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KY9

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Hello to everyone. This is my first time on a forum of this type and I?m not even sure that I am in the right place for what I wish to discuss.

I am in my late fifties and have worked in various industries during my life starting out at fifteen in the farming industry, then on to electronics/computers in my 20?s till 55 when I took early retirement and moved to France with my wife. We stayed there for five years refurbishing a couple of old houses but then decided to return to the UK as retirement was not for us. I have now taken a job as an electrical tester and am in good health and don?t suffer any known mental health issues. However I have a condition that I am very curious about and is not easy to describe as it doesn?t have, as far as I know any clinical name. I have only ever talked to my wife and a couple of close friends about it but because it?s very difficult to describe and doesn?t normally cause me a problem, had never pursued it further.

The condition is that I have the ability to switch, on demand, between two identical views of what I can see. Nothing in the two views is physically different but the perception of the views is. I only see one of the views at a time so there is no physical confusion to me in what I see. I am usually more familiar with one of the views than the other but sometimes I am familiar with both. The different views don?t give me a different personality and this switching doesn?t normally cause me a problem as it?s just a perception thing. However today, for the first time, I found it difficult to switch and because I was driving down a road that is familiar to me and in the wrong view wasn?t sure which direction to take. Usually switching makes one of the views familiar.

I have tried to work out what may be happening and recently came to the conclusion that it may be to do with the right and left sides of my brain and because there is nothing wrong with the optical view of what I see can only assume it is something to do with the area of the brain that processes optical nerve information. Maybe I have two separate storage areas for the information that I see.

I have not wanted to pursue this with my doctor as yet as I don?t wish to raise any issues that may affect my job.

I would appreciate any suggestions and or referrals to someone who might know something about the condition that I suffer from.
 

David Baxter

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Have you had a through vision test since this started? Not just in terms of what you can see but with an opthalmologist who can look at the retina, optic nerves, etc.?

I'm not certain that I correctly understand what you're describing but a couple of things occur to me:

1. you have an extreme dominance of one eye over the other but periodically your vision adjusts and you "see" with the other eye, making things look a little strange or different;

2. you have a substantial difference in vision in the two eyes, e.g., farsighted in one and nearsighted in the other, leading to situations as in #1;

3. there is an issue with the physical structure or integrity of the eyes and/or optic nerves.

Basically, I'm saying that the first step is that you see an ophtalmologist (not just an optometrist - an ophtalmologist is a medical doctor with a specialty in the visual system) and get the physical possibilities checked out before trying to investigate other possibilities, whatever those might be.
 

Halo

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Welcome to Psychlinks KY9 :welcome2:

I hope to see you around :wave:
 

Retired

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I too do no clearly understand the "on demand switching" you described, but am fascinated by it from a personal perspective. One has to wonder whether what you experience is an optical occurance or an neurological interpretation of the optical occurance.

As Dr. Baxter suggests, the first step is to be seen by an opthalmologist who may even refer you to a neurologist or some other specialist who may assist in the diagnosis.

Why does your situation intrugue me from a personal perspective?

Because I lived most of my life, almost as many years as you, with what I thought were peculiar vocal and motor tics, thinking I was the only one in the world doing these things and embarassed about mentioning it to any of my doctors.

Quite by accident, in my late forties, I discovered there existed a neurological disorder (Tourette Syndrome) that explained my involuntary vocal and motor tics. From that day onward, there was a psychological relief I experienced that I never had in all my previous years. Mind you, I still have the tics, but I now know what it is, and I know I am not the only one in the world with it.

I share this with you, KY9, because for your own peace of mind, and your quality of life you need to find out, from a competent medical source what is taking place.

Sometimes it takes a lot of work on your part to get a difnitive diagnosis for a condition that may not be well understood by the medical profession. You may not get a satisfactory answer from your first or second consultation, but you need to persist until you find the physician who recognizes your condition and is able to provide a competent diagnosis.

I can tell you from personal experience, there is a notable peace of mind and intellectual satisfaction in knowing why your body behaves in the way it does.

I have not wanted to pursue this with my doctor as yet as I don?t wish to raise any issues that may affect my job

This should be the least of your concerns at this time, as you do not want to get ahead of yourself. Your health and well being are your prime concern, and if there is a condition that needs treatment, then consider your options at that time.

You may learn the condition does not require treatment, because there is an explanation for the visual interpretations you experience.

You do not have enough information at this time to make any decisions.

See your doctor, get a referral to a eye specialist and take it from there. We'll be looking forward to learning the outcome of your investigation.
 

Daniel

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I have not wanted to pursue this with my doctor as yet as I don’t wish to raise any issues that may affect my job

To add to Steve's comments, I think only by not addressing it could you possibly be affecting your job negatively, at least in the long term.

If it's been more than a year or two since you got your eyes checked, you may be overdue anyway for an eye exam. In this case, as Dr. Baxter points out, you want to see an opthalmologist (rather than those doctors at the mall).

If you have a large teaching hospital anywhere near your area, I would recommend going there to see an opthalmologist. When I went to see an opthalmologist at my university's hospital for minor eye allergies, I was impressed to find out that he was a professor at the medical school as well.
 
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dark

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Welcome Two Views; interesting post, profile and story. I'm 53 and thinking retirement myself; at least I'll have the option in one year and 4 months; but whose counting?
 

Daniel

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I have tried to work out what may be happening and recently came to the conclusion that it may be to do with the right and left sides of my brain and because there is nothing wrong with the optical view of what I see can only assume it is something to do with the area of the brain that processes optical nerve information.

All I know as a layman is that the vision system can play a lot of tricks to cover up deficits. For example, if a person wears lenses that make everything appear upside down, within a week the brain will adjust to that and will see everything right-side up.

the wrong view wasn’t sure which direction to take
Maybe I have two separate storage areas for the information that I see.

Certainly, episodic (long term) memory is stored all over the place.
 

KY9

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Thanks for all the replies.

As it happens I do have a very different left and right prescription and what was considered many years ago, as a child, a lazy right eye. I am long sighted but the condition I'm experiencing is definitely neurological rather than optical. The reason I say that is because I can switch by just thinking. I suppose the only way to describe whats happening is to imagine that you know the approximate direction you are facing is North and you are then able to switch to imagine that you are facing West. Remember that the actual visual scene doesn't change. I have tried to see if there are any physical changes in what I see but I cant detect any. I do have perfect colour vision as I can read all of the Ishihara charts correctly.
 

David Baxter

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As it happens I do have a very different left and right prescription and what was considered many years ago, as a child, a lazy right eye.

I am long sighted but the condition I'm experiencing is definitely neurological rather than optical. The reason I say that is because I can switch by just thinking.

That doesn't necessarily indicate that it's neurological - not at all. The bottom line is that with your vision "configuration", you are probably not able to "see" out of both eyes at once because of the discrepancies in the information the two eyes are presenting to the brain. To compensate, you have learned to ignore the input from on eye - normally, it gets filtered out and you attend only to the dominant or best eye. But if you want to, you can consciously switch to the other eye because all of the visual inout from that other eye is still there, still available, just ignored or filtered.

I'm not saying it would rule out a neurological basis, just that what you describe doesn't require a neurological basis. And following Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.

The only way to be certain is to see an opthalmologist.
 

KY9

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That doesn't necessarily indicate that it's neurological - not at all. The bottom line is that with your vision "configuration", you are probably not able to "see" out of both eyes at once because of the discrepancies in the information the two eyes are presenting to the brain. To compensate, you have learned to ignore the input from on eye - normally, it gets filtered out and you attend only to the dominant or best eye. But if you want to, you can consciously switch to the other eye because all of the visual inout from that other eye is still there, still available, just ignored or filtered.

I'm not saying it would rule out a neurological basis, just that what you describe doesn't require a neurological basis. And following Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.

The only way to be certain is to see an opthalmologist.

Thanks David
I suppose over the years I have tried to work out what may be the cause of the problem without wanting to present myself as some kind of a freak. I am going to pursue the opthalmologist route because of what you have outlined.

Thanks again.
 

David Baxter

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You're not a freak, KY9. You just need some assistance in figuring out what this is all about.

Good luck.
 

Retired

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KY9,

There are numerous disorders that make our bodies and minds act and react in ways out of the ordinary. It's no reflection on you because whatever is happening is involuntary and not caused by something you did.

There is no need to feel embarassment about speaking to your doctor and seeing a specialist.

Please keep us posted on your findings.
 

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