Friday, July 31, 2015

all you ever wanted to know (but felt too awkward to ask) about my lazy eye

I've got a lazy eye. Yep, it's true. If you've met me in person, you probably have already noticed that. If, however, you're one of my internet readers who I've never met, that little factoid might be new information. So here's all you never wanted to know about what it's like to have a lazy eye.

why does it do that?
Hmmm... let's see if I can make this super long story into a short one. I was born with a condition called "Strabismus," which basically means that I was permanently cross-eyed. Cute on a baby. Not so cute on an adult. The problem with having your eyes always crossed is that your brain gets two different images instead of one to blend together when you look at things. So, being super efficient, the brain learns how to shut off the "feed"coming from one eye.

When I was about four years old, I got two separate surgeries to align my eyes. However, my brain had gotten so used to only using one eye at a time that it forgot how to use both at the same time. So I developed what is called "Amblyopia." Which sounds like a magical fantasy land, but really just means that whichever eye I'm not using tends to do whatever the heck it wants--unbeknownst to me. Hence: Lazy Eye.

can you see two things at once?
Man, I wish! I'd love to get all Mad-Eye Moody and be able to look around with one eye while I concentrate on another thing with the other eye. Sadly... no. I only see what the non-wandering eye sees. Lame, I know.

so you can't see with both eyes, ever?
I can actually totally use both eyes at once... it's just doesn't happen automatically. I have to concentrate on using both eyes. But general looking around? Nah. I'll just use one eye at a time. Way easier.

does it affect your vision?
Not much. The only difference, really, between what I see and what the average Joe sees is that I have a less developed depth perception. Using two eyes to see something gives you two ever-so-slightly different angles on an object. That's what allows you to see it in 3-D. Only using one eye at a time takes that ability away. Which means I run into things a lot more, suck way worse at sports involving quick-moving balls, and often pour my milk right onto the table instead of into my cereal bowl. It's really more entertaining than anything, really.

Also, I do have a slight lack of peripheral vision on one side just due to the fact that I'm only using one eye. But... I've never not had this problem, so I don't know any different.

can you drive?
Yep! They don't test your depth perception when you get your driver's license... only your vision. So I was all set! I tend to be way more cautious when I drive, though, since I have a harder time judging distances.

does it bug you?
Nope!There was a time in my past when I really hated it and just wished I could be like everyone else... but I came to terms with it. Now I love that I'm unique and not just like everybody else. And the people who know me best don't even notice it anymore. 

It also doesn't bug me a bit when people ask me about it. As long as they're nice. The only time it's annoying is when I can tell it's making other people uncomfortable. That's no fun.

There you have it! Everything you ever wanted to know about my lazy eye but felt too awkward to ask. :) You can read a more in-depth description of the issue here.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! This was super funny to read, but also very educational. Very sneaky. Your kids will love that ;)

    Chaun from


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