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Dominant Eye

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Do we have a dominant eye like we have a dominant hand?

There are a lot of conflicting opinions on the subject and neurologists (the experts) are not sure. The reason is while the left brain controls the right side of the body and the right brain controls the left side of the body, both sides of the brain control pieces of each eye. That being said, many experts agree about 2/3 of the population have a dominant eye. There is some confusion about eye dominance. Patients tend to think if one eye is ‘stronger' or focuses better at a given distance they feel this is their dominant eye. In reality, eye dominance is a preference of the brain that is largely independent of how strong the glasses prescription is for that eye.

Lazy Eye

In a way, having a ‘lazy eye’ is an extreme version of eye dominance. In such cases, the brain assigns more of its visual processing to the better eye. The most perfect visual system has no eye dominance whatsoever, but even if one eye is used more for a given activity it can be beneficial. For instance, a target shooter may use the right eye, but they may also drive professionally and have learned to use the left eye to accurately see cars behind them in the side mirror all while having virtually no eye dominance for general activities. Regardless, eye dominance will likely be a continuing topic for debate.

~Jace Picken, O.D.

 

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