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

Some are color blind. I am stereo blind.

Archive for the ‘smooth pursuit exercises’ Category

“Ship’s Log” of Uncertain Seas

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The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes -Marcel Proust [1]

Wednesday April 6 Is it really depth perception?
At breakfast, I see my cereal bowl rim with distortion from right eye, both eyes feel anchored on the rim, and then came a strong perception of SPACE … INSIDE the bowl with my spoon resting at THE BOTTOM of it. Later I distorted the rim of my coffee cup with the same “eye teaming.” It looks as if it had been marred on the potter’s wheel. The distortion disappeared when viewed with each eye separately.

That evening, the dishes were all done in what looked like 3D, with the soapy water appearing further away, DEEPER INSIDE the sink … I decide to talk about it while it is happening. “I’m stere-oscoping!” I announce to Patrick in a sing-song voice “… the bowl is so big and NEAR as I wash it … and now I’ve made it small and FAR as I rinse … ” Was I really? Hope springs eternal.

Thursday April 7 OD&VT appointment or “Let’s see what we can see”

A visual field test of right eye reveals no vision in upper right half, save one small area above the dividing line on the nasal side of my central vision.

Visual field test, right eye

April 7th visual field test, right eye

(My Vision Therapy is always with my Developmental Optometrist. I had emailed her about my BRAO last week.)

Condolences are given and my OD/VT attempts to center-occlude my glasses over my right eye, to encouraging use of the left eye to strengthen it. I’m sure the expression on my face and direct protest that I was center occluding the left eye, not right, made her reconsider … “I’m fighting for my half-blind eye,” I explained. I do use my left almost all the time anyway and have no difficulty suppressing the right.

I share how I had restored my ability to “unsuppress” my right eye, and what I saw with the red green glasses when looking at a white wall (Dr. Press had suggested doing this in a comment to my April 1 blog post.) “I see total green on the top half of my vision and total red-orange on the bottom half.

“Could it be ‘left-eye over right-eye’ viewing that my brain has programmed?” I ask. She didn’t have a quick answer. (I’ve illustrated it in the image of my visual field test, above.) My fellow strabbie blogger, “Squinty” Josh, might guess that it’s a mega case of anomalous correspondence!

No 3D tests were done to verify my 3D breakfast bowl story. She made a comment that I was at step 5 before, and jumping to 20-something … she simply wasn’t sure what to do. I’m not surprised, as I never have done sequential anything well. I need to gulp the whole pie in order to understand any part of it. [2]

She took a long look at me on the Brock string, which looked the same way it does at home: both strings come into the bead, however the left eye nose-to-bead image (depicted to right) is weaker. Only one string goes out of the bead, as my blind right eye cannot see above the bead. Four and 10 base down prisms strengthened the left eye image in front of the bead and made it as clear as the right.

How my New Brock String appears

How my New Brock String appears to me

We work on the most basic part of my tranaglyph, which I can see completely if I turn it upside down. Right side up, the green upper right dot completely disappears. I need green on the bottom of my right-red visual field when viewing with red-green glasses.

Homework assignments are given on the tranaglyph and I’m to continue Hart Charts with left eye and new letter circling exercises, as well as eye control and thumb pursuits for the right.

We agree to bi-nasally occlude both right and left eyes as before to continue to strengthen peripheral awareness. She clarifies I am NOT using both eyes when I do this as either suppressed eye still turns to my nose behind the veil. I was hoping I was gaining some sort of peripheral fusion. Apparently not.

We agree to schedule an appointment in 3 months if my right eye vision improves.

Friday-Saturday April 7 & 8
Distraction

I’m pretty discouraged and don’t attempt much of anything, other than distorting cups, plates and bowls under my nose. I’m also majorly distracted because we finally agree with Freddie Mac on a price for the 5-acre foreclosed homestead we had won a bid on … way back in early February!

Sunday April 9 Renewal
I socialize and spend the afternoon at the homestead in left eye mode. My right eye looks turned in at every glance in the mirror. After visiting with my mother-in-law at the nursing home, I manage to still find the will to do my favorite phys-dip exercise in the ladies’ room, using the door stop on the wall. I can still make physiological diplopia both ways, converging and diverging. My creature even tilts his head back at me, just as always!

My inner kid wants Wonderland again!

Phys-dippity-do!

That evening, I walk the old yard and notice the grass at my feet looks grassier … each blade seems more distinct somehow in the evening light. I refuse to pursue the possibility of 3D and get down to the task of pulling bitter cress from the flower bed. It’s a small plant with white flowers that must be pulled before it throws seed everywhere in a couple of weeks.

I enter my usual zen-weeding-woman state, and it seems that both eyes engage, and the flower tops look TALL. I keep breathing and weeding, but my hand is not connecting as easily to the base of each weed. I check for eye teaming by covering and uncovering. Both eyes are fixed on the same small white flower, first one flower, then another. The bittercress continues to fill vertical space in a new way, even when I blink.

Was it really 3D, or simply weeding for the first time with my left eye instead of my right?

Later on, at Hibachi Japan, I fail to catch one piece of shrimp … of course! Perhaps if the chef had tossed it from below

Monday April 11 Surprise!
I find a small piece of shrimp in my purse!

Fun with Orthoptics

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I started orthoptics or vision therapy exercises just after posting about the matrix in my head about a month ago, when I felt my brain was over-riding the new, wider way of seeing I had been experiencing from the bi-nasal occluded glasses.

I am happy to report the eye exercises are contributing to a wider peripheral field again. I am definitely not bumping into doorways, furniture and counter-tops on a daily basis, as I was before wearing the glasses. So the glasses and the exercises are re-programming my peripheral vision to a wider field that seems to stay with me throughout the day.

In fact, when I drew what I saw through my glasses back in November for my post on “The Frame Game”, I was straining to see beyond the lens area to sketch what was in the edges of the frame while looking straight ahead. No more. I am easily seeing my glasses frame and stem pieces as I type!

vision therapy orthoptics: fusion

After touching the bridge of my nose during the "eye control" circuit, I pull Mr. Bird out to my fusional area

I credit this to daily eye control, smooth pursuit and peripheral vision building:

Eye control is simply following a finger or my feathered friend Mr. Bird around the bony perimeter of my eye sockets: brow, outside edge, center cheekbone and bridge of nose. I look pretty funny doing it, but this is the yoga stretch of eye exercises. My left eye now tracks as fluidly and smoothly as my right. Well worth 3-5 minutes a day!

Thumb Pursuits are an extension of the same. This time my unpatched eye tracks either my thumb or Mr. Bird with my arm fully extended. Mr. Rimke checks that my head is centered on my body and remains stationary. Then he asks me random questions while I maintain focus on Mr. Bird and keep the things in the room behind flowing in motion parallax. I should work each eye for 3-5 minutes.

The Nielson Chart is a new favorite. When I first started this exercise, I couldn’t see any of the circle to keep inside. Now I am seeing more and more of the circle from almost all of the plus sign fixation points. I also noticed my circles are near perfect in dim light. This is because peripheral vision increases when the eyes are more dilated. I use both right and left hands 2-3 times for 10-15 minutes.

Vision Therapy Orthoptics Nielson Chart

The Nielson Chart

More smooth pursuits are needed to perform Straw in the Target. I patch an eye and hold a tube out in front of me at various heights and depths with my patched side hand, and use my other hand to smoothly direct a straw towards the tube from the far edge of my peripheral vision to a smooth insertion into the tube. 5 minutes with each eye and different diameter tubes constitutes total workout.

I have also been given two motor control exercises which I am going to pursue more aggressively after another week or two of trigger point shoulder therapy to unlock and heal the muscles surrounding my rotator cuff. (Note: this is my idea, not my vision therapist’s.) Right now the Randolph Shuffle and Angels in the Snow are a bit too painful. Last week, I did master the shuffle sequence and can change it on demand.

I will have one more week of additional in office tests and orthoptic exercises, and then we will evaluate at my first 8-week mark. I have less to show for my first 8 weeks because it took us four weeks to find any semblance of a fusional area. I have not begun any fusion exercises, and may not for a few more weeks. I do try and check that hard-won fusional area every now and then, and seem to see lo-ong, “E.T.” fingers in 3D, but little else at this point: not even Mr. Bird!

I must be patient! But, oh— to be a 4 month old learning fusion and convergence naturally, during feeding time!

“The illuminated jet bib feeding system” can be found at http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/1-3-years/c682/ Check out those flashing lights! Maybe I could keep my nose centered if I wore one of these!