I related very much to this testimonial blog post by a young woman named Betsy Yaros. It even made me tear up a little when talking about how poorly she has been treated, her reading problems and difficulty in getting a suitable education and work. I think many strabismics will relate to this. Some of the eye doctors treated this person in an absolutely disgraceful way. Fortunately, someone pointed her towards VT and the results are coming in quite fast for her. I hope in time I will achieve what she is achieving. 

This is the link to the entire article: http://www.betsyyaros.com/the-cost-of-eye-surgery-vs-vision-therapy/

Here are some of the excerpts that most resonated with me:

“Over time though, one eye became significantly stronger than the other and my eyes began drifting out, usually one at a time. My eyes started flipping back and forth, more and more. I just could not look at the world around me. My vision progressively got worse. In sixth grade, I asked my eye doctor if he thought I could be a dentist, my career goal in my yearbook. He said I would not be admitted because my vision was too poor.

Come tenth grade, I was having severe issues. My eyes were constantly flipping back and forth. As a result, I was having a very hard time reading my textbooks and what was written on the board. I also had a very hard time seeing for the duration of my standardized tests. If I tried to read or look at the board for too long, I would get a migraine, so I spent long parts of my day with my eyes closed to relieve the pain.

My mom and I went to my ophthalmologist more frequently to try to get help. We thought maybe I just needed a new prescription. On our final appointment, my eye doctor ran the usual tests. He then exited the room and asked to speak with my mom outside. In the hallway, he told my mom that he thought I was making up my vision problems and migraines because I wanted attention.

“Fast forward to college. At this point, I could no longer read textbooks and started getting my textbooks scanned, so I could read them using a text-to-voice software called Kurzweil. I also had a notetaker in my classes since I could not read what was written on the board.

I thought I could be a graphic designer since I enjoyed design and thought it would not require much reading, but then I realized that I could not handle looking at a computer that long, so I switched to photography. Photography was a great fit since you even close an eye to take a photograph!

Later, when I was in grad school, I was talking to my advisor about how I couldn’t read my textbooks. I was not getting my textbooks in a digital format from the school, so I was not sure how I could pass my art history class. That’s when he told me about the book Fixing My Gaze and vision therapy. I read the book and was amazed. I tried to go to a vision therapist in Chicago, but the one I found I could not get to safely by public transit. I filed the thought of vision therapy in the back of my mind for future use.

Fast forward again, this time several years later, when I moved to Dallas, Texas. There, I got a job as an eLearning programmer and thought I could handle it. Early into the job, I realized this was too much for my eyes and started to panic and began searching for a career that I could do with my eyes closed all day.

Over that year of doing vision therapy with Dr. Brecheen, I no longer got migraines and began reading actual books! I cried one weekend when I was able to just sit in my chair and read a book that was regular-sized print for pleasure. I kept reading for as long as I liked!

Under his care, my vision has only improved. He has been able to reduce my glasses’ prescription strength. I can now spend all day working on a computer without eyestrain. My mom has also noticed I am a safer driver.

This past February, I saw depth perception for the first time. Never in a million years did I think I would be able to see 3D! I gradually am having more and more instances of 3D vision. I also am wearing a prism to help align my eyes. When I was younger, prisms did not work and only caused more eyestrain. Now I can handle them and they are helping me see 3D! I started at a diopter of 20, then 10, and am now at a level 6 prism. I am hoping that, in time, I will no longer need a prism to keep my eyes aligned.

Finally, I am really excited because I now feel like I am capable of pursuing any career because I can read my textbooks and can see and interact with anyone without worry.

Pros and cons of surgery and Vision Therapy. (see original article)

“All and all, I think I have really lucked out in life. Though my second operation was a failure, I have been able to correct things and reach new heights with vision therapy. I also have had very supportive parents through all of my vision, and now career, changes.”

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