Can LASIK Improve Depth Perception?

By Gordon Wong, OD on June 13, 2017

Close-up of a patient’s eyeThe eyes are complex organs. Each component of the eye must work properly for an individual to enjoy clear, focused vision. Aside from possible refractive errors, many patients may also suffer from poor depth perception. Poor depth perception can lead to accidents, and may cause a patient to suffer from significant stress and anxiety. It is important to address poor depth perception so that patients can accurately process the images around them and live a high-quality life.

One of the most popular forms of vision correction is LASIK surgery, a procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. But can LASIK correct depth perception for our La Jolla, CA patients? It is difficult to give a definitive answer to this question without examining a patient’s eyes. However, LASIK does improve the overall visual function of the eyes, which can improve depth perception.

Depth Perception

Depth perception describes a person’s ability to perceive the distance of the objects in their field of vision. Essentially, depth perception allows a person to see the world in 3D. If depth perception is off, it is difficult for a person to perform many basic tasks. Individuals with poor depth perception may have a harder time learning, reading, performing athletic activities, or driving. As a result, poor depth perception can result in heightened stress or anxiety.

Can LASIK Improve Depth Perception?

To have accurate depth perception, both eyes must be working properly, and they must be able to work together. The brain process images that are seen by each eye and put them together to create one focused picture. If one or both eyes fail to take a clear image, or if the eyes are not working together, depth perception can suffer. In many cases, depth perception is compromised as a result of refractive errors. This is where LASIK may be beneficial.

LASIK is not specifically known to treat depth perception. However, LASIK can effectively treat other refractive errors. After recovering from LASIK surgery, over 90 percent of patients have 20/20 vision or better. With the eyes functioning at their optimal level, and with both eyes benefiting from the same visual acuity, it is highly likely that depth perception will improve. In fact, a study recently released in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery showed that both nearsighted and farsighted patients had significantly better stereopsis (or depth perception) following LASIK treatment.

It is important to note that not all patients will notice an improvement in depth perception following LASIK surgery. If other conditions are impacting a patient’s depth perception, LASIK may not be enough to correct the issue. In cases such as these, our doctors are happy to offer additional treatment options, including eye exercises that may retrain the eyes to process distances properly.

Contact Us

If you are concerned about your vision and how it is affecting your ability to perform day-to-day tasks, it is important to undergo a visual assessment as soon as possible. Contact us at your earliest convenience to set up an appointment with one of the experienced eye doctors at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry.

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