Many people live their entire lives without realising they have a problem with depth perception.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines depth perception as the ability to see things in three dimensions (length, width and depth) and judge their distance.

How does our visual system create depth perception?

In essence, depth perception is a result of each of our eyes looking at a similar object from slightly different angles. That's the same way Hollywood creates a 3D movie; they'll get two cameras and place them at different angles. Afterward, they weave together the information. The result is a 3D image that comes out of the combination of information. Our brain does the same thing, it creates a 3D image based on the two different angles of our eyes.

What are some of the causes of poor depth perception?

For our brain to be able to create a 3D image, there are a few things that are important. To have good depth perception, both eyes must be able to see clearly. It is also important that your eyes are always pointing at the same place. It's hard to give a good depth perception if the eyes are pointing in different places in space. It is also important for your brain to be able to combine the information that our eyes provide it in a way that makes sense and enables you to create a visual map that shows where things are in space. Any of these points in processing, or in the accumulation of information, can cause a problem with depth perception.

What are the symptoms of poor depth perception?

You may experience the following problems if you have poor depth perception:

  • You may stumble when you are in a room
  • You might be clumsy when it comes to grabbing things
  • When you're driving, you may not see cars around you really well

All these symptoms are of a poorly functioning binocular system and a poorly functioning depth perception map

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