Since I have been working to correct my phorias (changes in eye gaze caused by small eye muscle imbalances) I feel more centred. I feel stronger physcially, emotionally and mentally. I am less sensitive to the tiny changes in my own energy and the energy of other people. I am looking for ways to interact and collaborate with others, that I have never done before. in fact doing things with other people is right at the top of my list now, whereas before it was at the bottom.
As I work to correct my phorias using glasses with prism (and many different pairs because I have many different phorias,) I am feeling more centred as my nervous system relaxes. But there is more to it than this. We are all spiritual beings. Being more centred strengthens my aura and the stronger my aura the less sensitive I am to all the changes going on inside of me and around me.
(Low + I see energy not moving Vibrant + I see energy chaotic and not settled) Integrated – I don’t see specific energy areas in the more balanced spectrum of summer
Weather: Blue Sky and Sun
Hi, Please listen to my audio diary today.
Please follow me and you will see the up and downs of my energy patterns through the year and how I have learnt to thrive, no matter the weather, no matter the light! You will find all my previous entries on my ‘Lightwatcher Diary’ page.
If you understand your state, then you can understand your needs. If you understand your needs, then you can fully live your life.
Working with my phorias (eye gaze and muscle imbalance) I require lot of pairs of glasses. This is because my phorias move around a lot. I can test myself with the maddox rod test to find out where my phorias are and then choose the glasses to treat that phoria. Sometimes the glasses are on point and sometimes they are not quite on point but they will do. Sometimes I am surprised by which glasses help me. They don’t seem to quite match the test results. Sometimes one eye partially suppresses to allow my other eye to take up the reigns for a while. This could be better than the experience of both eyes fighting.
What I learnt is that my lenses are just bits of plastic with prism in that can help me. I play around with them like someone trying on shoes or hats. I enjoy them – my trial prism lenses are very precious to me! Some I have from a set of trial lenses and some I just popped out of a pair of cheap glasses that I bought with just prism in. So far it has been impossible to buy 0.25 diopter prism trial lenses so I had to do the popping out thing for these. I also sometimes combine glasses – wear one pair and fold the arm back on another to use the lens as an extra one. I work with any resources I can find to learn about my eyes and establish a relationship with them and my experience of the changing light.
Working with prisms is not an exact science. My husband who is no-where near me on the scale of sensitivity was trying out some prisms to find the up and down rotation. He found that for prism diopter 3 – 5 he was actually experiencing the prism upside down. The image was moving in the direction he didn’t expect. We didn’t have any answers for that. That was a mystery. In the same way prisms are doing mysterious things for me every day. I don’t fully understand how my brain relates to prism but it definitely likes it!
Prisms lenses – just bits of plastic that might help you!
Feel as if my eye is being pulled or stretched (this being even more extreme outside sometimes?)
Have extreme light sensitivity
Lack co-ordination for no apparent reason?
Struggle to walk in a straight line?
Feel as if my eyes are fighting with each other?
Struggle to focus on something because I am distracted by the background (subject and background both demanding the same attention?)
Have cognitive processing difficulties and feel easily overloaded by information?
Feel as if mentally I am going round and round in circles?
Feel that my eyes can never rest, even at night?
If you answer yes to some or all of these questions, then you could be sensitive to your phorias (direction of gaze). You may be aware of small muscle imbalances that occur when you change direction of your gaze. This could occur as a result of being stressed or tired but with more sensitive people, it can be triggered simply by changes in the ambient light. These imbalances, though subtle can have a massive impact on your quality of life.
A phoria is a latent (hidden) eye deviation. The eyes appear to be straight, but when covering an eye and breaking fusion, the eyes assume a position away from normal alignment. Most people have a very small phoria if tested, but a large phoria makes it hard to keep the eyes aligned. This could occur as a result of being stressed, tired and it can be triggered by changes in the light.
If a large amount of phoria exists, your eyes are will not rest on the subject you are focusing on. Your gaze will move elsewhere. Keeping both eyes fixated on your chosen subject requires an effort by you. To compensate, you will attempt to focus your eyes intently, inducing an accomodation reflex, likely causing eyestrain or headaches.
Phorias are categorised by direction.
Exophoria: An eye gaze outwards
Esophoria: An eye gaze inwards
Hyperphoria: An eye gaze upwards
Hypophoria: An eye gaze downwards
Phorias can occur in your right eye, left eye or both eyes or they can alternate between the eyes. They can occur in any of the 8 directions of the compass.
How Can I Help You?
Firstly I am a qualified teacher but not a trained optician or optometrist. I have hidden changing phorias myself and I am passionate about helping people see clearly. To me, phorias are all about direction and power. If those are lacking, it is hard to live. When you regain them, you won’t know yourself!
How Do I Work?
I set up your current optical prescription in my trial frames (exactly the sort of frames you wear at the optician). Alternatively you can wear your glasses. Then we work with one eye at at time. If you are able to use your eyes independently, you don’t need to cover one eye. If we need to cover one eye, you can do that yourself or we can use an occluder lens in the frame.
I will then ask you to focus on a spot and ask you if you can do tis comfortably. If you say that cannot focus on the spot comfortably I will ask you where your gaze is moving to. You may say it is going up or out or towards any of the 8 points of the compass. Reporting that you cannot keep your gaze comfortably on the spot will confirm that you have a hidden phoria. Telling me the direction of your gaze will give me the information I need to choose the correct prism direction to correct your phoria.
I will then add the prism of the correct direction in the smallest strength to the frames or you may choose to hold the prism in front of your eyes or glasses. Then I will ask you if you see any improvement or not.
If you see improvement we will try a prism of a higher strength and then compare the two. We will keep going up in prism strength until you feel it is a little uncomfortable and then come back to the one you find comfortable. This will be your correct prism strength.
We will repeat the process with the other eye. We will then set up your prescription for two eyes in the frame and I will ask you how it feels. We will then make any necessary adjustments based on your comments about the comfort of using both your eyes together.
How Do I Buy My New Glasses?
There are many online shops that sell glasses to a person’s prescription and some of these are able to add prism. I am to recommend ones that I have found work well for me. I am also happy to help you fill in the prescription online and/or to order your glasses for you.
Will I Only Need One Extra Pair of Glasses?
How many extra pairs of glasses you need will depend on the type of phorias you have. Some people only have one simple phoria to correct. Other people’s needs are more complex. People with extreme light sensitivity may need to be tested in different lights / weathers / seasons to find all the glasses they need to keep them comfortable through the year.
What I Charge:
Adults and children: £20 per half hour session. (You may need a single or double session depending on the complexity of your needs.)
I work from my home in Crewkerne, Somerset. It is in a peaceful location off a quiet side-road. If you are driving, parking is secure on our drive. if you are using the bus it is approximately 500 yards from the bus stop
I use a quiet, light, airy, comfortable room (no stairs). We are able to work 3 metres apart if required. We have a pet free, smoke free home. Between sessions I wipe down all surfaces used with antibacterial wipes. Due to my sensitivities I am not able to wear a mask but you are welcome to wear one if it makes you feel more comfortable. If you have any special needs, please let me know and I will do my best to meet them.
CVI stands for Cerebral Visual Impairment and it is the closest diagnosis we can find to the experience of ambient colour sensitivity that my son and I have.
To avoid brightness, UV and business, we decided to leave for the seaside at 8:00 am and as the sea is quite close to us, by 8:45 we found ourselves walking down the seafront of the popular Dorset town of Lyme Regis.
Previously I had carefully packed 3 rucksacks with cameras, binoculars, snacks and drinks and chosen the right colour coat for myself to wear on that day. Also I had to choose some combination of hat and brim to keep out the brightness and UV. My son was in his usual grey, and I was in my usual white bamboo trousers plus pink coat and the hat of the day which happened to be purple. My husband was in his usual blue shorts and white t-shirt. He would wear colour and pattern if we could only manage it.
We have 3 seats in the front of our car (an old Honda FRV) and my son sat with his phone and headphones listening to his techno music to block out the sound of the engine and the wheels on the road. I sat trying on tinted glasses to find the optimum pair for that day and my husband concentrated on driving!
When we reached Lyme Regis we went to our usual carpark and parked under our shady tree. We got out of the car and my son asked for his No.3 tints and I put a sunhat on his head. He went straight to find his camera (a big old DSLR one.) He put the strap over his head and straight away was taking a picture of two seagulls on a roof near to where we had parked. It was the sort of picture most people would miss, not thinking it was exciting enough. But not Luca. He finds the pictures others don’t see.
We paid for the carpark and then walked down the steep hill into Lyme town. I was commenting on how pleased I was with my new pink ski jacket. Yes, it was about 17 degrees and I was wearing a ski jacket! Temperature is not something I process easily. We walked down to the front and on a big wall from where we could see the whole beach laid out before us, I started to unpack my glasses! I had some prescription glasses, some purple glasses with prescription, and three different sets of polarising glasses. I was desperately looking for polarising glasses with the correct tint because I had realised that I couldn’t look at the colour or the movement of the sea. My son was becoming impatient wanting to move on but I knew I had to either find the right glasses or filter out the sea somehow. Having come to the seaside, that thought was depressing so I dug deeper into my bag. And I found a pair of pinkish purple polarising glasses. I put them on and Ahhhh, I could breathe! Everything just went calm and I looked at the sea and it had transformed from ugly and angry to beautiful and tranquil . Now I stood a chance of enjoying the rest of our trip.
Next I knew I mustn’t lose control of things when it comes to Luca. He has limited energy when we are out and if we walk too far, he might not have the energy to get home. We walked along the seafront and there were more seagull pictures to take. And Luca has a particularly clever way of tracking them and and keeping them in focus as they move across the sky. Everyone was happy . .
My husband has a way of being drawn towards the Cob that juts out into the sea, like a bee to a honey pot. But this always means a longer walk and always means going through the business and clutter to get there. Suddenly there is sand and cafes and lots of people, meaning lots of clutter, noise and smells. And yes, once again we found ourselves drawn towards the Cob. And once more I wasn’t happy! I started walking faster which is always code for ‘I want to get out of here quickly!’ so we found a quiet side street and I immediately felt that I could breathe again. And there on a wall nestled between the rooves was a seagull’s nest with a parent looking after their young, so my son was happy now too!
So what was next? Hunger, of course. I suddenly realised I needed a snack so we headed down to the pebbles as my son doesn’t like the sand and, as I said, the beach was too busy. We spread out our picnic blanket and I got out my sandwich. My husband got out his little pack of Nairn’s chocolate oat biscuits. Then my son said “You can’t eat those!” He doesn’t like the smell of chocolate or strawberry jam. I looked around and you could see beach for a good quarter of a mile in both directions! “Can’t Luca move from the smell?” I wondered. I broached the subject but he said he was tired and he had nothing to sit on. And also that he wouldn’t eat his sandwich on the beach because last time he was harassed by a seagull! So our snack became a quick bite and then we needed to find shade away from the beach. By now moods were lowering and I was feeling disappointed. Why hadn’t I thought to bring 2 picnic blankets?
By the time we had walked to the top of the park that backs onto the beach and found some shade, the day was getting hot and the UV levels were getting higher. I was starting to feel the affects of the light spectrum in my nervous system, especially my hands and arms. Now I just wanted to get home. We had been out too long. We had walked a little too far. We had got a little too hot and there was a little too much visual clutter. We quickly found our escape route from Lyme – a pretty alley-way between cottages that leads nearly back to the carpark. On the way, I managed to share my disappointment and receive some solace from my trusty team. At the end of the alley-way, there was just one more hill to climb – the steep one we had so happily come down on our way into the town. This was one too many hills for my son.
Having made it back to the carpark, the car was nice and cool. It was 10:3o am. Lots of people were arriving for their day at the beach and we were glad to be going home from our hour at the beach! We started the drive home. My son said “That was good. It was a bit difficult but I think it was worth it!” That was all I needed to hear! I breathed a sigh of relief.
Living with CVI is one challenge after another. And just when you think you have completed all the trouble shooting you need to do, something changes. It could be the season, weather, or time of day all affecting how you perceive the colours, line, shape, edges and movement around you. In fact you have no constants. When you have ambient colour sensitivity, your only constant is change.
To read more about living with ambient colour sensitivity – a type of CVI – please take a look at my book.
When we perceive moreblue light thanred light, we see the world in higher definition.
When we perceive more red light than blue light, we see the world in lower definition.
When we see in high definition we can feel separate and lonely. We can find it hard to gather and maintain our energy. We can find it hard to drink in from the world and feel part of the world.
When we see in low definition, we can feel that everything is a bit too blended. Life doesn’t draw us in and we can’t quite get hold of things. We can feel tired, apathetic, depressed, as if we have no clear use or purpose.
Look at the photograph at the top. Do you want to walk into the picture and pick up the marble or do you feel you can’t reach it or do you feel oblivious?
If you feel you can’t reach it, you may not perceive enough blue light today.
If you feel oblivious, you may not perceive enough red light today.
If you want to pick it up, then you are just fine the way you are!