What changes have you seen since beginning vision therapy?
- Headaches I’ve suffered since I was a child had decreased substantially in intensity and frequency. I go for days without headaches, and when I do have them, I can usually trace them back to intense periods of eye strain (PhD program… sigh).
- I no longer need prism in my glasses.
- My eyes work better again with glasses. I had substantial difficulty getting a prescription that would consistently let me see clearly because my eyes were so out of sorts. I’d need multiple regrinds of lenses to get to a happy place where my eyes could work with the glasses for decent vision. Since therapy, with a good prescription, glasses work well the first time.
- I can see much more clearly both near and far. Lights at a distance fuse well, I don’t see double.
- Without trifocals, I can see much better in the middle range now. I can see my car’s dashboard clearly with my normal lenses, for example, where before I either had to take off my glasses or lean in close and use my bifocal reading lenses. Side rear-view mirrors in a car are easier to see. I can sometimes even read my computer screen with my distance lenses, which I haven’t been able to do in years.
- My balance has improved. I don’t run into walls and doorways as much (not entirely gone – you can only do so much).
- Vision from my left eye is more consistently integrated into my visual world. It took a while, but one day, all of a sudden, the left side of the world was there all the time. Fascinating. My brain had removed it, and the therapy brought back.
- I am getting quicker at switching focus from near to far and back.
- I am more aware of when my eyes are getting tired, and the bad habits I had picked up to compensate. I can’t always rest, but I can pay attention and make sure to address the symptoms rather than just revert to using one eye.
- When my left eye wanders, I am much more quickly able to detect it and bring it back in line. Again, no panacea here, eye still wanders when I am tired or fatigued, but I am aware and able to deal.
- In general, I am less disoriented in the world. I still struggle to fuse lateral vision at extreme angles, but in general, when I look a certain way, my eyes work together pretty efficiently to do what they need to do to see what I’m looking at. To start, anything even 10 or 15 degrees from center caused my bad eye to shut down. I still have to focus sometimes to remind my bad eye not to slack, but even that is an improvement – with admonishment, it snaps to much better.
Would you recommend this service to others?
I would, though I’d caution that you should be ready to work at it if you want to maximize your benefit, and it can be a substantial commitment – I had a total of 45 to 50 minutes a day of eye stuff I did 5 days a week for 9 months in addition to weekly therapy appointments. It has made a big difference in my vision. In some ways, I still struggle with what had been turned off and compensated for being back and much better but not perfect, but it continues to improve as I work at it. I was persistent and consistent in doing exercises, though. I am certain I would not have progressed as I have if I hadn’t been diligent and made the time to do my eye homework (even the goofy colored lights that unexpectedly totally alleviated eye strain and headaches for me).