There are many fields of vision that must be processed for a patient to create a clear picture of the world around them. Aside from just being able to see objects that are near and far, it is important for an individual to be able to calculate the distances between those objects. This spatial recognition, or depth perception, is what creates three-dimensional vision. Without proper depth perception, a person is much more prone to falls, accidents, and injuries.
LASIK surgery corrects imperfections on the cornea to treat refractive errors that cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, recent research suggests that, by improving these types of vision impairment, a patient can also benefit from improved depth perception. Dr. Raul Peña helps his patients consider the potential effect of LASIK on depth perception, and whether treatment at his McAllen, TX and Harlingen, TX laser vision centers may be suitable.
Processing Depth Perception
For truly accurate depth perception, a person must have two fully functioning eyes. The way that the brain calculates depth perception is by taking the images that are seen by each eye, and then combining them into a singular, three-dimensional picture. For optimal depth perception, both eyes must be processing clear, focused images. This is why individuals with vision impairment tend to have compromised depth perception.
Fortunately, vision impairment isn’t likely to leave a person without any depth perception at all. When the eyes are compromised, or vision is impaired, the brain is able to use visual cues to perceive depth. Depth perception based on cues is not as accurate as true depth perception, but it can still be functional.
Improving Depth Perception
Often, when a person is experiencing poor depth perception, the treatment is as simple as correcting refractive errors to improve overall vision. Once both eyes are taking in crisp, focused images, it will be easier for the brain to process the three-dimensional picture. Clear vision and improved depth perception can be achieved through the use of prescription lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses. However, if a patient is not wearing lenses, both vision and depth perception will suffer.
LASIK is a great option for patients with poor depth perception caused by refractive errors, because it is a long-term solution that frees a patient from reliance on prescription lenses. Most patients do not require any prescription lenses after recovering from LASIK surgery. This means that patients will enjoy clearer vision and improved depth perception at all times, not just when wearing glasses or contact lenses. Improved depth perception can have a big impact on quality of life, and makes tasks such as driving and playing sports safer and easier.
LASIK surgery is a safe and effective solution for a range of refractive errors, and may significantly improve depth perception as well. To learn more about LASIK surgery and find out if you are an ideal candidate for treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Raul Peña at your earliest convenience.