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Understanding Eye Misalignments: The Impact on Spatial and Depth Perception

Updated: Jan 5

Our eyes are remarkable organs that allow us to experience the world in all its visual glory. However, in some cases, eye misalignments can disrupt our ability to perceive the world accurately. Vertical heterophoria, esodeviation, and exodeviation are common eye misalignments that can affect spatial and depth perception. In this blog, we will explore how these conditions can influence how we see and interact with our surroundings.

Vertical Heterophoria:

Vertical heterophoria is a condition in which one eye is vertically misaligned with the other. This misalignment can lead to one eye seeing an image slightly higher or lower than the other eye. As a result, it can affect spatial perception, making objects appear shifted vertically.

Impact on Spatial Perception: When experiencing vertical heterophoria, individuals may have difficulty judging the heights of objects accurately. For example, stairs might appear uneven or slopes may seem steeper than they actually are. This misperception of vertical space can lead to a lack of confidence in navigating through various environments.


Esodeviation, commonly known as cross-eyed or convergent strabismus, occurs when the eyes turn inward, causing them to not be aligned correctly. As a result, each eye may send slightly different visual information to the brain.

Impact on Spatial Perception:

Esodeviation can compromise spatial perception, leading to difficulties in perceiving distances accurately. This can be particularly problematic when judging the proximity of objects or people. For example, parking a car may become challenging, as it may be tough to estimate the distance between the vehicle and surrounding obstacles accurately.


Exodeviation, also referred to as wall-eyed or divergent strabismus, is the opposite of esodeviation. In this condition, the eyes turn outward, causing a misalignment. As with esodeviation, each eye may provide slightly different visual inputs.

Impact on Depth Perception:

Exodeviation can significantly impact depth perception. When both eyes are not properly aligned, they may not converge effectively on an object of interest. Consequently, the brain may struggle to process depth cues, such as stereopsis (the perception of depth through binocular vision). As a result, individuals may have difficulty judging distances and may perceive the world as somewhat flat.

Eye misalignments like vertical heterophoria, esodeviation, and exodeviation can have a substantial impact on spatial and depth perception. These conditions can make simple everyday tasks, such as driving, walking on uneven terrain, or reaching for objects, challenging and potentially unsafe. If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing any of these eye misalignments, it's crucial to seek the advice of an eye care professional. Early detection and appropriate treatment can help improve spatial and depth perception, enhancing the overall quality of life for those affected. Remember, our eyes play a vital role in how we experience the world, and taking care of them should always be a top priority.

If you are experiencing visual symptoms that are causing difficulty in daily life, it is important to see an optometrist that has experience with diagnosing binocular vision dysfunctions and feels comfortable with prescribing prism glasses or personalized vision therapy.

If you're struggling to locate a neuro-visual optometrist in your region, consider arranging a virtual consultation with Dr. David Antonyan, O.D. through the website Dr. Antonyan, O.D. can assist you in finding local eye care professionals and initiating the appropriate treatment plan for your recovery journey. For those residing in the Los Angeles or Valencia area, you can also book an in-office appointment directly with Dr. David Antonyan, O.D. by dialing (661)310-0603 or visiting Dr. Antonyan, O.D. possesses the expertise needed to prescribe precise prismatic corrections, which can significantly alleviate symptoms arising from binocular vision dysfunctions, ultimately transforming your quality of life.

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