Thank you to COVD for writing this piece. COVD Link:
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.
I can’t believe it’s already been 20 weeks of vision therapy! The changes are really becoming noticeable in my daily life and the hard work is paying off–I can see up close easily and clearly, no more halo effect around words, and less visual exhaustion after a long work day. It was always a lifelong habit of mine to close my weaker right eye when trying to line things up, and I barely ever do it anymore because things aren’t all jumbled or doubled with both eyes open. As I continue to progress, the biggest obstacle to my best vision is still divergence, however. Moving my eyes apart still doesn’t come naturally for me, and I’ve been feeling a little frustrated that I haven’t been able to get better at some of the VT activities. The breakthrough I had when a bus drove past outside the window and caused my eyes to diverge was hugely helpful, but I haven’t been able to reproduce it on my own. Luckily, this week, we did something new that I can do myself, no bus required!
For a few weeks now, we have been trying to get my eyes to diverge withvectograms, tranaglyphs, prisms, a 3D TV, and more. Some days and activities were more successful than others. Even when I could diverge successfully, I couldn’t make the image focus clearly. Because of my convergence excess, attempts to focus made my eyes converge, reversing the hard work I’d put in to diverge them. It felt like a no-win situation: either I could diverge (sometimes), or I could focus, but not both. But this week, my vision therapist handed me a flipper with a plus lens and told me to try again.
Now that I was looking through a plus lens, which made my vision relax, it was so much easier for me to diverge my eyes! The plus lens also took care of the focusing half of the puzzle, so diverging was all I had to do. By the end of this week’s session, I was doing all sorts of different divergence activities better than I had before. They finally made sense now that I wasn’t trying to focus, too. As I get better with this new skill, I should gain the ability to diverge and focus without the plus lenses… I’m so excited for what that will feel like and how it will affect things like driving!
Could you or your child be struggling with an undiagnosed vision problem? Locate a Doctor near you to schedule a comprehensive exam and find out if vision therapy can help!