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I am a believer in vision therapy and its potential to change lives
I didn’t go to Washington Vision Therapy Center expecting anything in particular to happen. My son-in-law, James, works there as a therapist, and he and my daughter kept encouraging (nagging) me to go. I’m not really sure what they were expecting to happen either, but I’m pretty certain it wasn’t what Did happen!
I had been having some visual problems for several years. If I read for longer than about thirty minutes, everything would go blurry and stay that way until my eyes had a chance to rest for a few hours. There was also a shadow across my eyes that was very bothersome. I was always trying to “brush it away,” but to no avail. I had never had much depth perception. Between that and the fact that lights at night were “smeary” (they kind of stretched out), I had given up all night driving some years before. We live in the lower valley, and I had also given up driving to Yakima altogether- it did not feel safe for me to drive in traffic anymore.
Dr. Winters checked things out, double checked with the ophthalmologist that there were no physical problems with my eyes, and then off we went with twenty-four weeks of therapy. Carrie was my therapist, and she was great to work with. She was always upbeat, encouraging and very patient.
I started therapy in December 2013, and in late February 2014 I accompanied my husband to Florida on a business trip. I took a couple of books along, and discovered that I could read for hours- like seven hours- without my vision going blurry. Now I began to think that maybe vision therapy really does do something! Then one day I noticed that there was no longer any shadow across my eyes. About that same time, I realized that I was relaxed riding in cars at night – the lights were no longer “smeary,” and it wasn’t near the strain to see. Wow! That was an exciting discovery, but the best was yet to come…
Carrie would give me the “text fusion” reading to do, which I found fascinating. The column of words would stand out or recede from the other columns of words. It looked so “cool” that I really enjoyed doing it- just so I could look at it! One morning in early May I was sitting at our dining room table looking out a window. In our yard there are two large Sycamore trees which frame the view of apple orchards across the driveway, with the valley farther beyond. Suddenly I could see the space between branches on the Sycamore trees that were closer/further apart, just like the text fusion exercises. I could see the space between the apple trees as they got further away. I could see space around the wind machine. Everything was crystal clear – individual leaves stood out. It was amazing! I had always seen things flat, like a picture – I thought everyone saw that way. This 3-D effect was beautiful!
The next day I came to the same window, and sure enough, there was still space. Within a week everywhere I looked I was seeing in 3-D. There is so much more beauty everywhere. Two months later I am still marveling at the change, and Dr. Winters can be assured, I AM doing my maintenance exercises! I have driven at night a few times now without problems, and last week I drove to Yakima twice. A sense of confidence is beginning to be restored. Needless to say, I am a believer in vision therapy and its potential to change lives.