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Question:
My 23-month-old son has what I think is a depth perception problem. His eyes aren't "lazy" and I don't see any cloudiness. We need help as he runs into things that are right in front of him.

Answer:
It is very common for young children to seemingly have a "depth perception" problem because they are always falling or running into things. In most cases the child is actually normal, but simply moving too fast to respond to obstacles in his way. As you indicate, when there is a concern about this visual function, the first step is to make sure both eyes are healthy and that there is no binocular misalignment. There are also some methods to measure depth perception in young children like yours, but there is a high rate of young children not understanding the test and doing artificially poorly. Assuming these tests are normal, usually the child's performance improves over time.

Answered by: Michael Repka, MD Dr. Michael X. Repka

Categories: Children's Eye Health, Eye Conditions

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Answered: Jul 20, 2012

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