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Does eye dominance switch back and forth?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by hunters3, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. hunters3

    hunters3 TS Member

    May 6, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have tried several different test and gotten different results etc.. point finger close one eye then other, hold hands forming triangle then close one eye then other and a CD looking thru hold then rt. then lt.eye. Is this common amount shooters in the sport? I like shooting but I like dusting them more.


  2. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    No, Your doing something incorrectly...

    the cd test is the best... you don't try it with each eye.

    holding it extended, you stare at a nail on the wall, obviously with both eyes open. s-l-o-w-l-y bringing it back to your face face, it should return to the dominant eye everytime....

    every single time....

    now, when shooting, many times the dominant eye will tire, or become occluded by something, nose, barrel, etc, and the off eye will take over. This is often caused by pulling the gun away from the face, ...

  3. Gross Man

    Gross Man Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    After you re-run the tests and still think you are switching, the answer is yes. I have an alternating strabismus. I switch eyes and don't know that I am doing it. I close my left eye when shooting and all is well. I do not have binocular depth perception because I am only looking with one eye at a time. If you think you have something similar, I recommend that you see an eye Dr that specializes in this sort of thing. Drs generally don't look for this condition. I had the condition all my life and didn't get diagnosed until I was an adult. There is probably nothing to do about it, but it is good to know what you are dealing with.
  4. HoldenBT

    HoldenBT Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    It can, my son was diagnosed with this right before the Grand. His lowest ever score was a 67/100 in his first year of reg targets. In the past three years of shooting he improved and this year he had a 91% average over 2000 targets then a month after shooting 97/100 3 times and a 194/200 he fell to 32/100! Really struggled , and was frustrated. The Country Gentleman found this when he was fitting him with a different gun. He will be left eye for awhile then all of a sudden after a few shots he switches to right eye for a few shots then back to left eye. He is starting to run 25's again after putting a dot of chap stick on his glasses for the left eye so he can not see the end of the barrel.This has taken all month trying different things and the chap stick is working the best so he can be a one eyed shooter with both eyes open.
  5. Jennifer

    Jennifer Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Oh, Boy Howdy, does it ever...

    I'm a two-eyed, right handed shooter, and mostly right eye dominant, but about 11 years ago when I was trying to get a definitive diagnosis on it, I finally sought out Dennis Hamamura, the shooting eye doctor in Southern California. After 45 minutes to an hour of trying different tests, I was told that I was only one of two shooters that he'd seen come away from a visit without a right or left eye dominance. Unidominance was the diagnosis. Generally, my right eye is dominant, but some days for no reason, or if I'm really tired, my left eye can take over very strongly. So strongly, that all I see is the left side of the barrel. To prevent problems, I use a 2 mm Uni-Dot sight on my gun that only my right eye can see through. But when my left eye takes over so strongly, even the Uni-Dot is helpless. I have to close my left eye or tape my shooting lens, it's that bad. It plays hell with instinctive bird or skeet shooting. I recently shot a 5 in skeet on a day when my eyes were playing games with me, having to close my left eye all the while. It was not fun at all.

    I know a very good sporting clays shooter who is dealing with the same thing - he's in his 50s and had his eyes switch recently.

    There's lots of things you can do to help the situation. My least favorite is closing my left eye. I feel blinded on left angles and flinch too much. You can cut a small, round piece of opaque Scotch tape and place it over the lens of your non-shooting eye to blot out your gun's bead while your gun is mounted correctly. I prefer the Uni-Dot but have to be able to switch tactics in the middle of a shoot and be ready to put tape on my lens if need be.

    Hope you can find something that works for you! Jennifer
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Yes it can, more common with females. HMB
  7. Birddogfella

    Birddogfella Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    central Virginia
    It plagues me something bad. Like a lot of ailments, it is consistently INconsistent! Depending on what's happening with the targets (skeet and/or trap),
    I use a blocked glasses lens, a pirate patch, or shoot one-eyed... and one-eyed sucks!
    Good luck to you.
    ///olde pharte///
    ML Johnson
  8. straightsixes

    straightsixes TS Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    You are not alone. Part of the NSCA instructors course required learning a very good eye dominance test that was much different than I had seen in the past. After teaching for a couple years... I found a lot more people have incomplete eye dominance than I ever expected. This test shows a lot more than just the hole in hand etc versions that can "force" a dominance.

    Try this test: Have someone hold up camera phone. With both eyes open quickly raise your pointer finger to point at the camera lens. Other person takes picture.

    Or do the same thing but point at a person who has an eye closed (obviously point at the open eye).

    The finger you are pointing will line up with a dominant eye, if you HAVE a dominant eye. At the same time some people can have fingers that come up dead center above their nose (lack of dominance). Other times people will be varying degrees off center. It took 100x longer to write than actually perform.

    WHY ALL OF THE ABOVE? Because people with a lack of dominance can quickly become frustrated with shooting. One day vs the next, or under stress, fatigue, sugar levels etc... their dominant eye might shift. Nothing like feeling sure they are on a target perfectly but are missing by a mile because of eye dominance shift.

    The good news is that there are ways to work around it once its been discovered. ALL of the students I have worked with while albeit frustrated at first... become better shots because at least they know there are options to handle the issue.

    Tape, chapstick, slightly squinted eye right before pulling the trigger, small dots of crayon, etc are just the start of options. Once a shooter finds one that is comfortable to them they will show dramatic improvement in their shotgunning.

    Hope that helps,
  9. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    straightsixes-"You are not alone. Part of the NSCA instructors course required learning a very good eye dominance test that was much different than I had seen in the past. After teaching for a couple years... I found a lot more people have incomplete eye dominance than I ever expected. This test shows a lot more than just the hole in hand etc versions that can "force" a dominance."

    Your post is why I no longer associate my self with the NSCA They have ascribed to incorrect reasoning in the case of dominance.

    Number one. Eye dominance has little to do with the Eyes its a function of neurologic preference and selection. Why things happen are not so hard to understand if one takes a brain first or neurological perspective.

    Number two pointing or cell camera is not the whole pictuer (pardin the pun)
    many have a tendancy for shiting when changing the pointing hand. This shift it is a shift of either the visuak midline or actual image (eye)preference and is not properly taken in to account.

    Now things get worse in the case of a right handed shooter he sees with the right eye's visual image and points with his off or left hand.

    Now to what really matters if the gun fits and is properly mounted and you look at the target and nowhere else it wont mater which eye is dominate you will be able to learn to shoot proficently.

    It's my oppinion most so-called eye issues are actualy caused by some amount of reliance on aiming or bead checking.

  10. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Pea Patch, Alabama
    Yes it can. And, it does with me.....

  11. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    near Tucson Trap
    For myself I do not have a domiment eye, Most test show equal, and some show left eye others right.

    if I have my left eye open at all, it tries to get in the game so to speak, to the point of needing to block it completely. The only way I can block it completely is to close.
    I tried all or most of the things people have said to do/use,

    when I tried shooting with black tape on the lense, my left eye look over to the point of I was blind, right eye open and all I could see was black, as in the black tape on the left lense, I gave up and shoot with one eye.

    All the more power to those that can shoot with both eyes open,

    some of us can not.

    Please do not make us!

  12. Star4Ever

    Star4Ever Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    On Phil Kiner's trapshooting clinic DVD he spends quite a bit of time on eye dominance and cross firing. Phil noted that at times he has become aware that trap and skeet shooters will have their eyes switch as they get tired, especially showing up in the third and fourth rounds. Phil stated that this personally happens to him in skeet some time In round 3 and 4 where he will go from two 25s in skeet to 17 or worse.
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