Updated: October 17, 2016
Today, as part of my research for The Disability Maze Books, I visited my optometrist. My intention was to discuss the technicalities of the test procedures, used by optometrists in the UK.
As I have said before, it is often difficult to convert the scores given by visual acuity tests, into useful information for daily life. It is, of course, possible to say that a series of acuity tests show deterioration or improvement, in statistical terms, but when one tries to apply this information to daily life, it becomes very difficult to find agreement, even amongst professionals, about the best way to do this.
My own experience suggests that the testing procedures, commonly used by psychologists in the fields of health, education and social-care, are prone to the same problem. It is this tendency for testing to produce results, which are opaque to all but the professionals, which I wanted to discuss with the optometrist, in the context of my books.
After some detailed and very useful discussion, which I will write about on The Health-Care Survivor’s Books site, our conversation turned to my own condition and I was offered an unexpected eye test. Regular readers will remember that my improving eyesight is one of the most remarkable hallmarks of My Serrapeptase Adventure.
The tests showed that my eyesight has remained stable, with the possibility of a very slight improvement in my near acuity, used for reading. The question arises because my score fluctuated between being the same as my previous test, and being slightly improved.
After further discussion, the optometrist suggested that although the mechanics of my sight were stable, it was clear that I was finding the reading test much easier, and that this might indicate an improvement in my visual perception. In other words, the ability of my brain to process the visual image, given by my eyes, rather than in the physical functioning of my eyes had improved.
As I have explained before, visual perception is not something that optometric testing is designed to measure, but for the first time, I am delighted that the optometrist suggested that the improvement in my visual perception is worthy of further research. To explain the clarity with which I now see the world and the joy I get from recognising its beauty, will require a greater understanding of both my eyesight and my visual perception.
In the coming months, I will be looking for more information and I hope to find a number of people who can advise me about undertaking some detailed research into this amazing phenomenon. As always, I will post details of all that I learn on this site, but I expect that it may take a considerable time and effort to make significant progress.
Today has been a fascinating day, in which a meeting to discuss one piece of research, has lead to something completely different. My hope is that the new research may begin to identify some of the medical background to my improving eyesight.