Researchers have discovered a new therapy to balance eye dominance and improve depth perception. The brain perceives depth by using two eyes from slightly different angles and determining how much the eyes move together or apart. However, when one eye is much more dominant, the brain may ignore the weaker eye and diminish the depth perception. And as you may know, it is easier to thread a needle with two eyes opened than with one eye closed.
Historically, to strengthen a weaker eye, doctors have recommended patching the stronger eye to force the weaker one to work harder, in a ‘use it or lose it’ manner. The new research now suggests that this passive method can be improved. Forcing the weak eye to be used while both are open is proving to be more effective to correct sensory eye dominance.
“After a 10-day training period, we found our participants’ sensory eye dominance is significantly reduced as the two eyes become more balanced,” said Teng Leng Ooi of Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. “As a consequence, their depth perception also improves significantly.
This new “push-pull strategy” can be used to reduce sensory eye dominance, which could be especially important for people where fine depth perception is critical for their jobs – including dentists, surgeons, machinists, and athletes. The researchers also expect that it can be adapted for treating children with amblyopia.
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