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.
Early winters where I live tend to be pretty dreary; they’re a stark contrast to the blazing, beautiful autumn. I’m lucky enough to work near a state park with a circular trail which is the perfect length to enjoy a brisk lap on my lunch hour. As the seasons are changing, I’ve kept up my walking, even if the view isn’t quite as spectacular–but this week I was treated to something really incredible.
At my vision therapy session this week, we continued to work on divergence and I’m relieved to report that I’m continuing to improve. The session started off with reading a special version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears that contained pictures and text designed to get my eyes to both converge and diverge. Usually, I can’t tell the difference between the two and rarely know the answer to “which one of these pictures looks like it’s jumping off the page?” This time, however, I got so many of them right I was genuinely surprised. We did some more work with games on the big touchscreen and I made a lot of progress there, too! Week after week, it just keeps getting easier!
But the biggest surprise of the week came a few days after my session, on one of the breaks in the forest I described earlier. I’ve been experimenting with practicing my vision therapy at different times of the day and this particular time I had done it just before heading to the park. Breathing in the crisp December air and listening to the few birds who haven’t yet flown south, I kept noticing something… weird… about the trees. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. But then it hit me — I was seeing the forest in 3 dimensions!
Was this what the world looks like all the time for people without binocular vision problems? I couldn’t help but slow down and take a moment to really take it all in. The woods are my favorite place, and I go there almost every day, but this was the very first time I’d really seen it in all its dimensions.
After this experienced, I’m completely hooked. The more I dedicate myself to regular VT practice, the more time I get to spend with my vision fully engaged and my world with real depth. The in-office guidance and sessions at home are starting to extend into the real world beyond reduced discomfort and eyestrain: I am seeing the world in a whole new way!