Michael I approached Smita suffering from ocular-motor dysfunction and the onset of significant acuity imbalance between left and right eyes, leading to daily migraine. This had caused me to cease full-time work and seek medical advice. I was unaware of, or one might also say, not been made aware of, Behavioural Optometry for several years until I stumbled across the 2009 book of Susan Barry ‘Fixing my gaze’. This eventually led to the covd.org website and Smita Trivedi as the closest practitioner geographically speaking.
Over the first few months visiting Smita, the main progress came from having an acute awareness regarding my condition(s), what it is, how it affects me, my posture, my walking gait, etc. and this knowledge helped my lifestyle considerably and I was slowly able to change (and still I am learning) and fix, so to speak, the manner of carrying my body and gaining control of how exactly to focus and place/align my eyes for them to work together. This is not trivial at all and at times very difficult, as well as changing depending on my fatigue or time of day, light direction (weather) and motion.
Together we have embarked upon several courses of Vision Therapy and I have been under Smita’s care now for just over a year. The eye and whole body exercises have slowly built up to about 20-30 minutes per day, dependent on my daily fatigue level (I adjust to suit), and every one to two weeks she evaluates performance and we are continually adjusting my programme. This month I have experienced my first, ever, insight into what stereopsis might actually be and each week I continue to gain confidence.
These first flashes of 3D vision last only a few seconds and require much effort - in fact, I should not aim to make any effort, but allow the 3D to come naturally and comfortably. So far these moments have come about once or twice a week using a 3D book with red/green glasses, indeed, the 3D moments are difficult to describe; they seem to be something quite extraordinary and, I confess, I feel quite taken aback when they occur. However, I am fully aware this is but the beginning, and the most significant progress to date has been reducing by half my acuity imbalance, to be within striking distance of what I have learnt is called the binocular continuum.
Our next goal together is to prolong, naturally, these stereoptic episodes, without forcing the eye muscles (triggering migraine) and so I must strengthen my eye muscles as much as I can and, hopefully, have comfortable, continuous 3D vision over a broad panoramic focal field. My journey continues.
Update: It is coming up to two years working with Smita and there is no doubt that this a steady journey to 3D. I am able to continue to get 3D, but only in short bursts, of about 3 to 5 seconds. However, it is a real effort each time and I still worry about triggering migraine (but I should learn not to, take deep, discrete, breaths, not frown; I know that my best way forward is to continue to keep my mind clear and relaxed, and also walk forward with a regular symmetrical swinging of the arms to stimulate both sides of the visual field. Easier said than done - I keep at it.