How to Determine Your Dominant Eye

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How to Determine Your Dominant Eye: Aiming a Pistol – Handgun 101 with Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng

History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng explains for beginner shooters how to determine their dominant eye to help with their aim. Firearm instructors and experienced shooters are encouraged to watch and share these tips with newcomers to the shooting sports.

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And here are some other ways to do it! There are several reasons you might want to determine your dominant eye. Not only is it interesting to know, but it is also useful for doing activities in which you use one eye such as using a microscope, a telescope, or focusing a camera without a display screen. Your eye doctor may also want to determine your dominant eye for some types of treatments. You can easily do it yourself at home, but it is important to realize that the result you get might differ based on the distance at which you test yourself

  1. Conduct the Distance-Hole-In-The-Card test. This test examines which eye you use to focus on objects that are 10 feet away. You can easily perform it on yourself at home.

    • Cut a hole in a piece of paper that is about an inch and a half in diameter. On a second piece of paper write a single letter so that it is roughly one inch high.
    • Tape or tack the paper with the letter onto a wall at eye level. Measure a distance of exactly 10 feet away.
    • Stand 10 feet away from the letter on the wall. Hold the paper with the hole in it at arm’s length with both hands. Your arms should be parallel to the floor.
    • Look through the hole in the paper at the letter in the wall. When you can see the letter, have a friend cover first one eye, then the other. Don’t move or adjust your position. The eye that can see the letter is your dominant eye. If you can see it with both eyes, then neither eye is dominant in this task.
  2. Do the Near-Hole-In-The-Card test. This test is similar to the distance test, but it examines which eye you use when focusing up close. You can also do it with quickly and easily with household objects.

    • This test can be done using a thimble, shot glass, or similar house hold object. Write a single letter on a piece of paper so that it is about 1/16th of an inch tall and wide. Tape this letter to the bottom of the inside of the thimble or shot glass.
    • Cover the thimble or shot glass with paper or aluminum foil. Fix it in place with a rubber band or tape. Make a small hole that is about 1/16th of an inch in the paper or foil. The hole should be over the letter so that you can see the letter when looking through the hole.
    • Put the thimble or shot glass on a table and lean over so that you can read the letter. Do not touch the thimble/shot glass or press your eye to the opening. Your head should be about 1 to 2 feet away.
    • Don’t move your head while you look at the letter. Have a friend cover one eye, then the other. The eye that can see the letter is your dominant eye. If you can see the letter with both eyes when the other is covered, you don’t have a dominant eye for this test.
  3. Do the convergence test. This test examines which eye is dominant at extremely close distances. The results may differ from the results on the other tests.

    • Get a ruler. Write a single letter on a piece of paper. The letter should be about 1/16th of an inch high and wide. Tape the letter to the ruler so that it doesn’t move.
    • Hold the ruler out in front of you with both hands. The letter should be at eye level. Focus on the letter. Slowly, with both hands, move the ruler straight towards your nose.
    • Stop moving when one eye is no longer able to focus on the letter. That is the nondominant eye in this task. If both eyes remain focused until the ruler touches your nose, then neither eye is dominant in this task.