How do eyes work together as a team?

Published on
April 28, 2022

Eye teaming, also known as binocular vision or binocularity, refers to how the eyes and the brain work together as a team. When you move something closer to your eyes, such as a book or a computer, your eyes have to converge more to get a clear picture of the object.

The metaphor of a camera to explain binocular vision

Dr. McBryar likes to think of your eyes as cameras, but they're like the old-fashioned cameras where you had to send the film off to be developed. So you have a left eye camera and a right eye camera, and each of them takes its own pictures or images. That information is now going to be transferred back to the brain and like the old fashioned camera the film or image will be developed there as well. 

Using the camera metaphor, in a case where the eyes are not pointing at exactly the same place, what happens is your eyes don't work well as a team, and you will still have a right eye picture and a left eye picture, but as they return to the brain, instead of being able to perfectly overlap, there will be a separation between them. As a result, poor eye-teaming skills and the subsequent combined image formed in the brain may cause symptoms like headaches, eyestrain or eye pain when you're reading and doing up close work. Additionally, it can cause conditions like double vision, blurry vision, or even floating words on the page.


Convergence insufficiency

Convergence insufficiency is an eye condition which occurs when both eyes are supposed to come together to focus on a near target but they fail to do so. This is one of the most common conditions that impact our binocular vision. 

If you are trying to read or use your computer, and you are trying to look at a screen or a page, then both eyes must be able to coordinate together so that they are pointing in the same direction at the same time. If that happens, you will have excellent binocular vision. If you or your child are experiencing vision difficulties that may be related to poor binocular vision call our office at (423) 710 3965 to schedule a functional eye exam. 

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