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gulman - strabismus question
#1
guimans3 Wrote:Hi,

I've recently started researching the Bates Method after originally trying vision correction about 2 years ago, but not sticking to it.  I found this site and have read through quite a few threads, all of them helpful.

I've had strabismus (forgive me if I'm using the term incorrectly) in my left eye since I can remember.  I had surgery on this eye when I was very young, maybe 2 or 3.  I had glasses starting at age 5 until about two years ago (24), when I gave up wearing glasses and contacts.  While I was wearing glasses or contacts, the left eye would return to center.  As soon as I took them off/out, my left eye would float in.

I have a question regarding the inward movement of my left eye and relaxation.  When I am focusing my eyes on something, whether reading or looking at something/someone, my left eye floats in toward my nose, and I have decent vision (I can see pretty clearly, read most things except very small print, and see well enough to drive).  If I "relax" my eyes, my vision blurs but both eyes face straight ahead.  My strabismus disappears.  My question is, is this relaxed state what I should be looking to achieve, only without the blurred vision?  Should I let my eyes relax like this when I practice shifting and other practices?

I hope I made my situation clear enough for all of you, and please let me know if more information is needed.  Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Hi gulman,

I'm making a new thread for this.

I had strabismus too. I'm not sure whether you're talking about when you're wearing glasses you can see small print and see well enough to drive, or if that is true without glasses. But either way, yes, I'd say if you're able to rest your eyes in such a way as to see straight, even if blurry, then that's the first step, and then you can deal with your blurry vision from there. It sounds like you do this without feeling like you're making en effort to force your eyes into position, so that's good.

The body also isn't stupid, and with enough allowing it will learn to adapt even after a severe injury (surgery). Some people get the idea that the slightest change in the structure of the visual system will result in myopia or hyperopia or strabismus or whatever else seems to represent the effect of an attribute that has been thrown off in whatever way. But that isn't the case. The human body knows how to grow and knows how to adapt properly, even given unexpected circumstances. If that weren't true, the incidence of severe structural imbalances as people grow past childhood would be huge, and the incidence of things like strabismus would also be huge. The bottom line is if you are able to move your eyes in all directions, then strabismus has nothing to do with a muscle being too long or too short or anything like that. The visual system will make adjustments to make the resting position of your eyes to be straight ahead, with the eyes in line. After surgery, it will need to re-learn this, but it will again find a way to make it so. So my main point in all of this is that while surgery for strabismus is completely unnecessary, it doesn't prevent your eyes from functioning normally again, so even someone who has had the surgery can use the Bates method.

David
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#2
Thanks David,

I can read except small print without glasses, but only when I strain.  That's when my eye floats in.  If I let my eyes relax, I can't even read what I'm typing right now.

I agree with you completely about the body being very smart, and having the ability to recover from many types of trauma, even of large magnitude.  I'm in the Health and Fitness industry and have seen people make incredible recoveries from terrible situations.  I have no doubt the eyes are capable of this as well.

Again, thanks for your help.  I just need to get started now.
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#3
You likely have accommodative esotropia with hyperopic refractive error.

Hyperopia is the opposite of myopia and the eyes do not have enough refractive power to focus a clear image on the retina.  You can exert accommodation to increase the power of your eye and get a clear image.  Accommodation is linked in the brain to convergence (turning in).  When you accommdate you also converge and so the eye turns in and you see clearly.

When you relax accommodation, you also relax the excess convergence and the eyes are straight but blurry.

Judy
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#4
Wow, thanks Judyb.  That sounds exactly like what's happening in my situation.  Are there any specific steps I should take for this type of problem, or should I just stick to palming, shifting, etc.?


Judyb Wrote:You likely have accommodative esotropia with hyperopic refractive error.

Hyperopia is the opposite of myopia and the eyes do not have enough refractive power to focus a clear image on the retina.  You can exert accommodation to increase the power of your eye and get a clear image.  Accommodation is linked in the brain to convergence (turning in).  When you accommdate you also converge and so the eye turns in and you see clearly.

When you relax accommodation, you also relax the excess convergence and the eyes are straight but blurry.

Judy
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#5
The solution to your problem is to eliminate the excess accommodation needed to compensate for your hyperopia, which can be done easily with glasses or contact lenses. 

You obviously want to eliminate your hyperopia without using glasses or contact lenses.  Relaxing accommodation seems to be at the heart of Bates' method for myopia therapy, but smply relaxing accommodation will straighten your eyes but leave vision blurry due to uncorrected hyperopia. 

Perhaps others on this board have experince or suggestions on how to reduce hyperopia.
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#6
The same methods will reduce hyperopia, but it may be too tricky for you to handle well on your own. Is there a Bates teacher near you that you can consult?

David
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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