Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#19 session

This session wasn't difficult.  It was a bit effortsome in the first ten minutes, but then the control got easier.  It definitely feels as though when the hypertropia gets in control, the brain is able to engage the lazy eye more and the light gets brighter and more static.

The saccades are continually getting better, although it does feel like progress is slowing down slightly.  But morale is still high.  This is still by far the fastest progress that I'd ever had and if I get stereopsis in six months, I would still consider my experience with syntonics a smashing success.

The tricky thing, I suppose, is that the eye coordination and teaming has to be just about perfect in order to have true stereopsis.  Depth perception does improve before you have full stereo function, but you only have the real deal when the eyes are on the exact same page.

It's only been about three days that I've started using the magenta filters, but I think I may do another week with them when I start over on Sunday.  This is because they seem to be particularly effective.  I know that Heather said that she did only ten sessions with magenta filters when she got full stereopsis, and I did notice significant changes once I changed from light green to magenta.  So I may break the prescription and stick with magenta for a while.

The idea of suppression is a weird one, because one of the primary things that the brain does with the visual system is fill in gaps.  So with people who are strabismic who suppress--which is most of them--they're not just stereoblind: they're half blind.  They are only using half of the visual input that's available to them.  But it's not easy for them to know this because the brain so readily fills in the gaps for them.  Just like you're not readily aware of the blind spot that everyone has until you actively seek it out.  There is some peripheral vision, but being half blind really does suck.  And even weirder than that is the fact that both eyes are completely healthy.  How can I be half blind if I switch over to the other eye and it seems to work completely fine?

It's suppression.  It's the active cortical inhibition of incoming visual information.  The input is coming in, but the brain is blocking it.  So you really only have access to one eye at a time.  One of the things that I'm noticing now that I'm getting better is what happens when I alternate eyes.  Basically less is happening, because there's less of a difference when I change eyes because I'm using both.  Ultimately, when I'm done, I won't be able to alternate eyes, because they will both always be on.  I imagine that this is something that would be difficult for people who don't have stereoblindness to understand.  In fact, I remember having difficulty having my old vision therapist try to understand the things that I was seeing.  And she just had to keep saying 'I don't know.'.  It wasn't really all that reassuring.

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