Updated: January 7, 2017 | 14:16
Since November 2006, I have been reporting consistent improvement in my eyesight. I have given examples of the print sizes that I can now read as anecdotal evidence of these improvements.
In July of this year (2007) one of my friends noticed that I was able to read things from a distance, that I never had before and that I was able to recognise faces in photographs, better than I ever had before. With this in mind, I had a formal eye examination on July 31.
After all the individual tests were completed and the optometrist had written down the results, I asked her to check my old records, to see if my eyesight had changed to a degree that was statistically significant. When she did this, she seemed genuinely surprised that my eyesight had in fact improved to such an extent.
The optometrist was happy to confirm this improvement, but was not able to explain it. This is because my poor eyesight had two distinct causes. One is the biomechanics of eyesight (which are tested in an optometrists examination) the other, in my case more significant problem, is caused by the same brain damage (which cannot be measured by an optometrist) that is responsible for cerebral palsy.
For this reason, medics have always asserted that my functional vision would never improve because a significant part of my problem was caused by brain damage, which is thought to be fixed and, therefore, unchanging.
At the time of the test, the optometrist was not able to give me the results of the previous test, although she was allowed to refer to them. She was, however, able to give me the results of the tests, which she completed.
Since then, I have been allowed to see the results of the previous examination, so that I can now make a direct comparison. As always, the results were given in medical terms, with which I do not have any expertise. In the last few days I have been able to ask a third optometrist, who was not involved in either examination himself, to look at both sets of figures and give me a comparison in terms of a percentage.
In simple terms, the results are as follows:
- All the individual tests show an improvement
- The average improvement over all tests is 10%
- The improvement in distance acuity is 30% or four lines of acuity on the Snellen Acuity Chart (most commonly used in the UK).
For some readers, these figures may not seem very impressive, but the important thing to me is not the raw numbers. Remember that an optometrists test considers the function of the structures of the eye and optic nerve. Whilst this is useful as an indicator of eye health and physical function, it does not give the full picture of useful vision, especially where brain damage like cerebral palsy is involved.
For me, the most important thing is that my vision is now much more useful and more reliable than it has ever been before. I was born with eyesight and visual perceptual difficulties, which meant that the eyesight I did have often, would not give me functional vision (often called visual perception). Since 1994, when I began to become increasingly ill, my vision had fluctuated dramatically, sometimes several times a day.
This meant that my eyesight, which was never good, would become, suddenly, and without warning, dramatically worse. Sometimes, the deteriorations would last for a few minutes, a few hours or even a number of days. The changes were never predictable and seemed to follow no discernible pattern. Throughout the time, since My Serrapeptase Adventure began (January 2006), and in which my eyesight has improved, these fluctuations have not happened. For me, it is the stability and reliability of my eyesight, together with my improving visual perception, (which current medical knowledge says should not be possible) that is far more significant than any simple measurement.
My Serrapeptase Adventure continues to amaze me and I am privileged to be able to see the beauty of the world around me in vivid detail, which I had never thought would be possible. The adventure goes on and I am sure I will have to continue to make a great deal of effort to make the most of it. It is an effort, which I am looking forward to, with challenges and surprises ahead.
As always, I would like to thank the many people who continue to enable, inspire and share my adventure with me.