Understanding binocular vision and how to detect issues

Published on
January 21, 2023

Are you experiencing double vision or blurry vision and not sure why? You may be experiencing issues with your binocular vision, which is the ability to use both eyes together as a team. In this blog, we will discuss common issues related to binocular vision problems and how they can be detected.

What is binocular vision and why is it important?

Binocular vision is the ability to use both eyes together as a team. It allows us to perceive depth, see in 3D, and have better peripheral vision. When our binocular vision is functioning properly, our eyes work together seamlessly, allowing us to perceive the world around us clearly and accurately. However, when there are issues with binocular vision, it can cause problems with vision, such as double vision, blurred vision, and headaches.

Common issues related to binocular vision

  • Closing or covering one eye - This is often a sign that your binocular vision is interfering with your ability to perform a task.
  • Tilting or turning the head - Some people may find it easier to use both eyes together by tilting or turning their head.
  • Suppression - This is when the brain actively ignores or filters out some of the vision in one eye. This is often done unconsciously and is most common when reading or doing close tasks.
  • Convergence insufficiency - This occurs when both eyes have difficulty pulling inward towards an object when looking at something close, especially for extended periods of time.
  • Convergence excess  - This occurs when the eyes cross in too far.

Detecting binocular vision issues with a Brock Posture Board

One way to detect binocular vision issues is by using a Brock Posture Board. This is a quick and revealing way to probe for issues. The test is done by wearing red/green 3D glasses and placing a light behind a paper. If your eyes are working together as a team, you will be able to put the light precisely in the middle of a star. However, if you have convergence excess or insufficiency or other binocular vision problems, the light will be to the right or left of the star. This test can also help detect suppression, where the light may disappear in your vision.

Take our online double vision assessment

Is blurry, fuzzy, or double vision impacting your quality of life and vision? Take our online double vision assessment to help identify if you may have an underlying vision problem that is causing diplopia (double vision) https://amplifyeyecareolympia.com/neuro/double-vision-quiz/ 

Schedule a binocular vision evaluation at American Family Vision Clinic located in Olympia

Regular eye exams and vision screenings may not detect binocular vision issues

Unfortunately, most regular eye exams include very little, if any, binocular vision testing. A standard vision screening at a school or doctor's office does not typically test for binocular vision problems.

Therefore, if you notice any behavior such as closing or covering one eye, tilting or turning your head, it is worth having a thorough binocular vision evaluation by our optometrist who specializes in this area. Many of these issues can be addressed with vision therapy, which is a program of eye exercises to improve your skills or ability to use both eyes together. 

If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist, you might begin your search online by entering “eye doctor near me” or “functional optometrist near me”, or you can call our office and schedule with our functional optometrist who is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Call us at (360) 491-2121 today to schedule a functional eye exam with Dr. Zurcher FCOVD. Patients with binocular vision issues visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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