Wide-eyed Wonder: an artist's musings on three-dimensional vision

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

My Grass Roots New Year’s Resolution

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My problem (times many)

Every optometrist who has examined my eyes since 1969 has seen my eyes alternate and turn in under occlusion and said something under their breath like “Oh!” or “Hm-mm!”— which establishes my routine awkward moment. Not one was trained to discuss my odd visual behavior, because they been schooled to believe there is no medical or vision therapy solution for the well-established alternating esotropia they have just discovered in their new patient.*

Over the years I have learned to quickly let them know I am aware of the problem to dispel the awkwardness: “I see out of one eye at a time,” I say. Then they take a deep breath and continue to go about their business of prescribing lenses so that I can see clearly out of each eye, because that is all they can do, and that is all I have come for.

Because each eye can be corrected to see clearly, the prevailing mentality is “Alternating esotropia is not a big enough problem to fix.” We are conditioned to “get by” with our visual cortex malware that suppresses half our vision by alternately turning in each eye. We are not encouraged to seek a treatment that can produce normal, healthy, brain-power-freeing binocular vision.

The larger problem

And, because we haven’t questioned the verdict and knocked on enough doors seeking a treatment solution, there is no market for a solution, resulting in little to no research and advancement in treatment, which means reliable treatment plans are not available to developmental vision therapists who would use them if they could … even today.

Taking steps towards solutions

However, in this day of open information, it is now more acceptable to question any medical diagnosis that thwarts the basic human need to live our lives to our fullest potential.

The internet makes it much easier to research and to explore solutions. Targeted social networking (online support groups and forums for example) can work together to develop a market and create a mandate for clinical research that will give optometrists and developmental vision therapists the tools they need to serve us with new technologies and treatments.

The foundation of Christopher Columbus’ work was finding favor for his exploration in the face of established flat-earth consensus. Christopher Columbus became and expert in his field, and presented such a positive account of his round earth theory that he eventually won the hearts of his King and Queen, and that made all the difference. (Perhaps he had a big amygdala.)

It is in that spirit of building consensus that we, the adults with vision issues that have not been treatable, can work together with willing developmental vision therapists, optometrists and opthamologists to gain the resources to realize our hopes and dreams; not only for ourselves, but for the youth, children, toddlers, infants and those yet to be born with similar vision impairments.

We must gather evidence of the need. We must work together to propose advances in clinical research. We must work hard to encourage the discovery and application of new technologies. We must labor to share every vision breakthrough in scientific and inspirational ways.

I am working on a social network proposal to this end, researching the tools available on the internet to harness a grass roots movement, and networking to present the idea to the non-profit groups already aligned with the cause.

This blog is only one many tools available. Creating a social network would allow dedicated consensus builders to cross pollinate and create much needed synergy. I am a self-taught information architect by profession, but will need to harness the advice of twitterers, bloggers and social network administrators and monitors, and many others with expertise to make a grass roots movement happen.

Wish me luck. Better yet, say a prayer!

*Confession: Since my favorite optometrist retired, I’ve too often taken advantage of places that offer inexpensive eye exams with the best glasses or contact lens deal. I’m seeing now that I need to reform!

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Written by Lynda Rimke

January 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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