Utah Eye Associates

Can LASIK Improve Depth Perception?

By Dr. David Masihdas on September 05, 2017

A smiling woman after LASIK treatmentLaser vision correction, or LASIK, is a highly effective treatment to improve vision affected by refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. For some, these refractive errors can lead to problems with depth perception. If you are having issues with depth perception, LASIK surgery may be right for you. For more information about LASIK and depth perception, contact our Salt Lake City, UT practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Masihdas. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at depth perception and how LASIK surgery may help.

About Depth Perception

Depth perception refers to the ability to see things in three dimensions. Depth perception makes it possible to visually determine whether an object is close or far away. Stereopsis is the visual process that makes depth perception possible.

With stereopsis, each eye sees objects at a slightly different angle. The slightly different visual signals from each eye are sent to the brain, where the brain combines the two into one three-dimensional image. The eyes also gather information such as color, perspective, texture, and focus. This information is processed by the brain to determine the depth and distance between objects.

What Causes Problems with Depth Perception

Because depth perception requires visual signals from both eyes to create a three-dimensional image, depth perception may be impacted when one or both eyes are impaired. When depth perception is imperfect, it can increase the risk of falling, tripping, or walking into objects. Some common eye issues that can interfere with depth perception include:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Strabismus, a crossed or turned eye
  • Amblyopia, commonly called “lazy eye”
  • Refractive errors, such as astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia, in one or both eyes

Can LASIK Improve Depth Percetion?

LASIK surgery is a procedure designed to improve vision by correcting the shape of the cornea for those who have vision problems caused by refractive errors. Refractive errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism occur as a result of the cornea, or the lens of the eye, being misshaped. By correcting the shape of the cornea, light can properly focus on the retina, making vision clearer.

For those who have poor depth perception due to refractive errors in one or both eyes, LASIK is often beneficial in improving both depth perception and clarity of vision.

When muscular issues with the eye cause a problem with depth perception, as with strabismus or amblyopia, LASIK surgery is not likely to be beneficial. However, treatments designed for amblyopia and strabismus may help.

Learn More about LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery can improve vision, including depth perception in those with refractive errors. If you have noticed issues with your depth perception, LASIK surgery may be right for you. To learn more about LASIK surgery and to find out if you're a candidate, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Masihdas.

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