Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lost in Space

As my longtime Gentle Readers know, I have been working diligently on 3d vision for quite sometime. I am at the point where I can see some dimensionality but not all the time but I don't quite have the sense of space or the sense that objects are floating in air.

It's quite frustrating to work away at this and not feel like I am coming to the end of my journey so I decided to seek a second opinion on this subject.  I would really like to have my eyes corrected by doing exercises and not getting surgery.  My grandfather had some solder fly into his eye during the Great Depression and went to Boston for an eye operation.  They operated on the wrong eye and left him totally blinded.  Needless to say, I am not wildly enthusiastic about having my eyes cut up.

So I made an appointment with Dr Seiderman, the big daddy of vision therapy, and off I went to Leola to visit him.

 As I got off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and onto the secondary highways, I noticed that I was right in the middle of Amish country.   I passed rows of tall corn, farm stands offering peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, and watermelons.  Past bakeries offering freshly baked pies and breads. Leola is in the Lancaster area and has some of the most fertile non-irrigated soil in the U.S.   Past horse drawn buggies.  Past yuppie intrusions like  Volvo dealerships and helmeted bicyclists. Until I reached his office in Leola.  Past industrial intrusions like large trucks delivering produce to Philadelphia.

I did some tests for binocular vision.  The vision therapist was rather amazed at my familiarity with the terms fusion, convergence, and divergence.  But, you know, I have been at this for a while. There is some binocular vision there but there is a lot that is still missing.

She did a quick screening where I looked at four dots (red, blue and white) and tried to fuse the white dots.  I did the first card OK but not so good on the subsequent cards.  The therapist also had me draw lines from starting from right side to left side and then vice verse through a special lens.  I didn’t do too well on this and didn’t get my lines aligned in the nice pattern.  Also, she had me trace a picture through a special lens; first, with the right hand and then, with the left.  My right hand didn’t do so well.  We also did the Keystone Correct Eye Scope and some other tests.  The therapist noted that I have alternating suppression of my eyes, that is, my brain ignores the signal from one eye on an alternating basis.

I waited a bit in the waiting room filed with children and their parents.  Then, I had my appointment with Dr. Seiderman.  He did the pen light test... I didn’t see two lights this time.  We did a few other tests and then we chatted.  He thinks that I am “lost in space”.    This makes sense, if you don’t have binocular vision, you are truly lost in space and don’t have a good relationship with your environment.  But, I think he meant more than that.  I think he meant a more general sense of disconnectedness as in a lack of interconnectivity and isolation. 

Dr. Seiderman is not sure what the prognosis is going to be which is a bit troubling.  However, he does think that more vision therapy could be a good thing. This time we will concentrate on doing more exercises in space.  Maybe, the problem is that we’ve been doing a lot of computer based exercises.  We will probably do some work with yoked prisms as well.

Well.  We shall see.  It’s going to be a 2 hour drive from my house to his office in Amish country.   Hopefully, it will be worth it.
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