Your binocular vision is important. It determines how well your brain can interpret the information it receives from the eyes, and it allows you to have depth perception and accurately track moving objects. However, binocular vision dysfunction is more common than you may think. This condition occurs when the 2 eyes don’t work together as a team, but how is it treated?
Your optometrist can diagnose binocular vision dysfunction during a comprehensive eye exam and design a treatment plan. They may recommend vision therapy and specialized glasses to help counteract your natural vision problems. This therapy uses programs designed to train your eyes and brain to work together and help strengthen your vision.
What Is Binocular Vision?
When your eyes are healthy and properly working together, they both send signals to the brain. This information is then processed into a 3D image the brain uses to determine your surroundings. This process is called “binocular vision.”
Since the information sent from each eye is slightly different, this tells the brain:
- How far away objects are
- How fast things are moving
- How to coordinate the movement of your eyes
This coordination of information from both eyes gives you depth perception, the ability to judge distances accurately, and the capability to track objects smoothly.
Simply put: binocular vision is the brain’s ability to use both eyes at once and process the information they provide.
What Happens if You Have a Problem with Binocular Vision?
However, binocular vision doesn’t always work perfectly—several conditions can impact how your eyes work together. One of the more common causes of dysfunction is an undiagnosed refractive error, especially if the eyes have 2 different prescriptions. Refractive errors include:
Astigmatism (irregular curvature of your cornea)
When corrected, these conditions rarely affect binocular vision. However, if left undiagnosed and uncorrected, refractive errors can cause various vision problems that cause issues with depth perception.
Many other conditions can lead to a problem with your binocular vision, including:
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
Strabismus (naturally crossed eyes)
Problems with the eye muscle
Binocular vision dysfunction can also be caused by injury or trauma, making it essential to visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam if you’ve noticed blurry vision, issues with depth perception, or an inability to track moving objects.
How Do You Fix Binocular Vision Dysfunction?
You need binocular vision for many different areas of your daily life. Your ability to track moving objects and determine how far away an object is is essential for all kinds of daily needs. From pouring a glass of water and catching a falling object to driving a car or walking, you depend on accurate binocular vision to get you through the day.
Fortunately, binocular vision dysfunction can be treated. It begins with a visit to your optometrist so they can perform a thorough eye exam to determine what’s causing your vision problems.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis, your optometrist will design a treatment plan appropriate for your unique visual needs, which may involve vision therapy or a pair of specialized glasses.
How Does Binocular Vision Dysfunction Treatment Work?
Your optometrist will likely use an approach that tackles the problem from several angles.
One of the easiest ways to address binocular vision dysfunction is with specialized glasses that help align the images your eyes see so your brain can build clear 3D images of your environment.
Often, these glasses will have a small prism in the lens to change how light refracts and enters your eye, which can help it reach the proper spot on the retina to build an image.
Vision therapy is a structured, personalized program designed by a trained optometrist or vision therapist that includes a range of exercises and activities designed to train and improve the coordination between your eyes and brain. It often focuses on:
- Eye tracking
- Eye focusing on objects at varying distances
- Eye teaming
- Eye alignment
A personalized vision therapy plan may include special computer programs and other tools that challenge and stimulate the visual system. These exercises help strengthen the communication between the eyes and brain so they learn to work together more effectively.
While the duration of therapy depends greatly on the cause of your vision problems, many people notice an improvement in their vision after a few months.
Vision Therapy in Ontario
At Milton Vision and Eye Care, we offer a range of eye programs to help keep your child’s vision strong. If your child is struggling with vision, book an appointment with us today, and speak with one of our caring optometrists about the benefits of binocular vision therapy.