This is a question to all strabismic people here who alternate between one eye and the other. Do you control this alternation?
Since I read Susan Barry's book, I thought that her strabismus was very similar to mine. However, with time I started to notice small differences. The most interesting one by far, which I discovered recently, is that of my selecting the eye through which I looked. I always supposed that every person with strabismus of this type could do it like me, but I've learned that there is a lot of people who cannot select or even say which eye are they using.
This creates an interesting problem for me. My vision is very conscious. Almost too much. And binocularity seems to be the polar opposite: when it works, it is a purely unconscious process. I have to learn to see with my mind working without me noticing to a degree that seems quite extraordinary to me. I have the feeling that people who cannot say which eye are they using could acquire binocular vision more easily, just by correcting the position of the eyes.
For instance, one of my biggest problems about looking with the two eyes at the same time is that I always find visual contradictions between them which bother me and make me conscious of the process ("what am I supposed to see this like?"). Instead of being an advantage, these differences are a problem to me (although I think I'm getting much better at accepting them.
Any opinions or experiences related to this?
Best wishes to everyone.
What I wrote in my last post is not, I think, completely valid for your case. Frances did not learn to suppress and it might be very difficult for her to learn to do it in order to avoid seeing double images (during the time that learning to use both eyes for stereo could take). Suppressing completely one eye is a very hard thing for the brain to do.
What happens to you is the opposite, and the same that happens to me. You've suppressed input from one eye all your life. I've learned to avoid supressing, but I've never lost the possibility of doing it when needed. In fact, I think that even in stereo vision, the brain is always suppressing small things here and there, otherwise, vision would be full of weird stuff. Whenever there is a chance of seeing double, I go back to suppressing. I'm completely sure because I very rarely see double images. And I can consciously suppress one eye like used to if I consciously try to do it (it's more difficult than it used to, but I can do it).
Perhaps if your alternation was unconscious the situation would be different, but if your case is similar to mine (as it seems to be), learning to use both eyes does not neccesarily imply a complete loss of the possibility of suppressing.
As I posted, in my case, Dr. Len Press worked with each of my eyes separately until they were as equal as possible before we began binocular training. I suffered no noticeable double vision and began seeing in stereo after my 7th 1/2 hour session. It was 7 minutes of pure bliss that I'll never forget - like finding the invisible door everyone else knew was there but me. Don't be scared... Being able to see the world in 3-D for the first time at 59-1/2 years of age has been quite a gift. Critical period and those who subscribe to it are fools.
I can still alternate my vision. I often switch between eyes rapidly, and do some serious blinking, to reset my eyes and often see with greater depth. I think I'm more and more often in stereo these days. I can see 3-D images and movies without effort... or those dreaded headaches.
By the way, the fear of headaches, which I had almost daily until I was out of college, nearly prompted me to cancel my own VT. I never got one headache from over work in VT - and that was 64 sessions and lots of homework. They said I would have a severe headache after my first evaluation - I didn't have one then either. As a matter of fact, all that stimulation gave me multiple 3-D events on the ride home. Though just flashes of depth, I'll never forget them. Those flashes gave me hope. Every small step forward is its own reward and pushes you to continue.
Hi Cynthia, Does the new input create any problems for you? -F
I had a lazy left eye for 59 years and was very right eye dominant. I could always choose to see through either eye, prior to achieving binocular ability, just not both at the same time. As I've posted before, throughout my 64 VT sessions I never had a period of double vision. We worked to strengthen both eyes prior to doing any binocular work. Not all doctors and people teaching in universities might understand this process. Some, unfortunately, still believe in the critical period theory and don't believe it possible to achieve 3-D vision at an age older than 2-8 years.
Don't let your fear keep you from trying. I achieved stereo vision at 59. Feel free read my blog here on Sovoto share it with this college professor. Perhaps this professor didn't make such a process clear to you or doesn't quite understand it his or herself.
btw: I can still see through either eye now, my brain just prefer to use both. I now use my ability to alternate between eyes to 'turn on' my eyes to often achieve greater depth if I feel I'm not in deeply. Regardless, I can always see 3-D movies and anaglyph images found on the internet.
Yes I have read her book. I found it fascinating. I agree, I should go back and be re-tested and consider the vision therapy again. The way it was described, I would be in for a long period of blurred and/or double vision and headaches, as long as a year, and I can't deal with that and function in my work (I'm a professor and so reading is critical for me!).
Everyone's different. And there seem to be a lot of variations on the themes of both strabismus and the ways it's treated. It also seems that everyone reacts somewhat differently.
It's a pretty new field. And there have been developments even since Barry wrote her book.
So if you do go for V.T. (even if it's not for B.V.) you may want to go into it "expecting the unexpected!" That's pretty much what I'm *trying* to do.
Good luck! -Frances
No need for double vision and blur, at least in my experience! I can get back to alternating whenever I need to read something or see it in detail. I actually do it constantly: small details are the hardest ones to fuse. I try to read with both eyes from time to time, but, at this moment it still requires a tremendous effort and the result is not good. There are other small details, however, that are getting closer and closer to be completely fused. Don't be afraid, you won't immediately loose your alternation, especially if you control it consciously. The change is extremely gradual.
Thanks, that's encouraging! Fortunately I know our Optometry School dean and so maybe I can find someone good who will help me with this. (Too bad Dennis Levi is no longer in Houston!). It was funny when I went there that last time because Dennis kept bringing in students to watch me do the tests, apparently I was quite an excellent subject for them to study! I also have my two eyes at different vertical levels, which was something they tested. I've noticed this may affect me when I take photographs because the horizon line is often not straight, ha ha! I have to be careful to use the lines in the camera viewfinder rather than my own vision to judge.
Ha ha, I have the same problems with my photographs! They are all oblique.
Vertical strabismus makes everything more complicated. Susan Barry mentions this problem in her book and somewhere in this forum.
However, it is not such a big deal. I can tell because I have it too. When each of my eyes sees something different to what the other sees, there's no reason for them to be alligned because they can't coherently fuse (images don't match), so one goes up and the other goes down! That's their "relaxed" position.
There was a time when, whenever I tried a new distance with the Brock string I would notice double vision because of vertical misallignment. This is quite unusual by now (although I need to get a new string. Six feet is not enough!)
More difficult than that is the fact that my brain does not feel at home with using both eyes. One needs faith and a lot of insistence to push the envelope and learn new ways. You need to believe that another way is possible. You need to learn to accept visual contradictions between the eyes. You need to ask peope with stereo vision how they see certain things, because, contrary to what happens to children, one doesn't get there by intuition. We are conditioned by the way our vision has been until now. It is a fascinating (although slow, and frustrating at times) journey. I still don't have a perfect vision, I still don't think visually in a very coherent way. But I know I'm better than months ago, and in case of trouble, I can always get back to alternating!
Dr. Levi is a trip! I can just imagine his delight at presenting this"special" subject who could show them something really interesting and cool. (I think he finds all interesting things to be cool--and even amusing.)
Yes, When I was considering surgery, the subject of double vision was discussed. (Apparently ophthalmologists are crazy-worried about that.) But the verdict was that because I had such good control over switching back and forth, the *very* worst that *might* happen would be that it could take me a few days to adjust.
When I started V.T. it occurred to me that the changes we would be trying for might destroy my panoramic viewing. (It also occurred to me that it surgery would almost certainly do that--something no one ever seemed to consider!)
It would take some pretty impressive goals for me to go ahead with anything that would do that. I think the world would suddenly seem small and confining after living most of my life with that "little" anomaly.
But the the optometrist assured me that I could always choose which "mode" I was using.
I expect that almost anyone who has really good voluntary control over choosing between eyes would be able to do that.