Welcome to The Bright Eyes Podcast: Advice for Healthy Vision for All Ages. Your hosts are Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford & Dr. Beth Knighton, residency-trained optometrist that provide eye exams for glasses and contacts, and specialty services including vision therapy, myopia control, orthokeratology, and sports vision training. Their mission to empower patients by providing the best in friendly, professional, and individualized eye care.
In this episode, Dr. Nate talks with Betsy Yaros about vision therapy and discovering 3D vision.
You can listen in the player below or read the transcript. The show is available via Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, and the webplayer below. You can find all previous episodes here. If you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, please email office@BrightEyesTampa.com.
Betsy and Dr. Nate in the news:
The Full transcript:
Intro: [00:00:02] Hello. Welcome to the bright eyes podcast advice for healthy vision for all ages your house. Our Dr. Nate bonilla Warford and Dr. Beth Knighton two optometrists who really see eye to eye. They can help you get perspective of the latest visual scientific evidence for improving your vision and helping you keep your eye on the ball. We have real facts and acqui is humor without making spectacles of ourselves. And don’t worry the jokes don’t get any cornea than this we promise.
Dr. Nate: [00:00:41] Hi. it’s Dr. Nate and this is the bright eyes podcast. This episode is a little bit different. Instead of sitting down at my desk and having a conversation either with Dr. Knighton or a different doctor or one of our vision therapists I had a conversation with Betsy one of our vision therapy patients and the conversation starts in the vision therapy room and then went out into the parking lot and then we went to the waiting room to finish up the conversation. And the reason why we walked around will be apparent when you listen to the episode. I really like the way Betsy explains her experiences developing her vision as a vision therapy patient specifically her appreciation of depth perception and what it brings. So I really hope you enjoy this episode. Thanks.
Dr. Nate: [00:01:37] So Betsy we’re here in the vision therapy room at Brighteyes kids and this is where we were when you first observed 3D vision. Do you remember that.
Betsy: [00:01:51] I did. It was a great day. Yeah we were just playing the Vivid Vision. Yeah it was after we played the spaceship going through the rings and I just remembered taking off the glasses or taking off the goggles and seeing everything pop out and then I also remember you going to grab the goggles in your hands just you know they it was scary. Your hands are just coming out of the goggles and I can also just see all the details on your hands and everything coming at me.
Dr. Nate: [00:02:32] What I remember from that moment was you looking at your own hands and you were trying to describe what you were noticing but you really didn’t have words to describe it. So the word that you used while you’re looking at your hands was that they were big.
Betsy: [00:02:57] Everyone looked like they had monster hands at that point. Me included. So that’s what happened.
Dr. Nate: [00:03:05] Now that was a very big big moment. But it didn’t happen all at once tell tell the listeners maybe a little bit about your back story visually like when you were a kid and then some of the things that you had done up until that point to get there.
Betsy: [00:03:25] Yes. As a kid I was my eyes used to flip back and forth a lot so I never had the depths. So I was used to walking around with you know my vision shifting a lot and I was just like when I was walking down the street I would walk into a pole because you know my other eye is looking out not seeing the pole where I’d walk into a wall or I open the fridge door in my face. Stuff like that.
Betsy: [00:03:55] So that’s kind of how it was as a kid and then as I started doing therapy I just started having more control over my eyes and I started having more like maybe really quick instances of seeing 3D but it wasn’t till that day where it really happened and it stayed. So it was just really me.
Dr. Nate: [00:04:19] And so one of the things that we used to do when when we were first trying to develop your sense of depth perception and 3-D vision was not only to do activities here with the virtual reality and the Brock String and some of the other vision therapy activities but we would go outside. So you want to take a field trip you want to go outside.
Betsy: [00:04:40] Yeah. Sounds good.
Dr. Nate: [00:04:41] So yeah this is exactly what we would do. The reason why we would do this is because outside is full of detail and things are very very far away. So we would come out here and so now we’re literally in the parking lot. And so one of the things that we used to do would be to walk through the parked cars and there’s a lot of space in between the cars. But for you it was sort of like a different a different experience when you were seeing 3-D.
Betsy: [00:05:16] Yeah yeah at first it didn’t all come together so like why are we outside. Are we doing this. You know you’ve had me like you’re saying that I didn’t do a great job of explaining it was just like nothing was clicking. And then you’d asked me to go look at a building near and far and I wasn’t seeing it but then I wasn’t sure if it the same day but I remember we just told me to go walk down the sidewalk here.
Betsy: [00:05:45] Yeah I just remember walking down the sidewalk and all of a sudden I freaked out and flinched because this tree here just popped out at me and it looked like it was attacking me. So it was just like an amazing experience. And then I just started looking around and when you see 3-D it’s like you have you know if you’re doing HDR photography you have double exposures so you can see like, Then I just noticed I could see all the details and leaves and grass everything with popping now and when I looked up at the sky the trees actually looked like Dr. Seuss trees they had the little fluff ball softballs and then.
Dr. Nate: [00:06:28] So how did trees look before that?
Betsy: [00:06:31] Flat green like construction paper sheets of construction paper that or maybe have different tones in them. It’s all flat. But then when you see in 3D you can actually see like for example on this leaf here you can see the wax coat on the leaf and just all the detail within the leaf and then each one each leaf is on a different plane. So it just becomes a very complex object to look at really incredible. So I remember even after the appointment I was like oh I’m going walk around walkaround I was just staring at everything like piles of dirt you know on the ground. Anything was just like incredible. From that point forward.
Dr. Nate: [00:07:14] And you were so kind of excited by that that you actually told the tree story in your blog which you did you have and you had some other some other stories you talked about.
Dr. Nate: [00:07:27] You said one of the things that you discovered that there was like a part of your car that you hadn’t noticed before.
Betsy: [00:07:34] Oh yeah I can remember now like . Yeah they were like so i used to drive a Jeep, recently got a different car but there were other compartments in my car that I didn’t actually see because the other thing that happens you don’t see 3-D is everything. You know it’s a flat surface so you just assume that thing over there it’s flat. But then when I got in what is this . And then I also notice my dashboard was really dusty 3-D right. Really. Wow. It’s really like oh my gosh!
Dr. Nate: [00:08:09] That’s interesting. That’s the type of thing that when you’re in the exam room as a doctor and you’re doing the tests and you’re quantifying things and you’re trying to extrapolate and make predictions you don’t think about that sort of real world experience of being able to see to see the dust or see the compartments in your car. One of the things that happened that I that really struck home to me which I which I really liked and I and I tell the story sometimes is I think I had been to a concert the night before and I got home like super late. And you know we had we had done activities and you said something like You know you said that you were tired but now that I’m seeing in 3-D I can really see that you’re tired. Yeah which I thought was actually great because I don’t think many people think a lot about or talk about the interpersonal aspects of having depth perception and 3-D vision.
Dr. Nate: [00:09:15] The social cues that that people get when they interact non-verbal communication do you have any thoughts or anything you want to say about about that.
Betsy: [00:09:27] Oh yeah it’s definitely totally different. So like I experienced my first break up in 3D and you know I really just broke up and it’s been like a very like process where it’s like they say something and I get the message you know I can get the message and I process it later. But when you’re actually 3D in this space I can actually Ill just use an example of the last breakup I can really see the emotion in their face and what they were saying and I could just process it was much more intense. Actually it was a very intense experience because you can when you’re seeing 3-D the wrinkles in someone’s forehead relates to their actual emotion and their expression. And it’s people are more animated. Like think about watching like maybe 2D cartoon an old Roadrunner cartoon versus like current Pixar film. You really see the expressions and the characters so that was how it was when it was being broken up with I could really see it and it was just very intense and I processed everything much more quickly. So it’s it’s really interesting. seeing 3D.
Dr. Nate: [00:10:46] That’s a wonderful observation that you’re not going to read in textbooks maybe at most a single sentence but certainly not not somebody who’s who’s experienced the difference you know with and without being able to talk to somebody and experience that that kind of emotional situation. With the benefit of depth perception. So I think that that’s that’s really great.
Dr. Nate: [00:11:16] Let’s head back into the office because I hear a little thunder which its Florida – its the lightning capital of the world so that’s not that’s not unusual. So for somebody who you know maybe has visual problems they might have strabismus or exotropia or Esotropia. I understand that you know you get e-mails from from people in that sort of situation. So what types of things do they ask you and what kind of things do you tell them.
Betsy: [00:11:47] Well I get a lot of e-mails from concerned parents who they’ve come across my blog. And since you know they had you know the child was born prematurely like I was and they might be having other developmental issues such as speech delay other things which are similar to what I had. And they’re not sure what to do. So all they want to do is help their child. So I think they’re a little bit in panic mode. Cause thier child isnt meeting their milestones. So I just try to provide comfort for them and explain. You know I went through. I’ve been through speech therapy auditory processing. And then lastly this vision therapy. And each time I’ve been able to be more connected with the world. So with this last you know with vision therapy now I’m really I’m actually like feel like I’m in the world you know in space and really interacting with people and able to interact with people. So I just you know when I get these e-mails from parents I tell them you know maybe just wait a little bit. I know the doctors wanting to perform eye surgery. I had two eye surgeries the first one was successful and I’m crossing my eyes. But the second one wasn’t. But you know vision therapy works.
Betsy: [00:13:09] And it worked on me as an adult so I can only imagine what it can do for your child. And the other thing too is by taking the initiative and getting the child into therapy at an early age it helps them so much tremendously across thier life because it’s like me as a child growing up. I was picked on. I didn’t really have very many friends. And I had a lot of difficulty going through life basically until I was finally able to have these different kinds of therapies. So as a parent you know if you take this initiative get them into therapy and get them started on this path it’s only going to positively impact your child long term. So that’s why I try to encourage them you know to do that.
Dr. Nate: [00:13:59] And what other ways do you think that doing vision therapy as an adult rather than as an elementary school kid. What are the ways has it changed your life.
Betsy: [00:14:11] Well for me it’s just it’s made me appreciate so many things like I’m just very appreciative of the opportunity to do that. And it’s really opened a lot of doors for me. It’s like as a child I wanted to be a dentist and I couldn’t do that and the doctor basically said there’s no real career path you can take there. So I stayed photography’s so now that I have these abilities to see and I can read textbooks and I can interact with people.
Betsy: [00:14:41] Now I can I mean I want to go be an optometrist too so I’m just really excited that I’m able to pursue any career path not ant career path this career path want to be an astronaut you can be an astronaut princess. That’s right.
Dr. Nate: [00:15:01] But you know, reaching reaching potential and doing what people want to do and feeling like they have those opportunities is is really important. You know our mission statement at Bright Eyes is all about empowering patients through vision care to help them do whatever they they want to do. And we do that in all kinds of different ways. We do it with contact lenses we do it with glasses we do it with myopia control. One of the greatest ways that’s the most exciting and most rewarding for for all of us is with vision therapy because people really do set different and larger goals for themselves after they sort of see what’s what’s possible. And the fact that you’ve been able to go through that is you know is great. It’s it’s really really wonderful.
Betsy: [00:15:57] I’m really excited about my future. So it’s it’s just really. And I’m just I’m so happy say all this really hard work. It’s not like I saw 3D instantly or my issues went away instantly it took you know several years of work. It’s not like my vision is perfect but I’m now able to manage my vision.
Dr. Nate: [00:16:20] And actually that’s an important important thing to talk about because you did work really hard. You worked many many hours but you’re no stranger to hard work. You worked as a student when you were younger. You worked in the you know the different types of therapies you talked about and so you understood that this is something that I want to work on that I think is achievable.
Dr. Nate: [00:16:45] And so you get lots of lots of credit for it for wanting to do it and actually going through with it. And you know that’s one of our goals with all of our patients is encouraging them and motivating them and educating them this is what’s possible this is how much work. I think it’s going to take. So if I remember correctly there was a time when you were going to see lots of 3D movies. Oh yeah. Very cool stuff. I mean if they have more time it’s going to happen. Well yeah because they’re busy with work. And we you know we understand that but wasn’t there one there was like a children’s movie that you went to see a bunch of times.
Betsy: [00:17:29] Yes so Trolls in 3-D. It was. It was amazing. So I went and saw it five times because each time I saw it in 3-D there’s a lot of bright colors in that. As soon as I took off the 3-D glasses I saw 3-D and then I could go walk around the parking lot and go over to a target and see everything was 3D for. And it lasted for three hours. So it was just really cool. so i just repeated the experience several times. So now I have a 3-D projector at my house where I just a little bit cheaper. So I watch films that way.
Dr. Nate: [00:18:12] Yeah yeah no I remember you. You’re talking about it. And I was like really you went to see trolls again. You’re like, yeah!
Betsy: [00:18:23] Not for the storyline.
Dr. Nate: [00:18:25] But I think you’re right about the colors because a lot of movies like if you were to see like Batman in 3-D it’s like really dark you know even for people who have totally normal vision it’s kind of hard to see because it’s just it’s so dark and the contrast is so low. That was probably a great one to see.
Betsy: [00:18:23] Yeah except I went and saw other darker ones like he just had the same effect. Yeah yeah but the cool thing to see that just reminds me of every year my family went to go see the Rockettes had sound at the beginning they have this 3-D experience. And I was never able to see Santa throw the wreaths over the audience but it was just incredible. So I actually saw him throw the wreathes over the audio. Finally a couple of years ago. So you really need to have that are great.
Dr. Nate: [00:19:23] Well thank you for your time. And it was great catching up with you and good luck with everything else.
Betsy: [00:19:29] Thanks. Good to see you.
Outro: [00:19:34] Brought to you by Bright Eyes Family Vision Care and Bright Eyes Kids. Find previous episodes and more detailed information at BrightEyesTampa.com creative Commons, copyright attribution, non-commercial use. The only purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor experienced in the area you require. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Please consult your physician for diagnosis country.
Intro/outro music: Lucas Warford of Three For Silver.