrected for distance, while the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision. Since multifocal contact lenses consist of concentric circles of different dioptres, the brain receives these different images to create one clear image in an instant. 

Knowing your dominant eye is not only important for contact lens and spectacle wearers. The dominant eye is also a significant factor in photography and sports (e.g. archery, paintball, baseball, golf, etc.), where you must focus on a single object.

Which eye is your dominant eye?

If you have regular appointments with your ophthalmologist or optometrist, they can quickly answer your question about your dominant eye. Without this information, you can find your dominant eye in a different way.

In a standard glasses prescription, information about your dominant eye is typically not available.

But if you wear contacts, you can find the information in your contact lens prescription. The dominant eye is referred to using the letter "D." The non-dominant eye is referred to using "N." However, remember that sometimes contact lens prescriptions don't always contain information about your dominant eye.

During an examination for dioptric corrections, you may also be subjected to an ocular dominance test, so it's enough to ask the examiner about the result of this test.

Take the test – determine your dominant eye

Dominant eye test

If your dominant eye isn't listed on your lens or your glasses prescription, simply take our test to determine your dominant eye.

  1. Place your hands on top of each other with the back of your hand facing upwards so that your thumbs and index fingers form a triangle.
  2. Now stretch your arms straight forward.
  3. Choose a small object (max. 4 inches in size) which is about 10 feet away from you.
  4. Then close each eye alternately.
Result: When closing one eye, nothing at all happens? The object remains visible and recognisable through the triangle? Then this eye is probably your dominant eye. However, when closing the other eye, the object suddenly disappears from the triangle, or shifts in such a way that you can no longer see it through your hands? Then this eye cannot be your dominant eye and the other eye dominates.

This test serves to determine the so-called "sighting" eye dominance. "Sighting" of the dominant eye is used both in monocular observation (looking through binoculars, microscope, peephole, etc.) and in binocular observation. In such eye dominance, the image from the other (non-dominant) eye will be physiologically suppressed.

If you want the most accurate result, talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

The most important "sighting" value in the prescription of, for example, multifocal contact lenses may not be eye dominance, but sensory eye dominance. The results of tests for different types of eye dominance may not always show the same eye in some cases. Therefore it's better if an expert examines the data depending on what type of dominance the you need.

Our customer service team is also happy to help you. Please contact us at info@lentiamo.co.uk or leave us a comment!

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