We’re a little bit old school around here. We still use paper. We have minimal automated equipment. We like to treat our patients as part of our family, not a commission paycheck. And we like to take our time working with you.
Seldom in eye care or in any medical care does anyone talk about time – the fourth dimension. At least beyond mentioning that the doctor is late and therefore wasting your time. We live in and through time. When you read something, your vision has to provide stable, accurate information to your brain…through time. A single snapshot of a word will not get a complete story to your brain. The key is stable and accurate information, information that is sent to the brain in a non-continuous fashion.
Visual information goes to the brain during the stopped periods in the repetitive jumping movements your eyes make in reading across lines of print. The stopped periods are called fixations. During the jumps between fixations, vision actually, in large part, shuts down. So, each fixation has to be a relatively stable time period to allow visual information to go to the brain.
Fixations are not absolutely still. Some very small amount of motion – it would be accurate to call it microscopic motion – of the visual image at the retinal level has to be present, or your vision goes to sleep, and there is no image going to the brain.
What if the fixations during reading don’t have both eyes pointed at the same target the entire time of the fixation? That happens when the lock on keeping both eyes in the same place at the same time over time is deficient. Any inaccuracy in aim or any correcting eye movements during fixation, even to get the aim accurate, means inaccuracies during the time when the image (“data”) is being sent to the brain. That means inaccurate data to the brain.
If a fixation has one eye looking at the “T” in “The” and the other eye isn’t, then during the fixation, the views the brain has to work with are a double image, a mixed-up mush of double and visual clutter, plus moving, somewhat different, images as the eyes try to accurately align. Constantly changing and variably inaccurate data going to the brain. Changing over time.
That is a really rough description of how people see those who have intermittent central suppression and what we try to correct with therapy for the suppression. It’s a complex subject, but if you want to read it in more depth, you can go here.
The big point is time. We need to diagnose over time. Full examinations of how vision works take time. We need to live in the fourth dimension. Looking at letters with one eye covered doesn’t give us information on performance with both eyes simultaneously over time. Therapy to treat intermittent central suppression also takes time, but we’re pretty good at it. When you are in our office, don’t expect a long time waiting around (Erica works hard to keep Doc on time!).
Do expect to spend at least an hour with Dr. Hussey and our staff. We want to learn about your specific needs and help you find a solution.