Vision Therapy Success Stories: Andrea
As part of our Vision Therapy Success Stories series, we interviewed Andrea and her vision therapist to share her personal account. Andrea is a 35 year old who had already gone through two unsuccessful strabismus surgeries before finding vision therapy. Vision Therapy, including Vivid Vision, and a third surgery allowed Andrea to gain 3D vision as well as normal eye alignment.
At 35 years old, Andrea had already gone through two strabismus surgeries to correct her eye turn. Despite experiencing some temporary cosmetic alignment from the surgeries she continued to have double vision, general eye-strain, and occasional dizziness. The alignment didn’t hold up either and the eye turn itself got worse. She didn’t have any 3D vision.
Because of increasing headaches, dizziness, and double vision, Andrea looked for help and found a vision therapy clinic in her area. She reported that she was self conscious about the eye turn but she also complained of bumping into things. She expressed anxiety about trying to navigate a room with people in it and driving gave her great concern. She didn’t feel she could safely do things like drive to pick her children up from school.
Her examination confirmed the esotropia of her left eye and lack of stereopsis. She had a large angle of esotropia in the left eye and was suppressing in the right to compensate.The optometrist that she saw recommended vision therapy and Andrea started in-office therapy once a week and home therapy the rest of the week.
When asked about her experience, Andrea starts off with, “Honestly I have so many good things to say about my experience with Vivid Vision that I don't know where to start.” Andrea used Vivid Vision for about 15 minutes at the start of every office visit.
I remember getting chills down my whole body and then crying because...I could SEE!
“I remember the exact time I first saw in 3D. It was the opening screen for the Bubbles game. I was thrillingly able to see in this computer landscape with no double vision (a huge relief after 24/7 double vision for quite a long time). I truly wanted to live in that computer system because it was such a relief.” Andrea goes on to give more detail, “I asked my vision therapist, ’uh...I see something odd.’ And when I described it, she said ‘you're seeing in 3D! That's depth perception!’ I remember getting chills down my whole body and then crying because...I could SEE!”
Andrea’s vision therapist explains that Bubbles is a game that works 3D vision. “The patient must be using both eyes together to see in 3D within the game and therefore correctly pop bubbles in order from closest to farthest. This was the beginning of Andrea’s visual recovery.” Andrea adds, “That particular experience really motivated me to put more effort into my therapy program, because it was such an emotional lightbulb moment that at the age of 35 all hope wasn't lost and my brain could recover and learn.”
Andrea was slowly able to realize 3D with vectograms and eventually she started to notice 3D in her every day life! “My vision therapist explained to me that this meant I was gaining control over my left eye.” Andrea was still seeing double almost all the time in the distance but at near she was regularly using both eyes together and seeing in 3D. “I remember her coming into the office telling me that she could see the soap bubbles and the space around them on her hands when doing the dishes and how incredible that was for her,” says her vision therapist.
Despite these great improvements, the double vision in the distance was not resolving. Because of this, her optometrist referred Andrea for an additional surgery followed by another round of vision therapy. He felt confident that because she was consistently using both eyes together and cognizant of her ability to control her eyes, a surgery at this stage would be successful in eliminating that last hurdle of double vision at distance. When she opened her eyes after surgery, she could see the whole world in 3D. Andrea’s vision therapist reports, “She came back to vision therapy and was no longer seeing double. Her eyes are aligned and she has 40 arc seconds of measurable stereoacuity.”
The world is so beautiful and I'm thankful I can see it as nature meant for me to see it. It took a lot of work, and help from technology, but it was so worth it!
“I'm 39 now and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see something new.” Andrea explains, “Things as simple as fir tree branches reaching out towards me, blades of grass poking up through the snow, fields of flowers, the depth of the clouds in our sky. I can now see the [shapes] of my children's faces.” She expresses relief that she can now, with ease, navigate aisles at the grocery store without bumping into people.
“The world is so beautiful and I'm thankful I can see it as nature meant for me to see it. It took a lot of work, and help from technology, but it was so worth it!”
Andrea’s case was presented as a poster at the 2018 International Congress of Behavioural Optometry in Sydney, Australia
You may also be interested in these blog posts:
- What is the difference between Amblyopia and Strabismus?
- What is Lazy Eye?
- What causes lazy eye?
- How to fix a lazy eye
- Vision Therapy Success Stories: Jaden
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