Seeing in Three Dimensions


As long as I can remember I’ve had a bad left eye. With both eyes open I can see just fine, but if I close my right eye I can’t read what I’m typing here. I’ve gone to several optometrists over the years, and they all told me if they corrected the left eye then I started seeing double, so I shouldn’t worry about it too much since I can read and edit movies just fine without glasses.

In December I finally went to an optometrist who made a real effort to correct the problem, Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye. He came up with a prescription that seemed to work for me, but he wanted to make sure so he sent me to the University Optometric Center at SUNY. I went there yesterday and was subjected to a battery of tests by a large team of optometry students and doctors. Eventually they had me wear a pair of ridiculous mad scientist glasses with the prescription they had chosen.

Sitting down everything seemed normal. It was definitely sharper than normal, but nothing special. Then they had me walk around and I realized I haven’t really been seeing the world in three dimensions. I’ve been ignoring most of the input from one eye, and flattening everything out. I suspect that has something to do with why I was so bad at baseball. And I don’t want to read too much into this, but I wonder if the fact that movies have apparently looked as flat as the rest of the world to me is part of what drew me to movies in the first place. If they don’t look any less real than the real world that could make a real difference in the way I connect to flat images. It’s something to think about anyway. I’m curious to see how things change once I get my glasses (specialty lenses like mine take a little time) and can actually see in three dimensions all day. It’s very exciting.

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