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Sanctuary

Lack of stereoscopic vision (not ASD)

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Sanctuary

This may not be the best place to put this topic but it's not linked to autism (although it may affect some other people on here or someone you know) so it doesn't fit in the "Symptoms" section. However I feel it's an overlooked condition which may be of interest.

I do not have stereoscopic vision. This is not linked to blindness or partial sight. Stereoscopic vision means that the brain takes information from both eyes to create the fullest possible image. Where someone has one eye that is much weaker than the other the brain "switches off" the image from the weaker eye and the stronger eye takes over and is the only one that is used. This is in no way a conscious or chosen decision - the brain does it automatically as the poorer quality image from the weaker eye isn't useful. The weaker eye is only used when the stronger eye is closed. In my case my left eye is far stronger than my right eye and this has been the case since birth. With my right eye I struggle to even read the top line of an eye chart but fortunately I can do much better with my left eye which takes over.

What impact does this have? In many respects it has no impact. Someone without stereoscopic vision should be able to see at distance or read just as well someone who does have it. If you close your weaker eye you'll probably feel you can see just as well. However there are times when it has an impact. Stereoscopic vision is useful for depth perception and hand-eye coordination. This is generally an issue for close-up activities. Threading a needle, catching a ball and putting in contact lenses without a mirror are all activities I find difficult and I imagine this is true for other people with the condition. When I look through binoculars I only see an image through one eye so it's more like using a telescope. When I was younger and playing sport in PE lessons serving a shuttlecock in badminton was very difficult and I often missed it repeatedly which was embarrassing. Hitting a moving ball in tennis and cricket was very hard and I was hopeless at batting though better at bowling, probably because it doesn't require trying to strike a moving ball (perhaps for the same reason snooker was much less of a problem as the balls are stationary when taking shots). Handwriting, painting and drawing and practical activities in general have been difficult for me and this may relate to the hand-eye coordination problems linked to lack of stereoscopic vision although in my case I suspect dyspraxia (which is sometimes linked to ASD) also plays a part. 

Overall it's a condition that isn't a major problem but it does pose some challenges. Very early action in childhood, e.g. wearing glasses, sometimes strengthens the weaker eye and achieves stereoscopic vision but beyond that point it is not capable of correction. Has anyone else experienced this? 

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Dr-David-Banner

I found out that in the USSR neurologists have stated autism can lead to eye problems, typically myopia. There is a connection between sensory imput and the way the brain reacts to that. Put simply the autism condition impedes full development of sight. Other issues are time/spatial which I tested via ping pong. In my case I was unable to follow the ball and performed very badly.

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