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Binocular vision - or lack of it

(43 Posts)
ApuskiDusky Wed 31-Aug-11 12:05:47

Hi, we've just come back from our appointment with the opthamologist for ds1 (3, almost 4), after 6 months of him wearing glasses and patching. He has ruled out surgery for now because cosmetically ds's squint is corrected enough with his glasses, and functionally it looks like ds has lost any binocular vision that he had and so there is no point in trying to get it back.

I'm feeling a bit angry that something might have been done sooner - we've had a succession of trainee optometrists with mass confusion in his notes about when he got a squint and how bad it is/was, and we had an appointment with the opthamologist 6 months ago that was cancelled and were sent to the optometrist instead. But we are where we are.

Can anyone explain what the implications of not having binocular vision are, please? And whether there is anything we can do to help? His actual eyesight is very good, and we're stopping the patching for now.

twilight81 Wed 31-Aug-11 16:24:52

hi there,

my dad has this and as a result was not allow to train as a pilot when he was in the RAF..he did however go onto gain his private pilots license.. he also cannot watch anything in 3D, apart from that it doesnt affect him in any other way.. as for what you can do i really dont know? maybe somebody else can help

ApuskiDusky Wed 31-Aug-11 17:32:16

Thanks twilight. Yes, the consultant told us he wouldn't be able to be a fighter pilot!

Bumping for any other ideas / experiences?

ProfYaffle Wed 31-Aug-11 17:36:43

I don't have binoulcar vision, no-one thought to tell me til I was in my 20's! I can't see magic eye pictures, 3d films are more or less wasted on me and I can blame my dodgy reverse parking on it. Apart from that it doesn't affect me at all.

mycatsaysach Wed 31-Aug-11 17:36:59

i am 45 and had the op when i was about 10.mine wasn't extremely noticeable but the op was only done for cosmetic reasons - i had also the patch glasses etc.

i have no binocular vision but no longer need glasses - it hasn't really affected me in any way i can think of.

ApuskiDusky Wed 31-Aug-11 18:10:41

It's good to hear that you've not found it affected you much, ProfYaffle and mycatsaysach, thank you.

CMOTdibbler Wed 31-Aug-11 20:48:44

I have/had a pretty bad squint that wasn't discovered till I was 11 (its an unstable one which is unusual), had surgery at 13 and 18 and still have a squint which isn't visible as my prisms control it. I probably don't have proper binocular vision, but it never affects me. I drive, have had a motorbike license etc - am not very good at tennis/badminton, but can shoot

wearymum200 Wed 31-Aug-11 20:53:24

DH has almost no binocular vision. He does everything he wants to fine (but is fairly rubbish at tennis); the most noticeable deficit is that he's poor at detecting the size/ distance of a small object (for some reason, especially birds, he often thinks they're much bigger and further away than they actually are!) Other than the pilot problem and, although it's clearly frustrating and upsetting for you, I would try not to worry too much!

LargeGlassofRed Wed 31-Aug-11 21:06:42

Dd2 has never had any binocular vision she's had 3 surgery's and due another one in October we did 4 years of patching!
She is 7 now and vision is good. The only thing she sometimes stuggles with is pouring drinks, hitting balls with bat ect
But really doesn't seem to bother her much.

She can't see 3D and sometimes gets upset when other Dc's go to see 3D movie.

SuiGeneris Wed 31-Aug-11 21:22:40

Another one without binocular vision here. Not an issue at all, aside from not being able to watch 3D films. I'm an atrocious driver and was no good at volleyball until I started wearing lenses rather than glasses- but who knows whether having binocular vision would make a differencegrin

ApuskiDusky Wed 31-Aug-11 22:20:37

Thanks everyone, good to hear people's experiences that the impact is relatively minimal.

BirdyBedtime Thu 01-Sep-11 12:50:40

LargeGlass - you should just let her go - she'll not see the movie in 3D but she'll still see it. It's not like when we were small and it looked all funny if you didn't see the 3D (Note DD has a lazy eye and recently was invited to a 3D film for a friend's birthday. We decided not to let her go as weren't sure she'd see anything but friends dad took off the glasses and covered one eye and said it just looked normal so now we know!!) Sorry for hijack.

LargeGlassofRed Thu 01-Sep-11 19:47:45

birdy I did take her to see one once but she said everything was fuzzy and gave her a headache.
I saw a really interesting program on binocular vision and it explained that,
Seeing is more to do with the brain than the eyes and if the brain hasn't made those conections at s young age it never will.
If a person with binocular vision closes one eye, the brain fills in all the gaps so they still have 3d vision.
In someone who has never had binocular vision the brain sees both images independently and doesn't mix the 2 images together.

On the program their was a doctor who was born without binocular vision and over 2 years she trained her eyes to see with both eyes together.
She said the difference was amazing and the depth and shapes popped out,
I'll try and search it to see what it was called.

LargeGlassofRed Thu 01-Sep-11 19:58:18

Found it,
it was Oliver Sacks- Imagine, The man who forgot how to read and other stories.
So interesting he wrote a book too, called the minds eye.

mycatsaysach Thu 01-Sep-11 21:05:20

that's what they try to achieve with eye patches though - i suppose sometimes it works

cheekyginger Thu 01-Sep-11 22:33:20

I'm actually an Orthoptist when not being a mummy (I work in the NHS and specialise in binocular vision problems) and came across this thread.

To the OP: the only thing it will affect, as you said is being an RAF pilot being a neuro surgeon etc that a binocular viewing microscope is used. And not really much else! Overall your DS may not have quite as good co-ordination as your other kids for ball sport etc. The vision is the most important aspect and you said that you have successfully treated that, thats fantastic. Binocular vision develops within the first year of life and if your child was squinting even on occasionally at that age then that can prevent BV from developing. These things can't be helped.

Now here's to give you facts!!!!

There are a huge amount of different type of squints out there. But if a child has a squint (lazy eye can be poorer vision in one eye but NO squint). If both eyes are not pointing in the same direction one eye is ignored/suppressed. When this happens you can NOT have 3D vision.

If you have a child that doesnt have 3D vision they would still need to wear the 3D glasses at the cinema even though they might not get the effect. If you try it yourself cover one eye you will still see the 2 images that are on the screen. When you put the glasses on each eye only see's one image therefore the disparity creates the depth (hope that makes sense).

Largeglassofwine: The brain doesnt fill in the gaps. If one eye is ignored/suppressed you do NOT have depth perception. YES you can train some people to have better 3D vision if they have very weak 3D vision in the first place. The DR you refer to must be a very very unique case.

Eye patches are used to strengthen the vision and have nothing to do with the squint. They are used to treat the amblyopia more commonly known as a lazy eye. But a lazy eye can be caused by an unequal need for glasses between the eyes.

bulby Thu 01-Sep-11 22:42:29

Dd who is 3 has monocular vision. She is very cautious and a bit clumsy but to be honest it hardly affects her (other than if at a play gym etc) we often forget ourselves, she was given 3d glasses and a magazine in clarks and it was only several hours after showing her how the red and blue made the Oxford stand out that it struck us she'd have only seen the blue. She'll not be a pilot or top teamsport player but that still leaves a he'll of a lot of careers open to her.

bulby Thu 01-Sep-11 22:43:19

Oxford? That should be picture

mycatsaysach Thu 01-Sep-11 22:43:57

that's very interesting ginger

my eye patch must have been for my lazy eye then - i had an alternating squint too
also one short sighted eye and one long sighted wink smile

cheekyginger Fri 02-Sep-11 09:23:47

Hi mycat,

Its quite nice to use my work brain again!! It seems to still function.

ApuskiDusky Fri 02-Sep-11 11:21:28

Thank you cheekyginger - may I PM you with a couple of questions I still have? I'd really appreciate your perspective.

cheekyginger Fri 02-Sep-11 15:03:38

of course you can, but i've never PM'd before....tell me how and you can ask away!!

cheekyginger Fri 02-Sep-11 15:07:22

Ah ha i found out about the PM in the FAQ section. Drop me a message whenever Apuski..

willugotobed Sat 03-Sep-11 17:16:16

My DH has binocular vision. He can't catch balls he claims. He also has trouble putting keys in locks - he fumbles about for quite a while and seems to aim about an inch or two away from the key hole. Apart from that, he's fine.

IndigoBell Sat 03-Sep-11 18:06:43

I'd take your DC to a Behaviour Optometrist to see if they have any exercises he can do to improve his vision (vision therapy).....

I have found them to be much more hospital than the opthomalogists we were seeing.

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