Call Us: (908) 325-3648

Last Updated on December 10, 2021

Distorted depth perception is common in the elderly and older adults. However, there are many different causes of a perceived change in depth perception. Vision problems in older adults can be particularly serious, especially if they are aging in place and home alone.  Poor depth perception can result in accidents, such as falls and motor vehicle collisions. 

Image of broken glass for an article about what you should know about distorted depth perception.

Read on to learn more about the causes of distorted depth perception and what you can do to help a loved one experiencing vision problems. 

Distorted Depth Perception: What Are the Signs of Poor Depth Perception?

If you’re checking in on a loved one often, they may not admit that they’re experiencing vision problems. If you’re wondering, “What is the most common vision problem in the elderly?” then the answers would be age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.

However, distorted depth perception can be serious, particularly if your loved one has to climb stairs or needs to climb over a threshold (such as in their entryway. Also, poor depth perception is related to many of those vision problems. Signs of poor depth perception you can be on the lookout for include:

  • Sudden inability to read out loud well
  • Poor spatial awareness; clumsiness 
  • Difficulties watching fast-moving sports, such as football or basketball 

If you suddenly see a change in your loved one’s activities, such as things they may enjoy, like reading and sports, this may be a sign of poor depth perception. 

Distorted Depth Perception: What Causes Loss of Depth Perception?

There are many factors and causes that contribute to loss of depth perception. Factors can include:

  1. Strabismus. This is a condition that develops over time, and your eyes are not properly aligned.
  2. Nerve problems. A swollen optic nerve can affect all aspects of vision, particularly depth perception. 
  3. Eye trauma. Any eye trauma can cause damage and poor depth perception. 
  4. Amblyopia. This happens when your brain decides to favor one eye over the other. 

As we age, eyesight deteriorates over time, which can be a contributing factor to what causes depth perception to be off.

Distorted Depth Perception: What Are the Available Treatments?

The treatment for poor depth perception depends highly on the cause behind it. Alignment issues  may be corrected with glasses in some cases. In other cases, depth perception is comorbid with glaucoma or cataracts, and surgery may be required to solve the problem. 

Distorted Depth Perception: Other Ideas to Try 

Because there are not many available and viable treatments for poor depth perception, it may just be something a person gets used to over time (they adjust to it), but this isn’t the case for others. You may want to consider installing stairlifts or have a wheelchair ramp installation. Even if your loved one isn’t in a wheelchair, having a ramp can make entering and exiting the home much easier. Other ideas to try include:

  • Vision therapy. This is a very common solution for children, but it can work in older adults as well.
  • Special glasses. While glasses won’t correct the problem completely, they can make it easier to navigate.
  • Improved lighting. Install brighter lights in the home to help see things better. 

If you want more information about distorted depth perception or are interested in the quality of life improvements mobility products such as wheelchair ramps or stair lifts, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and caregivers to live their best lives.