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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

My Misguided Nose

with 2 comments

I have an 11:00 nose! I never realized it, until a few days ago. Sailors and aviators use a clock face to measure the location of ships or planes on the horizon. Ships to starboard or the right of the bow are sighted at at 1:00 or 2:00, etc. Ships to the left are at 11:00 or 10:00, etc. I am the ship traveling to 12:00 with my bow pointed at 11:00, constantly fighting a one-eyed headwind. I am the plane that is constantly crabbing while moving forward! (But I’m not nearly as scarey as these Boeing 747’s!)

My self discovery about how my “straight on” face is actually pointing to the left is the result of reading Josh’s post about his first office visit for vision therapy. His simple and informative illustration struck me like an epiphany. I have been checking my head position ever since, and my nose does point to the left… constantly … anywhere from 11:00 to 11:30 or 30° to 15° off center. Josh comments:

Because I use mostly my right eye, I’m always positioning myself off center of what I am looking at. That way, I can get things directly in front of my right eye. I have a hard time seeing things that are centered in front of me; I don’t know which eye to use. I prefer things slightly to the side. Take a look at the following illustration:

right-eye centric viewing

Here I am, looking at a “thing.” My left eye is being suppressed, and my body has turned so that my right eye easily faces the object that I am looking at.

This works okay, but it can lead to some confusing situations. If I’m talking to two people standing next to each other, they have hard time telling who I am looking at.

Josh’s second illustration, where folks are wondering who he is making eye contact with, is more pronounced due to his exotropia, where his left eye turns out, not in. The vernacular name is “wall-eyed” instead of “cross-eyed.” When I look at someone out of my right eye, my eyes appear fairly straight. My left eye does not turn out, like Josh’s, but in very slightly, toward the person I have centered in my right eye field of vision. Their confusion is more subtle, because they are not getting eye contact from both my eyes, because I am still suppressing my left eye and not making contact.

Josh’s prognosis for success is a great deal better than mine, and it is evident in his blog, as he is moving along towards fusion at a much faster pace. I admit that Josh is my son’s age, so youth just might be another factor!

I was introduced through Dr. L. Press to “Squinty Josh” and “Strabby” Sally at the Vision Helps blog last week, when Dr. Press kindly featured the three of us as blogging “sons and daughters of Stereo Sue.” Josh is another adult strabismic who is undergoing vision therapy, and started therapy and blogging the same week as I did. Sally will be starting therapy soon, and just started blogging in January.


Written by Lynda Rimke

January 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

2 Responses

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  1. Great post! I’m glad that I could help you straighten your head out. Even after noticing it, I still catch myself doing it all the time. Maybe we should wear one of those halo neck braces for a while?


    January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    • LOL love the photo and the idea of straightening my head out. :-) I’m going to print this for my vision therapist. She’ll get a good laugh. Thanks, Josh!

      Lynda Rimke

      January 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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