On and off again over the past year of VT, my optometrists have asked me to try using polarized reading bars, but I have never succeeded. Initially, the problem was just suppression, but in recent months my attempts have resulted in a much more complicated/confusion/slippery sequence of images.
Roughly what occurs is this:
* When I look at the bars that my weak eye can see through or between the bars, I can get all of the bars to grey and see through them.
* When I look at the bars that my dominant eye can see through, I can see through the dominant-eye bars. But when I try to appreciate the text behind the weak-eye bars I get a number of confusing results that tend to cycle through quite quickly:
- I can see the text (rarely and very briefly),
- I can see the text and next to it I can see a black bar (so instead of four polarized bars total I suddenly have five or six),
- I begin fusing the text from behind the weak-eye bar to the text behind the dominant eye bar (I suspect that I am actually fusing the bars and the text is being brought along, but my attention is usually focused on the text, so this is what becomes apparent.
- Eventually, I begin suppressing my weak-eye... probably because the above sequence is awfully confusing.
The experience is pretty frustrating and I'm wondering if others have also had this experience. I've tried turning the bars horizontal, but the same thing happens (my ability to fuse vertically is pretty good now, which seems to be backfiring in this particular situation.) Any tips from others on how to break through this particular exercise?
You are losing your fusion lock and seeing double. Because two targets are similar (you try to fuse them) and it results in seeing two different things in the same place at the same time which I define as visual confusion. So, you suppress one eye (usually the one you have always suppressed when the two eyes do not work together which is a definition of the non dominant eye) to get rid of the confusion and the double vision.
The problem is each eye is aiming at a different point on the page or bar reader. Generally this is because the eyes are not both looking at the same distance. One eye are both are aimed in front of or behing the page. One eye may also be aimed higher than the other, but I cannot tell from your description.
Yes - that all sounds like a good fit - especially the term visual confusion, which is a perfect characterization of the experience! I am an esotrope with a hypertrope and a very tiny bit of cyclo (half a degree), although I've only been aware of the cycle under very few conditions (when doing an afterimage cross test using the amblyoscope). I also have ARC, although I'm not sure if that plays into this.
Since I only began being able to not 100% suppress the weak-eye bars while looking at the dominant-eye bars after doing a fair amount of patching of my dominant eye to work on my gaze / tracking / etc., it is my sense that my ability to do the polarized bars will continue to improve as my ability to use my weak eye improves. For example, previously when given very different targets for the amblyoscope (spider and web), the spider (shown to my weak eye) would wander all over in a very unstable manner. After patching for a few months, the amount of wandering had greatly decreased, so now the spider basically appears to move around the smallest circle of web. When I'm at the amblyoscope, I don't feel like I have any ability to control this movement, but has seemed to have improved. I'm hoping it will continue to do so and, similarly, the polarized bars will improve, as an indicator of improved weak-eye control/stability. Does that sound right?
Many thanks for your thoughts and insights.
Yes, I am having similar problems. I just recently starting working on the exercise with the red/green bars. As I am trying to read from left to right, I will sometimes see double. As I am trying to read the letter under a bar, and think about using both eyes, I will see two of the same letter, especially as I get to the end of the row. It also seems as I start the exercise on the top row, the numbers under the green bar (my weak eye) will show up, but as I continue on a few rows, it gets harder. So I'm hoping just more frequent practice will help me to get past this, but it is a bit frustrating.