Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ocular dominance

There's a topic you don't often see on blogs. :-)

I'm one of the 30% or so of the population who is cursed with being cross-eye dominant. In my case, it's left eye dominant and right handed. It was never a big problem until I took up serious pistol shooting. I have and continue to shut my left eye when shooting rifles, and did the same with pistols. I'm MOA accurate with a rifle and I was acceptably accurate with a pistol.

I wanted better than acceptable accuracy with my pistol. I should have decided I wanted to do something easy, like world peace.

I've been shooting right-handed for something like 45 years. Even though my Dad was naturally left-handed, he was forced to be right-handed. It's just how things were done back then. I show some left hand tendencies (I carried a wallet and wore my watch left-handed for example), but I am right handed. I can't recall for sure, but I may have been forced to be right-handed as well. At this late date it makes no difference. I am for all reasonable purposes right-handed and left eye dominant.

It's a curse.

After trying this thing and that thing, one professional firearms trainer had me start laying my head to my right, all the way to my shoulder, so that I have a right-handed presentation but I can sight with my left eye. It looks weird and can be awkward until you get used to it, which I have. Every amateur wannabe firearms trainer in the world takes me to task for it, and I'm over being lectured by know-nothings.

Really. Those of you who think you know it all, you don't. If you're not cross-eye dominant, try shooting with your off hand, without doing anything to get your dominant eye lined up with the sights or closing the dominant eye, and see how well you do. You'll find that you suddenly suck at aiming. So how about you shoot your targets and I'll shoot mine. Notice that sentence didn't end with a question mark.

A recent run-in with the know-nothings that I wish I could detail but can't or I would blow opsec totally out of the water did lead me to the question, "Can you change your dominant eye?" Well, Wikipedia to the rescue, or at least the starting point.

Although that article is short, there were three interesting things to note.  First, the dominant eye can be changed. That alone was worth the price of admission. Second, a tendency toward of left eye dominance and left-handedness in migraine sufferers. Not important, but as a migraine sufferer, interesting. Third, and most frustrating, a methodology to change eye dominance but with insufficient details on how to actually do it.

So. We have an appointment in a couple of weeks with NuNeurologist. I'm going to ask his opinion of that piece of research and if he thinks an effort to change eye dominance might cause issues with the migraines, or maybe lead to improvements. I need to go to the ophthalmologist anyway, so I plan on discussing the concept with him as a part of the larger discussion of "Can we finally fix my old eyes yet?"

One of the downsides to retirement is time on your hands. You tend to start researching things that you may have been better off not knowing about.

3 comments:

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Competition shooter/Trainer Mike Seeklander addresses cross eye dominance in his latest podcast

http://americanwarriorshow.libsyn.com/qa-wednesday-the-carrington-event

He says that people make too damn much of it as a problem. Just put the gun up to your other eye and shoot. He's cross dominant, too.

The Freeholder said...

Well, Mike usually knows what he's talking about. I used to listen to his podcast, but had to give it and a few others up when I ran short of listening time. I'll grab that one and give it a listen, though. Thanks for the pointer.

Robert said...

Yah, I have one eye. The "wrong" one, of course. Shooting a right-handed AR-15 as a leftie sucks. Quick mag changes aren't. And who needs an empty casing deflector when you have a handy right arm sticking up there in the path of hot brass?