I am right-eyed. A phenomenon also called “master eye” or “ocular dominance”.
So my left eye is the lazy one. And I don’t think it was properly treated when I was growing up. What I remember is that I saw double while reading: two images floating on top of each other. I could not fuse the two images into one “percept” of the book in front of me. I could accomplish that fusion easily for normal objects that were further away than the words on a page at arm’s length.
I don’t remember getting an eye patch. The solution was simply that I got reading glasses when I was 8 years old.
Ever since those days in primary school, I would carry around a case with my glasses and take them out for reading. I was able to read without them, but it was much more relaxed with their help, much less of a strain. Especially when I was tired, I really needed my glasses. Or I would just close my left eye.
Fast forward to this present century, one day I started wearing my glasses all day long, not just for reading a book or looking at a computer screen. It was not really necessary, but it was somehow more convenient than continuously taking them on and off .
That was not always a good idea. One lovely summer evening I was playing soccer with some colleagues in a park in Delft. One guy kicked the ball straight into my face and twisted the frame of my glasses. I really felt dumb for not taking them off before the game. I also felt vulnerable after this incident and avoided playing soccer altogether.
Now I have reached an age at which my eye sight is clearly declining. I can not even read the messages on my phone anymore. I have not read an old-fashioned paper book in years. And I keep increasing the font size on my laptop and my tablet. When I help students while teaching programming, I always have to ask them to switch to “Presentation Mode” so I can read their code.
It has been long overdue, but today it is really going to happen. I am going to order a new pair of glasses. And I am also going to turn this into an experiment.
I have two goals. Of course I want my new glasses to be strong enough so that I can read my books again. I have a few mathematics books that I need to consult regularly and it is very annoying that I can not read them without my magnifier.
Secondly, I want to wear my new glasses only for reading and watching computer displays. I want to walk around without them. This will actually be a test of my belief that the majority of visual tasks do not require detail. So, I should be able to function normally without glasses for pretty much everything except for reading.
We will see.
> You can sign up for my newsletter here.