The theme for my vision therapy lately has been "back to basics." My vision therapist and I were talking, and we decided that we skipped over some important stuff in the beginning. With new patients, she normally starts out with a lot of monocular patched activities, tracking, pursuits, body bilaterality, and so on. But in my case, I was very eager and kept being like, "Wow! Is that a cheiroscope? I read about that. Can I take that home?" And so we got a little ahead of ourselves.
As I've been progressing and starting to really get a feel for my eyes, I've been realizing the importance of those beginning foundational activities. I'm becoming very aware of how unequal my eyes are, and I can see how much of a hindrance that can be. Therefore, for the past few weeks, we've been going back to those basic beginning activities.
Specifically, I've been working on my left eye - the amblyopic and frequently turned eye. Here is what I have noticed about it:
1. It is terrible at pursuits, especially going from right to left. It prefers a quick succession of saccades, or what Dr. Len Press told us are "catch-up ballistic saccades." My eye thinks that it's tricking me with these saccades, and that I won't notice that they aren't real pursuits. You're wrong, eye!
2. It has trouble knowing where it's pointing. I sometimes think that I am using the center of my eye to track something, but really I have stopped moving my eye (because the object has moved to a place where it's hard to move my eye smoothly) and I'm just seeing it my peripheral vision. My eye feels like that is "good enough" and doesn't realize that it's not even tracking anymore.
3. It doesn't like to initiate movement or be the leader. It just wants to follow what my right eye is doing.
4. It has trouble maintaining a stable gaze. When I try to fixate on something for more than just a second, my eye jitters around the target. I've witnessed this using the MIT and seeing the Haidinger brush dance around the target that I was (trying to) fixate on.
5. It's even nystagmus-y on occasion. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and my right eye is occluded by the pillow, I will look at the alarm clock with my left eye and the image of the clock will jerk back and forth over and over.
(and I'm sure I'll discover more as time goes on)
Amazingly, I had no awareness of any of this until very recently. How could I not notice all these years?
Now that I have noticed, I have been busy working away on my monocular skills with activities like:
tracking / pursuits with the monster
word searches with progressively smaller letters
marsden ball tracking
tracking while keeping something in a circular afterimage
and so on...
And of course I've been throwing in some physiological diplopia and antisuppression exercises, because life would be boring with without them.