Zapping That Squint!
by Pauline Nicholas
It was very sudden. I was having my second squint operation on my right eye when I was told my mother had died. I felt numb with shock. I was only six years old.
For two years, I had been wearing those awful pink NHS spectacles. They made me feel different from my normal sighted sisters - in fact rather awkward and self-conscious, and now I had no mum to console me. My father was not happy with the two squint operations so I was sent to Moorfields for further surgery. This time my inward-turning eye was successfully treated,
My vision was fine until the birth of my first child. Then my old problem resurfaced again. I just tried to put it out of my mind. It was not helped when I returned to work as an admin clerk for the evening shift, graduating to full-time as the children grew older. It was a strain to look at a computer screen all day. Fluorescent lighting was irritating.
So the inevitable lenses were prescribed for long sight. Within the last ten years, my eyes had deteriorated to +4.50 dioptres and +3.75 dioptres in the left and right eye respectively. Astigmatism was detected in both. I felt the whole world was peering at my right eye, the lens of which seemed to be magnified out of all proportion to my left one. They were tinted too. I began to lose confidence in my appearance, my shoulders became hunched and I tended to see through my left eye only. I dreaded every visit to the opticians, worried by my ever worsening vision. I eventually took part-time computer work again, in an effort to halt the deterioration.
In December 1997, my husband Steve, an architect, came back one evening from designing a loft extension for a lady living locally. She had been very specific about windows and lighting as she was training to be a vision education teacher. Steve knew I would be very interested. If there was any way of stabilising or improving my eyesight, I wanted to know.
After some deliberation, I contacted Liz May in June 1998. Steve had told me that she had also suffered form a childhood squint, had developed short sight, but had now dispensed with glasses altogether.
To my relief, it was nothing like an opticians, but a light, airy room with a warm friendly atmosphere. I learned how to sun and palm, both of which I enjoyed enormously. After sunning for the first time, everything looked as clear as if I had my glasses on.
The nosecard made me realise that I needed to see with both eyes in a balanced way. I would look through the left eye and ignore the right. After six weeks, with the help of the nosecard and repeated visualisation of both eyes as children, needing love, care and attention, the squint disappeared. It was wonderful to write a cheque without any eye strain. It really made my week!
Liz May then made me a special card depicting two black circles with a pink fluorescent dot in the middle of each. As I brought my index finger towards me, all the while looking at the two circles, I managed to fuse them into three. I was really pleased.
Never in my life had I seen in 3D. Those Magic Eye pictures were a complete anathema to me. This changed however on peering through red and green goggles at a dinosaur drawing. At first nothing happened, but as I relaxed, blinked and breathed, it suddenly zoomed out at me! I couldn’t believe it!
Alternate patching of the left and the right eye enabled me to see the star chart more clearly. This was powerfully reinforced by the pinhole glasses. The right eye seemed to wake up and balanced the acuity of the left eye.
My reading improved from N36 to N12 and then to N8. For a short while, the squint appeared in the left eye. Horror of horrors! But I realised I had paid more attention to the right eye and the little left eye was becoming miffed, so I soon resolved that.
Restaurant menus are no longer a problem. My surroundings are clearer and more colourful. I have even managed a seating position at work by a window, so that more natural light can be enjoyed. I have changed the colour of the computer screen from green to calming blue. Although it is still a bit fuzzy to read, I remember to look away every few minutes and then properly centre my attention on the words on the screen. They often become clearer.
I can definitely say that my sessions in the Bates Method have been fascinating and fun!