How LASIK Can Affect Depth Perception

June 18, 2017 — by ksmmdeye
Tags: Lasik Depth Perception

An eye highlighted with a laserMillions of people around the world have experienced the benefits of LASIK surgery. The laser vision correction procedure is an excellent option for treating refractive errors, which you may know better as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Laser eye surgery has benefited many patients who've visited our West Orange vision correction center.

A number of people who are interested in LASIK wonder if the surgery can improve their depth perception. Similarly, patients have concerns about LASIK leading to poor depth perception. Let's go over these issues below.

What Is Depth Perception?

Depth perception refers to the ability to differentiate the distance between objects and ultimately perceive the world in three dimensions. In humans, this is the result of binocular vision and a process known as stereopsis. Each eye perceives the same objects at slightly different angles. These images are interpreted in the brain in order to differentiate between near and far.

Causes of Poor Depth Perception

Some of the most common causes of poor depth perception include the following conditions:

  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia
  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Poor vision in one eye or both eyes
  • Injury to one or both eyes

Can LASIK Improve Depth Perception?

Yes. LASIK can potentially improve depth perception in patients.

According to a study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery last year, refractive surgery was able to improve stereopsis in patients who suffered from nearsightedness or farsightedness. Depth perception was greatly improved in patients who were extremely nearsighted.

Can LASIK Lead to a Loss of Depth Perception?

It's unlikely that LASIK can lead to a notable loss in depth perception unless a serious post-op complication occurs. As patients recover from LASIK, they may experience temporary changes in depth perception as they adjust to their new vision and as their eyes heal.

Depth Perception and Monovision LASIK

A special type of LASIK surgery can be used to treat presbyopia, which is an age-related form of farsightedness that sets in around middle age. This procedure is known as monovision LASIK, and it involves having one eye corrected for near vision and the other eye corrected for distance vision. 

Patients will be able to simulate monovision LASIK using contact lenses prior to the procedure. This helps patients determine if the surgery is right for them and if their depth perception will be affected. During the consultation, we'll be able to assess your situation and recommend the ideal treatment for you. Contact our advanced eye care center today.