Difficulties while reading, working, and learning to play the cello caused this adult patient to seek a comprehensive vision exam with a developmental optometrist found with COVD’s Locate a Doctor tool. He was prescribed glasses with prisms and a course of vision therapy. Follow his journey below as he retrains his brain and eyes to work together.
This week’s post is another one about my success outside the VT office, like the first time I saw the forest in three dimensions a few weeks ago. My new visual skills keep popping up in all areas of my life, and this time was just as surprising as the last one!
Since I was a little kid, I have never been able to figure out how to use binoculars. It seems pretty simple–just hold them up and look at things that are far away–but they never worked for me like they did for everyone else. The vision from my left eye looked like I expected, but my right eye either saw blackness, or a sort of eclipse of half-black and half-normal that moved all over the place and wouldn’t stabilize. So I got used to just closing that eye and ignoring it. This issue stayed with me into my college years when I took a class that primarily consisted of birdwatching (a pretty fantastic class if you ask me!), during which the binoculars still didn’t make sense. Other science classes required me to use microscopes, and I had to close my right eye for those, too.
I still love watching birds and my daily trips to the park always include me trying to spot some, even though they’re always too far away. I decided it might be fun to ask for a new pair of binoculars for Christmas this year and much to my surprise, they finally work for me! It makes so much sense: my eyes work together now for the first time and my right eye no longer turns off or points in the wrong direction, so now binoculars work like they’re supposed to. No more disorientation or headache! Finally, I can actually use binoculars with binocular vision.
Just like I’d always imagined, I could look into the eyepieces and see far-off feathered friends clearly and with both eyes at once. Sometimes I get a little double vision at first, but then I just know I need to use more of my visual skills to line them up. I’m sure this will eventually be automatic. Most of the birds will still be further south for the next few months, and I can’t wait for them to steadily come back. I’ve been wishing to see a scarlet tanager for many years and maybe this will be the year!