Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good day

I haven't done my exercises yet today, but today I noticed a rather big change in my vision.  There's significantly less suppression, and significantly better motor control.

One of the things that I did last night which may have contributed to the perceived differences is this: when I was doing light tube exercises, I did my normal thing of engaging the lazy eye so that the scene is bright as possible.  In addition to that, I started moving my head side to side so that the left side of my face would be turned toward the light, and then turning it so that the right side of my face would be turned toward the light.

One of the things that I noticed when I did this is that it was challenging keeping a singular view of the scene.  Especially when I turned to the right, I noticed that the lazy eye's image of the glowing circle would dip lower.  And then when I adjusted and turned to the left, it would rise up higher. So I slowed down the rate at which I turned my head side to side so that it was slow enough that the control I have over the eye was able to prevent the lazy eye image from dipping lower.  If I rotate slowly enough I'm able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle.  Then I sped my rotating a little bit so that I was right on the edge where I was able to maintain a singular view of the glowing circle, but just barely.  I just kept it there at that edge of motor and sensory fusion all the while focusing on making the scene as bright as possible.  I'm going to do this again today later when I come back from the gym.

But yeah, when I was walking around today, I started noticing things that I wasn't noticing before, like these lighting fixtures above me.  It suddenly occurred to me how low they sit relative to the height of the ceiling.  Also, it occurred to me how much more powerful my sense of motion parallax is when I looked through windows.  I know Susan talks a bit about that in Fixing My Gaze.  Big changes were noticed today.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Random thought

I just had a thought that I wanted to crystallize.  The real purpose of these exercises is, in fact, feedback.  That's what it's all about.  If you think about what you're learning while doing the exercises and then apply them when you're going about your day you'll have much quicker results because you'll be doing the rewiring of your brain while you're not doing exercises, which is to say, nearly all of the time.  Your neurons are going to be paving new pathways throughout the day instead of during the mere minutes of daily VT that you may be doing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#134 session: focusing on the feeling

This is just a quick status update.  I'm still doing this regimen every day.  It takes up a lot of freaking time, especially with my new job, commuting, etc.  It sort of sucks, actually.

  1. 20 minutes of Columns: around 14 minutes on the regular Column sheet working on motor ability, and for the other six minutes I focus on the star sheet and work on my peripheral vision 
  2. Ten minutes of Bouncy and saccades combined
  3. 40 minutes of light tube
I just started cycling through the filters again.  I had used the magenta Alpha Delta filters for a long freaking time, and now I'm on Mu Upsilon.  I noticed some change today as a result.  It's all very incremental, but I am noticing the changes almost every day--certainly every week.  I can't help but think that I wasted a lot of time by not getting contact lenses a long time ago.  If I have an accommodation insufficiency (my doctor's notes from when I was a toddler indicate that I had some 'modest hyperopia'), it's small.  But every bit should help.  I can't help but think that the reason this has all taken me so long is because I've been plowing through several problems all at once, such as eccentric fixation and accommodation insufficiency, and I'm slowly fixing these problems with my exercises.  The plan is for me to get prescribed lenses by an optometrist next week.

What else... yeah, I've just been pondering a bit about my light tube exercises and how to do them, since 'how to do Syntonics' is a question that often pops up.  The answer you hear is often 'just stare into the light'.  My answer is more complicated and involves words like 'feedback'.  I am definitely of the opinion that simply looking into the light wouldn't have had much benefit for me.  It's been useful to me as a feedback device primarily, and then perhaps all of the syntonicky stuff secondarily.  

I'd talked a bit about it in previous entries about not allowing the motor neurons to let go of the eyeball, while keeping the lazy eye's image engaged by the brain.  The way you know that the motor neurons are engaged on the eyeball is that you can feel the muscles on the eye.  It's somewhat unpleasant and can be stressful.  But I think it's a feeling to hold onto.  I think ultimately by not letting go, I'll get rid of the driftage which is a result of allowing the motor neurons to let go of the eyeball.  The way you know that your brain is engaging the lazy eye's image is brightness.  When the scene is particularly bright, it means that you're suppressing less, and using more of the lazy eye's input than you are when the scene is dimmer.  For me at least, especially when doing the light tube, this is something that I've learned to do consciously.  When I consciously unsuppress, it gets brighter, and it is associated with a particular feeling.  It's almost like flexing a muscle.  When I think about that feeling and take command of that feeling, I've found that I can amplify it.  I think this is an avenue to explore.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

#130 session

Just a quick update.  Depth perception is improving and getting more intense.  It's very incremental, but I noticed a change in particular after this weekend.  I've been thinking a bit about the possibility of using drinking and hardcore exercise as tools for facilitating an overhaul of the brain's wiring--the rationale being that binge drinking on a given day (so that you feel it the next day) will damage dendrites and help clear out old pathways--or old habits--in this case, old, bad vision habits.  Then lots of cardio and exercise in between, and during days of aggressive VT will help create brain-derived neurotrophic factor and thus help create new neurons and generate new neural pathways--in this case, new preferable stereo-seeing vision habits.

It does seem to be working for me.  I am also beginning to notice some rivalry.  It's all happening.  It's happening slowly, but steadily it seems.  I'm going to try and see whether I can get some contact lenses.  If I have accommodation insufficiency, it's small.  But I'll take all of the help I can get.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#124 session

There are a few things that there are different since Monday.

Suppression is significantly less--this is just based on my perception as I go about my day, and particularly while doing Columns.

Perception of depth has also gone up quite a bit as was especially evident while playing Metro 2033: Last Light.

Today I only did a 20 minute session because it's late, and I would rather have the extra 20 minutes of sleep than an extra 20 minutes of VT.  Plus, my lazy eye is exhausted.  

When I did Columns today, the suppression was so low that I began to noticed some visual artifacts that are a result of cyclodeviation.  I saw the whole paper very clearly (despite the USPS envelope acting as a barrier between my two eyes), but there was a bend in the middle where the visual input splits.  It bent downward, which represented the counterclockwise twist on the lazy eye.  It should be low enough for me to be able to fix.  I'll try and see whether I can fix it next time. I did this time already, and I think I was able to correct it.  Let's see about tomorrow.

I'm going to go to sleep now.  Hopefully the fatigue will be less tomorrow.  We'll see what happens.  I am excite.

Monday, October 14, 2013

#122 session

Whoa... whoa!

I took three days off.  But whoa.  I can't help but think that this is it.  It can't be much longer for me.  I'm going to have stereoscopic vision soon.  

All exercises went well.  But I stuck with the epiphany that I had in the last session and I am riding it out.  What I'm now doing is making the light as bright as possible--which is something that I've learned how to do by just willing for it to happen.  I do that while simultaneously keeping my motor neurons engaged on the lazy eye.  As I said before, I used to have a tendency to get my lazy eye where it's supposed to be (the correct posture), and then say 'well, that's good enough' (unconsciously of course), and then take my hands off.  But now I know that this unconscious laziness is what has held me back for so long.  So now I keep my motor neurons and muscles engaged on the eye always, no matter what, while keeping the scene as bright as possible.  Holy shit that made a difference.

Anyway.  I expect to see some changes this week, and possibly more eye candy for tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#121 session

I just had an epiphany while doing the light tube and I want to take the time right now to jot it down in case I forget.

Lately I've been noticing a lot about the way my lazy eye feels when it moves and tracks things.  It feels good.  But when I'm not tracking things or moving the lazy eye, I let it disengage--meanwhile the fixing eye never disengages.  The fixing eye is never not looking at something, although that's not true of the lazy eye.  It's often not looking at anything at all, provided that it's looking in roughly the right direction to avoid diplopia.  What I mean by 'disengaging' the lazy eye is analogous to locking your knees while standing.  It uses less energy and you might have decent posture, but you're also less ready for action.

So while doing the light tube, I've been focusing a lot on getting the scene as bright as possible--but now it's occurred to me that while doing that, I should not--or ever, really--disengage the lazy eye.  That's probably what my whole freaking problem is.  When I disallow it to disengage, it's quite a workout, but that's not really a problem.  I'm sure that when I get used to not disengaging it, the fatigue will go away.

It seems really obvious--it's just a connection that I had failed to make before.  The fact that it's disengaged is probably what's causing the 'driftage' that I've talked about.  Damnit!

It's just the same theme recurring again and again.  As I progress and gain experience with exercises, I become more and more aware of what I'm doing that's wrong, what I should be doing, and what my next steps should be.   The next step is conscious non-disengagement of the lazy eye.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#119 session

It was another good eye day.

No luck with randots or hidden autostereograms--yet.  But my diplopia is going way down.  Saccades were the best they'd ever been.  It's weird doing saccades without any discernible diplopia at all.  Of course, the diplopia is noticeable with Bouncy.

I worked on Columns, getting the paper as solid as possible with the six-column sheet.  I figured out a way to improve the load on it.  I think of my two eyes as one single eye, and I'm simply saccading from column to column as if there is no barrier there at all.  I just hard-stare at the letters/numbers as I saccade to them, and then I quickly switch, anticipating where it's going to be--of course, it's not really anticipation since I know exactly where they are.

Light tube was great.  It was just bright, and clear, almost immediately.  Things are going very well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

#117 session

Lately I've been noticing that I've been seeing a lot of improvement, but each time I have something to report about a specific exercise.  This time it's saccades.  This time it was weird, because I had almost no perceived diplopia.  I was wondering how that could be, but then as I progressed, I noticed a little bit of an image behind another.  So I did have some diplopia, but it was so small that it was almost imperceptible.  Other exercises went well, but saccades really surprised me.  This has got to be it.  I really can't imagine that I have that much farther to go.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

#116 session

It was another pretty good day.  I'm just seeing some incremental improvements.  Specifically I'm seeing improvement in Bouncy, in that the double images are coming closer together.  Actually, saccades went very well as well.  It was easy jumping across the screen, and I liked the way that I could feel my lazy eye work.  That's actually something I remember Heather talking about.  I started noticing that feeling as well when I was playing Shadow Warrior in stereo 3d.

Columns went great.  I am noticing that I still have some work to do, since when I saccade back to the left, that I don't have enough time to full accommodate.  This is probably because I now have the tempo at 130 bpm.  I've been changing my focus more on eye movement than the peripheral vision aspect on Columns.

Light tube has been great. I've been getting it really bright and the accommodation is going way down.  If there's ever been a time that I feel like I've got a grip on this thing, it's now.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

#114 session

Today was a great eye day.  The depth and the summation is just getting stronger.  When I pulled into my normal spot coming home from work, looking around, I saw layers of depth, inside my car, the dashboard, and outside.  It's still not yet stereopsis.  I won't have that until the diplopia is gone.  But I am really enjoying what I am seeing.  And today I was playing Shadow Warrior in stereo 3d.  I am now able to put the convergence settings up really high since my eyes are now pretty powerful.  And man, the 3d effects were great today.  It was really enjoyable.

But there's still work to be done.  Columns went well, particularly when I was near the end.  The input coming into the fixing eye when I was fixing with the lazy eye was getting pretty crisp near the end.  It's all just a matter of degree; incremental improvements.  It makes it difficult for me to say things that are interesting.  One thing I feel I should mention that I don't think I did before: I've been upping the tempo on the metronome, way up--like up to 130 bpm when I'm doing the normal columns sheet, and then I go down to 90 bpm when I do the star-shaped sheet.  This is because I'm using the normal columns sheet to build motor control and to let my brain know what it's like to move the muscles controlling the lazy eye; and because I use the star-shaped sheet primarily to build peripheral vision in addition to motor control.

Bouncy is actually pretty good.  I saw the most improvement in that since last time.  I just try to tilt my head both ways and get the balls to be as close to single as possible, and I have to say--I'm very happy with where I am relative to where I was.  It's interesting because the depth effects I'm already starting to get are pretty awesome... and I still have a significant amount of double vision.

Saccades went well--better than last time.

The light tube, again... my prime focus is brightness.  Interestingly, when I focus on brightness, the out-of-sync accommodation problem seems to go away.  I got a lot of time in on the light tube while achieving a high level of brightness.  This is similar to yesterday.  And it was yesterday that I said that I expected to see some good stuff today, which I did.  So let's see what we get tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#113 session

I missed last session.  There wasn't much to say other than I was too exhausted to record it.  But I am still chugging away.  I will probably not be writing as much as I was before, since I'm getting sick of writing so much redundant stuff.  I may now skip a few sessions, and write only things that I consider relevant.  That said...

Things are moving along.  All exercises are doing very well.  The light tube in particular has much attention.  Today there was barely an accommodation difference between the two input streams even in the very beginning.

One of the things that I discovered lately is that by turning my right side forward, and then by relaxing the lazy eye, I can make the input much, much brighter.  I can't do that if I have the left side forward--which seems to be a tendency I have which is probably related to my head tilt.  So lately, I've been focused a lot on getting the light as bright as possible.  It's basically looking really good.  Also, when I look around during the day it looks different.  I'm seeing a lot more, and I'm enjoying looking around more, especially when driving.  I believe I'm on the right track by making it a focus to get the scene as bright as possible.  What I'll do is I'll take a quick break from making it as bright as possible, and then I'll focus on accommodation and then compensating for hypertropia--then I'll go back to making the scene bright again.  This seems to work because I do see hypertropia since making the scene very bright causes my brain to engage the lazy eye a lot, and thus making whatever hypertropia is there, very apparent.  I expect to see some very significant changes in the coming week.