The vision therapy adventure continues. My second round of appointments brought some new exercises for voluntary vergence control and some updated vision status measurements. I also suggested some VR applications to the vision therapist. Four more weeks of home exercises until the first follow-up with the doctor to check progress.
I have refractive amblyopia which is a condition where the brain tends to suppress sensory input from one eye due to poor vision in that eye (ambloypia). The refractive part is the cause, which is substantially worse vision in my right eye. Even though, with glasses, vision can be optically corrected for my right eye I am (neurologically) unable to see well with it, as the brain filters its input to protect overall vision.
My amblyopia leads to a number of vision issues: ocular cross-dominance (left-eye dominant with right-side dominance), depth perception inconsistency (though I have no issues with autostereograms), difficulty with object tracking, right-eye vision suppression, eye control issues, occasional double vision, and infrequent motor control challenges.
Historically, the professional consensus was that much past six years old, it wasn't possible to correct amblyopia due to decreased brain elasticity. After mostly unsuccessful attempts at patching starting around six, and with a few other false starts up to around eleven, I forget about the issue for many years. However, in 2018 I went to a new optometrist who suggested I might benefit from vision therapy.
I started vision therapy in January 2021. My goal is to document my experience with vision therapy and its impacts on my amblyopia in a series of blog posts over the course of the year. This first post covers my history with amblyopia, some of my subjective experiences with the condition, and my introduction to vision therapy.
The headaches start with a twinge at the temples. It slowly grows stronger over the course of several hours until it feels like hot pokers are being forced in behind my eyes. The sensation of pain is accompanied by nausea, the combination of which often makes it difficult to remain still. Sometimes I vomit. It usually continues for most of a day. Often the pain will wake me from fitful sleep. Sometimes it's not even gone by morning.
These headaches were, varying in severity, a near-weekly occurrence for me at least as far back as middle school. Usually made worse by lying down—I've always been a side-sleeper—I'd often have to position myself sitting up to moderate the pain enough to sleep. Sometimes that wasn't sufficient, and standing up and walking around was the only way to tolerate the pain. Watching comedy is a good distraction. I've seen South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut a lot.
Pain and chronic illness go hand-in-hand. To live well with chronic illness requires learning how to listen to and understand pain. This is my experience with chronic pain.