How to Find the Blind Spot in Your Eye

You may not realize it, but both your eyes have a natural blind spot, or scotoma. Everyone has them. They’re normal and you probably don’t notice them.

Why You Have a Blind Spot

Your retina, which is a thin layer of neural tissue at the back of your eye, is made up of tiny, light-detecting cells called photoreceptors. When light lands on your retina, it sends electrical bursts through your optic nerve to your brain. Your brain turns the signals into a picture.

The spot where your optic nerve connects to your retina has no light-sensitive cells, so you can’t see anything there. That’s your blind spot.

Why You Don’t Notice It

You probably don’t notice your blind spot because your other eye makes up for it.

Each eye sends data to your brain on its own, so your brain fills in what’s missing. What one eye doesn’t see, your other eye does.

Experts aren’t sure how your brain fills in the details. They think it’s a mix of processing what it thinks is missing and reusing electrical bursts around your blind spot.

How to Find Your Blind Spot

It’s easy to find your blind spot. You can do it different ways. Here are two examples.

Example 1

Use this image and follow the directions below.

 

 

  • Sit about a foot away from your screen.
  • To find your right eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your left eye.
    • Stare at the circle.
    • Move closer to the screen, then farther away.
    • Keep doing this until the plus sign disappears.
    • When it disappears, you found your right eye’s blind spot.
  • To find your left eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your right eye.
    • Stare at the plus sign.
    • Move closer, then farther away. Repeat.
    • When the circle disappears, you found your left eye’s blind spot.

Example 2

Use your hands to find each of your blind spots.

  • To find your right eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your left eye.
    • Hold your left thumb out in front of you, with your arm straight.
    • Look at your left thumb with your right eye.
    • With your left eye still closed, hold up your right thumb.
    • Place your right thumb next to your left thumb.
    • Keep looking at your left thumb.
    • Slowly move your right thumb to the right while looking at your left thumb.
    • When your right thumb disappears, you found your right eye’s blind spot.
  • To find your left eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your right eye.
    • Hold your right thumb out in front of you, with your arm straight.
    • Look at your right thumb with your left eye.
    • With your right eye still closed, hold up your left thumb.
    • Place your left thumb next to your right thumb.
    • Keep looking at your right thumb and slowly move your left thumb to the left.
    • When it disappears, you found your left eye’s blind spot.
  • To find out how big your blind spot is, move your thumb around, up and down, and to the left and right.

 

Continued

Should You Worry About Your Blind Spot?

Everyone has a natural blind spot in each eye. It isn’t something you need to worry about, unless you notice problems with your vision.

Blind spots are sometimes linked to problems like migraines, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and HIV/AIDS-related eye problems.

Talk to your doctor if:

  • You see blank or dark spots in your field of vision.
  • You notice a blind spot when you’re doing everyday activities.
  • Your blind spot comes and goes.
  • Your blind spot moves around your field of vision.
  • You see flashing lights with your blind spot.
  • You have more floaters in your vision.
  • You notice other changes in your vision.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on July 11, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:
American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Blind Spot,” “Eye Exercises May Improve Vision Around Blind Spot.”

California School for the Blind: “Scotomas.”

New York University Department of Psychology: “Perception Lecture Notes: The Eye and Image Formation.”

UCLA Health: “Blind Spots.”

Atlantic Eye Institute: “Blind Spot in Your Vision: is it Normal?”

 

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