Vision Therapy Success Stories: Jaden
As part of our Vision Therapy Success Stories series, we welcome guest blogger Jaden Carlson to share her personal account. Jaden is a 22-year-old professional women's motocross rider who grew up with "Lazy Eye" and underwent multiple surgeries. Before starting Vision Therapy at Suburban Eyecare in Livonia, Michigan, she was diagnosed with alternating exotropia and hypertropia.
My name is Jaden and I am a 22-year-old professional women's motocross rider. Thanks to vision therapy, I can see 3D for the first time in my life.
I always knew my eyes weren’t “normal” because I had five unsuccessful eye surgeries in my childhood to straighten my eyes.
I know it sounds wild, but I’ve been riding my whole life without depth perception, unable to judge distances. I always knew my eyes weren’t “normal” because I had five unsuccessful eye surgeries in my childhood to straighten my eyes. The surgeries did not help my strabismus. They proved to be only cosmetic. The goal was to get my eyes to look straight, but all the surgeries did was confuse me and, at times, make me see double. Nobody ever mentioned the option of vision therapy.
I found vision therapy through my mother’s physical therapist. She referred me to an optometrist in Michigan and, although I was skeptical, I made an appointment. What a life-changer!
Vision therapy has turned my life around.
Vision therapy was hard work and a bit of a struggle, but it was all worth it. It seemed like I was basically rewiring my brain after 21 years. There was added stress because of my profession and my passion for riding a dirt bike. I go over huge jumps and I was terrified that if I saw depth I might be too scared to ever ride again. However, I realized I was willing to put riding on hold to fix something that would change the rest of my life. And it has. It has truly helped me be a safer rider. I can now judge distances and not land wrong on a jump. But, it goes well beyond that because vision therapy hasn’t just impacted my profession. I’ve noticed other changes as well, such as:
- Driving and parking a car (I’m pretty sure I was cutting people off before!)
- Putting on makeup properly
- Enjoying how things look around me, especially snow
- Eliminating accidents such as hitting my shoulders on wall corners and doorways
- Feeling happier and much more confident
Before vision therapy, everything was flat. I remember seeing the movie Spy Kids in 3D when I was younger. As all the kids were jumping when something popped out and seemed closer to them, I just sat there. I didn’t understand why everyone was so thrilled about it. My entire life has been different.
My advice is to try vision therapy, especially if you’re young, to limit some really tough times. It makes such a difference.
Vision therapy has turned my life around. It has changed how I see things in a major way. Although I mentioned it was hard work, it was also really fun at times. I absolutely loved the Vivid Vision game, Pepper Picker. It’s a virtual reality game that helped me achieve 3D vision. It has helped me with judging distances. Whereas I once had to practically touch someone’s hand just to take a piece of paper or something from them, now I can see where that object is in relation to me. I am also a huge fan of the Brock String. I even take it to the track with me and use it before races.
~ Jaden Carlson, Michigan, USA
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