There's more to healthy vision than 20/20 eyesight!

Seeing in 3-Dimensional (3D)

Three-dimensional, or binocular depth perception requires both eyes to work together as a team. This type of perception is known as stereopsis.

Many people have one or more problems with binocular vision and have difficulty seeing in 3D. Unfortunately, not all people are able to see 3 dimensional images. These people see a flat 2 dimensional world and are not aware of it because they have never experienced the pleasure of seeing in 3D.

Conditions for viewing 3D

  • Two well functioning eyes, with clear vision in each eye
  • The ability to properly focus on objects near and far
  • The ability to coordinate the movement of both eyes
  • The ability to “fuse” the different images coming from each eye into one 3D perception

3 D movies have two images projected onto the screen, each image seen by one eye. The images are merged into one by your brain. If your eyes do not work together as a team to align the images, it will be very difficult to merge or fuse the images into 3D.

If you have poor coordination, or lazy eye, 3D television will also look flat to you. The objects will not pop off the screen.

3D Viewing Challenges can be caused by:

  • Refractive problems
  • Lack of binocular vision (strabismus)
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Eye coordination problems (such as convergence insufficiency)
  • Eye focusing (accommodation) difficulties
  • Dizziness or nausea (vestibular or balance problems)

Thanks to vision therapy, people who previously could not see 3D are enjoying 3D movies and 3D television. One person who learned to see in 3D with the help of optometric vision therapy is Dr. Susan R. Barry, professor of neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College. She lived most of her life in a flat world until at the age of 48, she went through a program of optometric vision therapy. In her book , Fixing my Gaze, she shares her experience of gaining 3D vision. Her story was told by Oliver Sacks, M.D., in “Stereo Sue”, which appeared in The New Yorker magazine.*

If you are having trouble with seeing 3D, find out more about how you can possibly learn to see in 3D. We can help make sure you meet all the conditions to enjoy 3D viewing.

*The New Yorker, June 19, 206, pp 64-73