Depth perception is a visual function that allows people to see their surroundings as a 3D image. People with clear eyesight usually have no problem judging the distance between themselves and other objects. However, when refractive errors are present, depth perception is likely to suffer. By addressing refractive errors with corrective lenses, most patients can drastically improve depth perception. The problem is that few people wear prescription lenses 24 hours a day, and when depth perception is poor, the risk of a fall or accident is high any time that the patient is without corrective lenses.
LASIK surgery permanently treats refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. This reduces (or eliminates) a patient’s reliance on prescription lenses. Because LASIK allows both eyes to function properly, it can also drastically improve depth perception. Experienced laser surgeon Steven Bailey is happy to explain the link between LASIK and depth perception, and help his London, UK patients decide if LASIK is a viable solution for their unique situation.
How Does Depth Perception Work?
The eyes function independently from one another. Although a patient may have a slight astigmatism in one eye, the other eye may take in images perfectly. When the two eyes are taking in different images (one that is clear and one that is unfocused), it is common for the brain to completely ignore the poor image in favor of the image that is crisp and clear.
Unfortunately, this compromises a person’s depth perception. For someone to accurately process space and distance, the brain needs to take in the images from each eye and put them together as one fluid 3D picture. While there are many conditions that can lead to poor depth perception, the underlying cause in most cases is refractive errors that are preventing the eyes from working together.
LASIK surgery is a treatment that allows surgeons to treat refractive errors. Prior to LASIK surgery, Mr. Bailey uses wavefront technology to make a detailed map of the eye. This image shows any distortions or imperfections in the surface of the cornea that may be causing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. During the LASIK procedure, a computer-guided laser is used to reshape the cornea to eliminate these imperfections. In a matter of days, patients will notice a drastic improvement in vision. Once the eyes have healed from LASIK, over 90 percent of patients have 20/20 vison or better.
LASIK for Depth Perception
LASIK corrects imperfections in the cornea so that each eye can create a sharp, clear image. With both eyes fully functioning, the brain will have two clear images. These images can then be put together to create a seamless picture that accurately depicts space and distance. While LASIK surgery is not explicitly meant to treat depth perception, it does address the refractive errors that are the underlying cause of poor depth perception.
LASIK surgery can correct refractive errors, improve overall vision, and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription lenses. If you are looking for a long-term solution for your vision impairment, contact us at your earliest convenience to find out if LASIK surgery is right for you.