Vision Therapy Success Stories: Miia
As part of our Vision Therapy Success Stories series, we welcome guest blogger Miia Thallinger to share her personal account. Miia was diagnosed with "Lazy Eye" at a young age and underwent multiple surgeries. Miia credits Dr. Susan Barry's book "Fixing My Gaze" as the inspiration for her to seek treatment despite her doctors telling her she would never see in 3D. Miia lives in Finland and is currently pursuing optometry school.
Hello and thank you for letting me share my story. English isn’t my native language so forgive me for any funny mistakes.
My doctors believed, and told me, that 3D vision can only be learned until a specific age.
I have had a lazy eye (alternating esotropia with dissociated vertical deviation) since I was six months old. I’ve had four total operations as a child and an adult. The third surgery, in 2004, left me with double vision. It wasn’t until 2017, when I had my fourth surgery followed by vision therapy, that I gained stereovision and fusion.
Before 2017, I saw my environment as in a photo without any depth perception at all. My doctors believed, and told me, that 3D vision can only be learned until a specific age. The doctors always thought that I would be too old to learn it and told me it would be impossible for me to ever gain 3D vision.
Luckily, for me, and for patients around the world, Dr. Susan Barry challenged the old science and way of thinking.
For years I doubted this. I wondered, “Why can’t someone learn to see binocularly as an adult?” Then, I read Susan Barry’s book "Fixing my Gaze". Luckily, for me, and for patients around the world, Dr. Susan Barry challenged the old science and way of thinking. Her explanations of neuroplasticity made sense! I understood the brain controlled my vision, not just my eye muscles. I learned there was hope and I could do rehabilitative vision therapy. I had to search for more information myself and luckily I never gave up.
Vivid Vision has been one of the reasons why I am here now!
I was finally able to experience 3D vision for myself after my final surgery in 2017 and subsequent vision therapy. I went through the Vivid Vision therapy program with the Oculus Rift from 2017-2019 under the supervision of an Optometrist in the United States. She also prescribed other therapy activities in addition to Vivid Vision. For example, I used the Bernell-O-Scope as well as red-green glasses, flipper prism lenses, Syntonic filter light therapy, and Brock string.
As a result of my final surgery and vision therapy, a whole new world opened for me! It was a different way to see and when I saw for the first time the layers of depth in trees, my eyes became filled with happy tears. I could not believe my eyes. My long wished dream came true!
My local opticians here in Finland have followed me even after I graduated from vision therapy in 2018. They test my binocular vision and abilities using multiple tests. I now have a positive stereofly test and TNO test for example.
As a result of my experience, I decided that I want to help others in the same situation. I am currently pursuing rehabilitation and Bachelor of Social Services degree with the hopes of eventually becoming a vision therapist. I've had the opportunity to do some optometry courses in the open university of applied sciences here in Finland. Vivid Vision has been one of the reasons why I am here now!
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fixing my gaze