Monocular Vision is defined as vision wherein both eyes see different images.
For instance, there are many birds that have monocular vision where each eye's vision is independent of the other. Although
this type of vision can provide a larger field of vision, it also promotes increased difficulty with depth perception.
In humans, monocular vision impairment is usually due to one eye being blind or unable to register similar images as the other
eye. This vision impairment makes it increasingly difficult for people to determine depth perception of objects in close proximity,
therefore forcing them to rely on other factors to estimate visual depth.
What Causes Monocular Vision
There are a variety of circumstances that can result in monocular vision impairment.
For instance, any scenario that leads to vision loss or limits the ability of both eyes to record similar images can cause
monocular vision. Some of these causes may include:
Trauma to the eye
Strabismus or Crossed Eyes
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
Eye disorders impacting one eye such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration
Monocular Vision Test
According to the FAA's aviation criteria, a person is considered to suffer
from monocular vision if they meet the following specifications.
Complete blindness in one eye
Legally blind in one eye (visual acuity and/or field of vision)
Suffers from Amblyopia or another eye disorder that impacts vision in one eye
When it comes to monocular vision, the vision in one eye is usually limited, reducing the overall field of vision by as
much as 60 degrees and limiting depth perception. Below is an example of limited field of vision.
Monocular Depth Cues: Adjusting to Monocular Vision
Depth perception is taken for granted by many, but how do people adjust and
adapt to having limited or no depth perception? Well, for those who suffer from monocular vision it can be quite a frustrating
adjustment period. Nevertheless, there are cues available that can help in the evaluation and determination of depth perception.
Some of these cues according to OcularPro.com may include the following:
Linear Perspective: By logically evaluating the parallel lines that converge onto distant objects a person can gain some perspective and approximate the object's distance.
Interposition or overlapping: Using other objects to determine distances, for instance if one object is partially blocked by another you know it is behind it.
Texture Gradient: Being aware that closer objects will provide more detail than further objects.
Relative Size: Awareness of external factors such as shadows can help determine an object's size relative to other objects surrounding it.
Motion Parallax: This cue uses the notion of speed of objects to approximate distance, where closer objects move faster than distant ones.
Although all of these cues may, on an individual basis, still provide an inaccurate depth perception by utilizing all or some of them, a person may be able to closely approximate depth approximations.
Monocular vision impairment impacts millions of people every day, and although it might limit the ability to pursue certain careers, using some of the techniques mentioned in this article can help adjust, ultimately reducing the negative impact on quality of life.
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