Most of us live each day without realising how important depth perception is to our everyday activities, but without it, and for people suffering from depth perception problems, life can be a downright struggle. Abernethy Owens are leading the way with innovative solutions for a vast array of optical issues. Let’s take a look at what depth perception is, why it’s so important and the different ways problems with depth perception can be treated.

What is Depth Perception?

Vital to our everyday life in so many ways, depth perception is the ability to see things in three dimensions (3D) and to judge the distance of objects. Achieved when the brain processes different pictures from each eye and combines them to form a single 3D image, known as stereopsis, it allows us to move through life without bumping into things, understand how close or far away an object is and determine how fast an object is coming towards us. Accurate depth perception generally requires binocular (two-eyed) vision. People who rely on vision primarily in one eye (called monocular vision) may struggle with depth perception.

Vision Problems Can Cause Depth Perception to Be Reduced

If the eyes are not working well together and are often not pointed at the same place at the same time, this can contribute to poor depth perception, leading to symptoms such as double vision, poor reading ability, difficulty with sports and poor spatial awareness or clumsiness. If you have trouble judging how quickly an object is coming towards you, you may have a problem with depth perception. For a proper diagnosis you should visit a qualified Optometrist. With a simple, non-invasive test they can narrow down the cause of your problem so that it can be efficiently addressed.

The most common conditions that can contribute to problems with depth perception include:

Strabismus - a condition that occurs when your eyes are not properly aligned. One eye might turn inward or outward or look upward or downward. Crossed eyes is also a sign of strabismus. This condition means your eyes may look in slightly different directions so it’s likely they will focus on different things.

Ambylopia – also known colloquially as ‘lazy eye’, this is where the brain favours one eye over the other, meaning one eye doesn’t quite track properly. It can cause vision loss in the weaker eye that can reduce your depth perception and even your vision.

Nerve problems - an inflamed or swollen optic nerve can affect your vision and interfere with your depth perception.

Eye Trauma - poor depth perception can be the result of an injury to the eye.

Blurry vision - from glaucoma to diabetes or simple near-sightedness, there are many potential causes of blurry vision, and blurry vision can interfere with your ability to accurately perceive distances and depth

Fixing the Problem

There are ways to improve your depth perception naturally, including simple eye exercises. Proper diet and nutrition can also help. As eyes require vitamins A, C and E, along with zinc and antioxidants to stay healthy, boosting your intake of these may be beneficial. You might also benefit from the use of certain products or services, such as:

Vision therapy – helping to train the brain and eyes to gain or regain better vision, therapy may involve such things as physical exercises and eye patching.

Specialized glasses and contact lenses – your contact lenses specialist can prescribe the right lenses to treat your specific vision problem or may suggest using bioptic telescope attachments on your glasses.

Discuss Your Options with an Experienced Optometrist 

Whether you have already adapted to reduced depth perception or you’ve recently developed a condition that’s affecting your vision or sustained an eye injury, get in touch with your Optometrist today. You might not yet be aware of any issues with depth perception, but a thorough eye examination will determine if you have a problem or a vision condition that can be monitored and treated.

Make an appointment with the  experienced Optometrists at Abernethy Owens today, book online or call us on 1800 411 744. With a reputation for providing first-class, professional service from start to finish, we cover all aspects of Optometry in 5 convenient locations.