I’ve had so many things buzzing around in my head as you can imagine. What with fabulous shoes to wear and give away and writing about my world travels. Yes, it’s been an exhausting week. But as I was getting ready to sit down, it wasn’t big lurking topics that popped into my head. It was a very specific question. One that I’d still like the answer to.
Not the questions you might think. Not the questions about the meaning of life. These are the every day questions that we really want to ask but we don’t ask for fear that it’s too inappropriate. And for good reason. They probably are inappropriate. It doesn’t make me want to know any less.
This one almost came out of my mouth the other day. I stopped by the paint store and the guy that rung me up had a lazy eye. You know, one of those eyes that never seems to quite look at you. My brother had one. I think the actual condition is called amblyopia.
Anyway, I used to always wonder which eye was looking at me because it always seemed to be just one of them. It takes a second to focus and figure out the correct eye. It made me realize how important eye contact is for me when I’m talking.
But my real question is: What is your vision like?
I know my nearsightedness and astigmatism make things not clear for me. Unfortunately the older I get, the worse it gets. I’ve accepted it. What else can I do. But what does the world look like if you only have one eye focusing on things?
It’s kind of like the hammerhead shark. I’ve been learning loads about sharks lately because of my son’s fascination and I happen to know that hammerhead sharks see independently out of each eye and that their heads make sweeping movements back and forth so that they get the full range of vision. It’s supposed to be an advantage. Obviously, it’s an evolutionary advantage or else hammerhead sharks wouldn’t still be around.
So I ask you, what about the lazy eye? Is it possible to focus on two separate things at the same time? Is it an advantage rather than the flaw we see it as? Most people with lazy eyes wear glasses. Why? It doesn’t move the eye.
Yeah. So now you know a little bit about how this weird brain of mine works and why I’m always puzzled when people say they don’t know what to write about. I’m never at a loss for words. Or thoughts.
I have a lazy eye. It doesn’t visibly turn as much as most people’s, but the “laziness” of the muscle is the same.
So, how do I see? three words….
NO depth perception!
none. nada. zip. Makes driving really fun! (not)
But other than that, my other eye has great vision, and I don’t notice that I’m just using one, because that is how it has been for basically my whole life.
I’m sort of like that though not as severe. One of my eyes is lazy but it was mostly corrected with glasses during childhood. I didn’t have the hammerhead shark effect, just really poor depth perception. To this day I’m terrified of catching balls and I try not to drive at night when I can’t judge the lines on the road.
Oh yeah…when I was a kid, I had this fear (and reoccurring nightmares) that something would happen to my good eye and I would end up basically blind. And all sports activities that involve catching or being near flying balls are out of the question. I drive at night a little bit, but only when I really now the road I will be driving, and it still makes me nervous.
If it makes you feel better, I’m terrified of catching balls too (and I’m really bad at it) and my eyes work just fine (mostly).
I don’t know about Tiffany….but it does make me feel slightly better!
I feel so relieved that you were my first comment. I read your response this morning. I was so afraid that some people might take offense at my curiosity. I’m really glad you responded so openly and honestly. That sucks that you have no depth perception. I was driving home tonight and was rubbing my eye and thinking about how it must be to drive like that. Kind of scary when it comes to braking.
I guess it’s true, though. You can’t miss that which you don’t know. Thanks for your honesty!
=) Not a problem.
OH! And you asked about the glasses….it actually does straighten out the eye, but for people whose eye turns a lot, it won’t straighten it completely. And then of course, some people with a lazy eye are wearing glasses because their other eye has a separate issue.
My brother wears glasses but his vision was corrected early on by him wearing a patch on his good eye to strengthen the muscles in his bad eye. And at some point he actually had surgery on the muscles in his bad eye.
I wore the patch when I was three and four years old. It was probably really helping me. Then we moved and I went to a new school where kids called me Patch the Pirate, and a lot of other stuff happened….and I hit my rebellious stage. After I flushed 2 boxes of patches down the toilet and screamed at my mom that she was torturing me, she took me to a new eye doctor (who was an idiot) that told her that the patches don’t do anything and I didn’t have to wear them anymore.
I continued with the glasses, though, through my teen years, and then when I was eighteen an eye doctor told me that they weren’t making a difference one way or another and I didn’t really have to wear them.
I think the rule for the patch (and maybe the surgery as well) is that you need to do it before you are fifteen for it to work well. My cousin actually had 2 lazy eyes, and had the surgery on both of them.
Its kind of like when someone is stuttering and youre like omg omg please don’t let me accidentally stutter. and then you do. and youre like omg did they notice! they think im making fun. but youre not.
Sorry. It reminded me of that.
My ex-boss was a bad stutterer. I didn’t stop him from public speaking but it sure made the public awfully uncomfortable. I finally understood it when he brought it up one day and said simply that his brain works much faster than his mouth. Made sense.
I have always wondered this same thing, but of course I would not ask someone because I wouldn’t want to offend them.
Thanks for posting this so I could read all the comments and learn about it!
Yeah, me too. I didn’t realize I would actually get the answers!
I knew a girl whose lazy eye was so bad that she literally had no depth perception and was legally not allowed to even try driving. Also, when she would get drunk it would damn near roll up in her head. I asked her about it and she said that a lot of the time her brain sort of just shuts off the input from that eye because it’s so confusing, so she just won’t see anything out of it. Other times, it’ll be like half of the world is a shakey home video and the other half is fine. I can’t imagine trying to live with it. I think I would just go with a pirate patch and give my brain a rest.
holy crap that sounds rough!
Ugh. That’s how I imagine a hammerhead shark. Just drastically different input from eyes that were meant to see the same thing. Yeah, I think I’d wer that pirate patch. It would be a good conversation starter.
I have to try this 5 minute Stream of Consciousness thing next week! So I had a prof in University who had a lazy eye and I never knew if he was talking to me or not… it was so uncomfortable!
YES! I’ve had that exact same experience and you’re trying to figure out which eye is the good eye so you can focus on whether or not that one is the one looking at you. And would LOVE for you to join in next week!
I have thought the same thing. I often wonder what it would be like to see completely different things out of each eye and to control them independently – like many lizards.
I would imagine our brains would have to be really adaptable, I’m lucky I can handle what I see with both my eyes at the same time!
NO depth perception is right on the money! i have spent my life running into walls, tripping on flat floors, slamming cups down because i saw the table a bit farther away than it was. useless note: i once tweeted a picture of my lazy eye to the lame sauce for a follow friday. NOT my proudest moment by any stretch of eyesight…
Umm. Alisha – I also tweeted an embarrassing picture to the lame sauce once for a Follow Friday. We need to think better of ourselves. Or we need to think worse of him 😉
I have the worst eyesight, as in my eye doc recommends I have an extra pair of glasses with me at all times, because if the ones I am wearing got busted, I wouldn’t be able to get myself anywhere! It’s awesome. I can barely manage to stumble to the baby’s room at 4 am to feed her sans glasses.
Funny though, that I have never thought about this. I will be thinking about it all day now 😉
The older I get, the worse my eyesight gets. I hate it but what can you do? I am required to wear glasses when I drive. I don’t even try to take the exam without it.
I’ve had the same thoughts as you Fadra! You aren’t alone.
And now I have answers!
That is actually a really interesting thought. I hope that they can’t focus on two things at once because just thinking about it is giving me a headache.
Maybe they can and their brains are just much more advanced than our and can process it!