Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Eyes are Changing-- Maybe I am No Longer Farsighted

SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 15:  A woman tries on ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I think my eyes are changing.  I was trying to read my Kindle this morning and I noticed that there is only a two inch difference in the distance that I hold the Kindle when I am wearing my glasses as opposed to when I am not.  There used to be about a good six to eight inch difference between wearing glasses and not.

Let me back up and tell you the history of my eyes.  I got diagnosed with near sightedness with astigmatism in my right eye at the age of seven during one of the standard eye screenings of elementary school.  I was quite mortified at the thought of being less than physically whole and cried and cried.  My parents took me off to the optometrist and outfitted me with a pair of cats-eye, tortoise rimmed glasses that really didn't add to my physical attractiveness ( I was a blond).  

Like many things in life, I got used to them and, for most of my life, never thought more of it.  I tried contacts for a while but stopped using them when I went to visit India.  Trying to clean contacts in less than sanitary water and putting that water in eyes that weren't accustomed to the microbes in that water did not seem like a good practice to me. So I returned to eyeglasses and have remained spectacled ever since. I did ditch the tortoise-rimed eyeglasses for a more fashionable pair.

Until I got married.  Like most spectacled brides, I didn't want my wedding pictures taken with me wearing glasses.  So, at the very last minute,  and I do mean last minute, as in the afternoon before the wedding, I ran off to Sears for a cheap pair of contacts.  Got a quick check from the optometrist on duty and he told me that I was getting far-sighted as well.  I thought, "Wrong-O! I'm not far sighted.  This is just what happens when you try to do things quick and cheap."  He didn't have the contacts that would work for someone who was nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatic... But he did give me an emergency pair to use for the wedding.    They worked just enough for me to see without squinting but they definitely weren't the right prescription.  So, after the wedding, I stuck with glasses.

My curiosity was piqued and I went to the Scheie Eye Clinic, which is supposed to be a good eye hospital, and got my eyes re-examined.  The optometrist a Scheie verified the Sears optometrist's diagnoses and told me that over the next two years my eyes would get progressively more far-sighted and then would level off.  Which is seemingly what happened.  I got stronger and stronger bifocals.  They don't show up as bifocals because like many Baby Boomers, I am a little vain, and use progressive lenses.

Fast Forward.

I go to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and get the non-verbal learning diagnosis.  Googling the diagnosis on the web, I saw that there are a lot of sensory processing issues that go along with the diagnosis.  Some of the sensory processing issues include vision problems.  I went to see Dr. Herzberg and got the vision therapy that I've been blogging about.  She thinks that my far-sightedness is really due to eye teaming and accommodation problems -- i.e. my eye muscles aren't working together the way they should.  We have been doing some exercises to correct this and I think these exercises are helping my vision.

One of the eye exercises  has involved looking at a pencil as it moves closer and farther to you.  Other exercises involve working on things close up while wearing special lenses.  There was another exercise that I did which involved searching for letters in order while using a set of special lenses that I flipped back and forth as I found each letter.  The eye therapist did tell me that my eye accomodation would probably never come back to 100% as I am an older patient.   The eye muscles do get tired with age.  Still, whatever God once gave to me, I am determined to get back.
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