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3-D: Can you see?

The popularity of 3D movies and video games is on the rise. Whether it’s a preview for the upcoming 3D box office hit, or an advertisement for the newest 3D video game, the re-emergence of 3D entertainment is here and will only grow in popularity. Its appearance has shed new light on the problem of binocular vision dysfunction. Binocular vision is vision where both eyes aim together at the same visual target, equally and accurately, as a team. Healthy binocular vision is very important in producing perceptual skills that are part of normal vision: binocular depth perception and stereopsis. Stereopsis is vision where two separate images are taken from both eyes and united into one image in the brain. The AOA estimates that 25% of Americans have this dysfunction. If you experience dizziness, discomfort, nausea or are unable to see a movie in 3D, you most likely have binocular vision dysfunction. Not only is your ability to see 3D movies affected by binocular vision dysfunction, reading and learning can become challenging as well. Also, binocular vision is essential to being a safe driver. Binocular vision dysfunction is a common problem, but unfortunately, goes undiagnosed often. The reason for this is because most patients don’t know they have a problem. They have never seen in 3D, therefore they don’t know what they’re missing. Their symptoms are the norm for them, they have never known any different.

Seeing 20/20 on an eye chart doesn’t mean that you are using both eyes together as a team. 20/20 vision is considered “normal” vision, which means you can read at 20 feet a letter that most people should be able to read at 20 feet. A comprehensive eye exam will test your binocular vision. A good number of people with binocular vision dysfunction can be helped with lenses, although some patients will require further assistance, such as vision therapy. If vision therapy is needed, the optometrist will determine which therapeutic exercises would benefit you the most and how many visits you may need. This is based on the severity of your symptoms and also the onset and extent of the problems.

Remember, both eyes must be working together to see depth. Having poor binocular vision affects more than your ability to enjoy the latest box office hit, it makes everyday living more challenging than it needs to be. If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today!

Written by our Vision Therapist, Danielle LeCours