For good eyesight, we don’t just need our eyes to work individually. We also need them to work effectively as a team, which is called binocular vision.
You can see how it works by closing one eye, then the other, while focusing on the same object. You’ll notice that you see things from a slightly different angle out of each eye. This is due to the distance between your eyes. Our brains combine the two images into a single 3D one, which is how we can judge distances.
A variety of problems can impede binocular vision:
- Divergence insufficiency. The eyes struggle to turn outward to focus on distant objects.
- Divergence excess. The eyes turn outward too much when focusing on distant objects.
- Convergence excess. The eyes turn inward too much when focusing on close objects.
- Convergence insufficiency. The eyes struggle to turn inward to focus on close objects.
- Strabismus. One eye turns inward or outward.
- Amblyopia (“lazy eye”). The brain will favor input from just one eye, making the other worsen in acuity. This is often the result of a severe refractive error in one eye or strabismus.
- Vertical heterophoria. The eyes are vertically misaligned, making them strain to create a coherent image together.
Most forms of binocular vision dysfunction can be treated through visual therapy or corrected with special glasses, but only if they are diagnosed. Some are best corrected with surgery.
The Importance of Comprehensive Eye Exams
Only a Comprehensive Eye Check-up can test for vision problems, and it is critical to catch a vision problem early on.
Many adults never received a diagnosis and went through lots of years struggling to see. If you think you or your child might have an undiagnosed vision problem, don’t hesitate to schedule an eye exam.
Your clear, comfortable vision is our highest priority!
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