Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How's your binocular vision?

I have been getting a lot of eyestrain headaches lately from working on the computer all day. This is incredibly bad timing as the big push to write my thesis has just begun (no doubt the stress of that is compounding the eyestrain...). Last month I went to see an optician to get checked for some middle-range computer glasses. She spent an hour testing my vision and apparently I "failed" some of the tests because at the end she said I needed to see a specialist.

A month passed waiting for the appointment. I had a headache on all but two days of it.

Yesterday I finally saw the specialist who spent 2 (two!) hours testing my vision. It was interesting--at least an hour was spent with a red filter over one eye and a green filter over the other to see how my binocular vision was. Turns out my eyes don't "play well with others" and it seems I have some convergence insufficiency. The second bulleted list under "symptoms" at that description is a disturbingly accurate description of me. I wound up quitting a tee-ball team in frustration after a year because I couldn't hit the ball. Yeah, the ball that wasn't moving? I still couldn't connect the bat to it. I've also been terrified my whole adult life of passing cars on undivided highways--I can't judge very well how fast the oncoming cars are moving and thus whether I have time to pass. I've always known that I see pretty much only with my left eye. When I have to use the right eye for some reason, it feels as strange as trying to write with your non-dominant hand. You can test your own binocular vision here. When I do that test I see just one thumb/eye.

I'm not entirely sure how "handicrafts" slipped into my life, although I'm actually a pretty crappy knitter from a technical point of view--my stitches are sloppy and I am constantly splitting yarn or popping stitches off the needle or "air knitting" (missing the stitch entirely). I'm also really good at correcting mistakes! It's the same as how everyone who hears me type thinks I'm a really fast typist because there are tons of keystroke sounds. They don't realize 70% of them are backspace...

I see yet another specialist next week to discuss whether I want to do some "eye PT". This training tends to turn up on quackwatch type sites because it tends to get overpromoted as a way to solve all learning problems. For kids who actually have a seeing disorder like the one I apparently have, this actually will help.

The good news is I dusted off my spinning wheel after neglecting it for a while because my back hurts. And because for some strange reason I had decided that I "should" spin some lacey yarn. I hate spinning such fine yarn because it takes forever, and also because I can't really knit with it!! I knit so loosely that most fine gauge yarns are off limits if I want any kind of structural stability in the final fabric. Plus I have trouble seeing that kind of stuff. Life is definitely too short to spin yarn I don't even like!! So I plied up the crazy thin stuff that had been blocking me and moved on. Here's a shot of the 2 ply result. Left scale marker is a 5 Euro-cent coin and the right is a US penny.

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