Binocular Vision: Disorders and Treatment

Image of binoculars.

For many, the term binocular vision conjures images of super powers or the rare ability to spot objects far away, but having binocular vision simply means having two eyes with which to see. Binocular vision does lend creatures with two eyes advantages over those with only one, such as enhanced vision, depth perception, and a wider field of view. Our two eyes functioning properly allow us to view the world in the way we do, perceiving objects both up close and far away, using peripheral vision to see objects at our sides, and using our overlapping field of vision to see objects in greater detail.

In order for binocular vision to function properly, both eyes have to work together. When eyes cannot work together, vision disorders occur. Disorders with binocular vision occur in a large percentage of optometry patients, as many as 20 percent, and can affect those patients' ability to see properly using both eyes. Binocular vision disorders affect normal, daily activities like driving, reading, seeing a computer screen, and participating in sports. The two most common binocular vision disorders are strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye). These disorders often present themselves in young children. The two conditions often occur together, but can present individually.

Six muscles support each eye, and ideally work together to keep the eyes pointed in the same direction. In strabismus, these sets of muscles do not coordinate. As a result, the two eyes do not line up in a single direction, and end up focused on different objects. The brain receives two separate images. Unable to combine the images, the brain begins to favor the dominant eye and ignore images from the other. Symptoms of strabismus include double vision, crossed eyes, eyes which are not aligned, independent eye movements, and loss of depth perception. If left untreated, the less dominant eye will become even weaker, eventually leading to amblyopia.

Amblyopia, the most common childhood vision problem, is the loss of one eye's ability to see details, when the nerve path connecting the eye to the brain does not develop. Though strabismus is the most common cause of amblyopia, it can occur independently. Astigmatism, cataracts, nearsightedness, and farsightedness can all cause amblyopia. Symptoms include eyes which do not move together, poor vision in one eye, loss of depth perception, and eyes which turn in or out.

Sources:
American Optometric Association (2014). Amblyopia (Lazy Eye).

American Optometric Association (2014). Strabismus (Crossed Eyes).

eyeSmart (2014). What Is Strabismus?.

National Eye Institute (2013). Facts About Amblyopia.

Location

Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "Such a positive experience with his office! My first appointment was with Dr Reeve who was friendly and thorough with his exam. A year later Dr Woods performed my LASIK surgery and I have been thrilled with the results!! Their staff is super friendly and has really worked at getting my insurance to cover medications and making recommendations for where to get the lowest pharmacy fees!! I would recommend these doctors to anyone looking for ophthalmologists :)"
    Hannah B.
  • "Reeve-Woods Eye Center is the best eye clinic I've ever been to. The staff is very personable and willing to help in any way they can. The doctors are wonderful and want to make sure you understand everything completely! Dr. Woods did my cataract surgeries and was absolutely awesome! I can't say enough good things about this eye clinic! If you want top rate care, this is where you'll go!!"
    Martha M.
  • "A very Good Eye Care Center they have taken very good care of me for years now. Highly Recommend"
    Scott L.
  • "Fast service! I was their new patient, I got the appointment one week only and then it took only one hour my eyes test done. All staff are very polite and eye doctors were very nice. I love this place."
    Carmi A.