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The Importance Of Depth Perception

Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur


How far away is a table? When should you stop your car so you won’t hit the car in front of you? These are all questions we somehow know the answer to without knowing exactly how. The reason is depth perception and most of us have it.

What Is Depth Perception?

Let’s start at the basics first. Before we get into its importance, let’s understand what it is exactly. So what is depth perception? Depth perception is the ability to see something in your visual field (your line of sight) and know approximately how far away it is.

Most of us are able to do this because both our eyes work together to be able to see an object in three dimensions and determine its size, length, width, height and distance. Our eyes see things from a slightly different angle — try closing one eye and looking at an object, then reversing it. The image is then processed by the brain to form a single image which provides us with the information needed.

Our brain uses the information we’ve gathered over the years to help hasten the process of computing objects in our sight. This happens millions of times a day which means we are constantly using our depth perception without even realizing it. Which is a great segue into the reason it’s important.

Why Do We Need Depth Perception?

Well for starters, knowing when to get out of the way of a moving car is a good reason why depth perception comes in handy. But we also use it for small things hundreds of times throughout the day. When you walk into a new place, you see the desk in front of you so you don’t walk into it; you see there is a wall with a door so you avoid it; you see someone running towards you so you can move out of their way.

Aside from determining the size of an object and how far away it is from you, your depth perception also provides your brain information about how quickly something is moving. Whether it’s a car, a person or a ball, this is much needed information to ensure you don’t get hurt or collide with someone or something.

What If My Depth Perception Isn’t Great?

Some of us sometimes have trouble assessing information like speed, size, or distance from an object. In this instance, it’s advisable you visit your optician or optometrist to test your depth perception. This test will try to determine the root cause of the problem and they will try to resolve the issue.

There are eye exercises you can try as well to help practice your depth perception and try to improve it naturally. Of course, sometimes there isn’t anything eye exercises can do and seeing your doctor will help you determine the best course of treatment. Aside from exercises, there are plenty of foods that will naturally enhance your vision such as zinc, antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C and E. Again, your eye care professional is the best person to recommend eye-healthy foods as well as potential exercises that might help.

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