Depth perception

Depth perception

People use sensory information to guide their interactions with the environment. Like the majority of animals, people usually want to know where specific items in their environment are. Put simply, depth perception is the capacity to judge whether objects are closer or farther away from one another. It is the ability to see the world in three dimensions.

How does it impact your life?

Depth perception is one of the most important visual skills. Binocular vision, commonly referred to as stereopsis, is a prerequisite for depth perception. If there is no binocular vision, you can rely on oculomotor cues from each eye separately. The brain makes numerous adjustments to compensate with the restricted visual input from one eye. However, depth impairment definitely has an impact on life. It can decrease a kid’s ability to learn. Furthermore, there is difficulty driving and navigating the appropriate road. For sports professionals, the poor depth prevents the development of their full potential. It also has an effect on career development as it prevents you from obtaining a position requiring strong depth perception skills. 

What are the causes of impaired depth perception?

 • Amblyopia. A condition when the connection between the brain and eyes breaks down. Consequently, the brain is incapable of recognizing sight from one eye and the brain becomes increasingly reliant on the other, stronger eye over time, while vision in the weaker eye deteriorates. 

 • Strabismus. Crossed eyes or medically known as strabismus occurs when eyes are not aligned with each other. The brain is unable to coordinate eyes to work together. Strabismus can be categorized into four groups by the direction of the eye misalignment, namely esotropia (inward turning), exotropia (outward turning), hypertropia (upward turning) and hypotropia (downward turning).

 • Optic nerve hypoplasia. When the optic nerve, which transmits visual signals from your eyes to your brain, does not fully develop before birth, this can happen.

 • Blurry vision. Vision can suddenly become blurry if there is an issue with any of your eye’s parts, including the cornea, retina, or optic nerve. However, there are numerous reasons for such condition.

 • Trauma to one eye. Eye injury can result in poor depth perception.

How can you improve depth perception?

Firstly, visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist to find the underlying reason for the poor depth. Then, the appropriate treatment plan will be set. The simplest levels of intervention use straightforward methods like eye exercises, limiting screen time, taking rest on the dominant eye, or improved lighting. If the cause is amblyopia or strabismus, the treatment will focus on making the weaker eye stronger. This can be accomplished using eyeglasses, wearing an eye patch, performing digital vision therapy exercises, or VR. To teach the eyes and brain how to work together, we suggest the binocular approach of treatment. Some issues cannot be treated with the mentioned approaches, requiring eye muscle surgery to enhance depth perception. 

1. Depth Perception: What Is It and How Does It Work? (2022, September 6). Verywell Health.