My folks thought I had a lazy eye when I was a kid. I too had to wear the eye patch of shame. (It did come in handy as a respirator when carving pumpkins...) I knew that I didn't see like everyone else, but I never knew that there was a possible treatment for it. My vision basically worked by trading dominant eyes depending on which direction I was looking. If I looked to the far left, my right eye would take over and the left one would kind of go into a standby mode where the whole field of vision it took in was like peripheral vision. If I looked to the far right, my eyes would seamlessly trade rolls. I could voluntarily switch which one was dominant, but they couldn't work at the same time. I had what is known as esotropia. I had very mildly crossed eyes. The surgery fixed everything overnight.

Comments: 1297 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Zhumanchu399 karma


I guess describe the major difference between the two? What was each like? What was the experience of seeing 3D like for the first time?

souobixo1020 karma

I guess the major difference would be how much I noticed things around me. I was completely used to seeing a totally flat world. Let's say you close one eye and look around. You still see things, but they don't FEEL any closer or further away. Sure, they look bigger or smaller because of distance, and you'd be surprised how much familiarity with normal everyday objects plays with how we perceive their distance from us. Like a lot of lazy eyed kids, I got really used to using muscle memory for throwing things.

To have my vision corrected was kind of like putting glasses on for the first time in a way. (Very) suddenly, I was taking in and processing all of this new type of information. Everything worked just the way it was supposed to instantly. Sure there was healing to do, but that was just the muscles that the surgeons had cut to set up the secondary procedure. The desired effect was there as soon as he tied that last suture. The world has seemed a lot bigger and much more vibrant. I kept asking people, "You mean you guys have been able to see this way the whole time!??!!?"

Zhumanchu298 karma

That's pretty amazing. I love stories like this. Thanks for sharing!

souobixo465 karma

I am hoping maybe someone reads this who maybe has the same thing. I never would have pursued it if my regular eye doctor hadn't gotten curious one day. I'd say to someone like I was to ask questions. Eye surgery isn't the most fun thing in the world, but seeing in 3D sure doesn't suck.

the_scriptic168 karma

I'm glad you did this Iama. My daughter has what you have. She was born with severe infantile esotropia. She had the eye surgery to relax her muscles when she was 6 months old. We were given little probability that she will ever gain 3D vision. She is 19 months now so we still don't know how well she sees and we are told we won't know until she can 'report' back to questions asked (probably around age 4 or 5).

I have a few questions as your experience sounds like a promising one for my daughter possibly.

What was the name of the surgery that was performed on you? Obviously her surgery didn't involve the same procedure that you had when you were awake (which seems to be what really made the difference).

Are there other doctors performing this or is it a new procedure your specific dr has developed?

Would she be able to have this surgery even though she already had one on those muscles?

Is there an age that gets the best results? Is earlier better? Or best after the child is done growing and is an adult?

My daughter still has alignment issues especially if she looks to the far sides or up. Also sometimes when she is 'zoning out' one seems to be a bit exotropic after the surgery. We want her to have the best chance at normal vision so I've been aggressive in doing everything we can and your Iama may open opportunity to do more.


souobixo116 karma

What I remember is that it was called strabismus surgery. I remember it being explained as something that is done on younger kids. It is a fairly routine (I believe) surgery though. I was telling another redditor here that I had the procedure done in Murray Utah by I want to say a Doctor Peterson. I could be wrong about the name. I'll look into it.

the_scriptic140 karma

I saw that other comment and I actually found the dr who probably performed yours. Is this him?

Did they ever say if there would be a possibility that you would need to go back and have more surgeries in the future? Was this a one time thing where you will never need anything else from this dr?

Edit: grammar

souobixo153 karma

Dude! You totally found him! I'll never forget that face. I can still hear his voice and everything. He is one of the best human beings we have in this rock. As far as know, I won't need any other treatments ever. But Dr. Peterson is the expert. Wow. You kick ass on another level.

HULK-SMASH15 karma

I 100% would not have even thought of looking into this, but i sure as hell am now! If not for the 3D movies i'm missing out on (Damn you stereoscopic television) it might even help me CATCH a frisby from time to time hahhaa.

I really hope something can be done, when you say things look bigger and vibrant, man that sounds exciting.

I'm gonna look into this as soon as i get home.

Do you know what the procedure was called??

souobixo14 karma

Strabismus surgery I am pretty sure.

This is the guy who did mine.

mountaincyclops63 karma

As someone who lost an eye at a very young age I am incredibly jealous right now.

souobixo95 karma

My heart goes out to you buddy. Who knows what we'll have in 30 years for technology tho. Probably just better Facebook shit, but we souls always hope. What happened if you don't mind my asking?

mountaincyclops49 karma

Thanks, I've seen some interesting implants already so here's hoping! I had cancer when I was 2(unilateral retnoblastoma). Unfortunately, when it was diagnosed, the tumor was too big to remove safely so they had to remove the whole eye.

souobixo25 karma

Wow. That is some heavy shit for someone so little. Here's hoping.

tchoob37 karma

I did your experiment. I discovered that I'm losing my vision in the right eye. Thanks, OP.

souobixo29 karma

Ouch. But it isn't my fault you got hit in the eye with a ball. Throw it back at your assailant.

tchoob38 karma

I feel as if I've missed something that happened in my life which you know about and I don't.

souobixo16 karma

Lol! Happens to me all the time.

Grifflon147 karma

I was born blind and regained eye sight in one eye. As someone who know knows the difference between seeing the world through one eye and now through both - am I really missing out on much in the 3D area? Also is having depth perception nice?

souobixo131 karma

WOW! How does one regain sight if born blind? That's amazing! As for me, I can say that I would likely have gone on living my life without knowing that I was less comfortable than I could be. Depth perception is really great, but I know that life can be pretty normal without it too. I think of it as the best gift I have ever been given. I have been an avid target shooter my entire life, and having mono-vision didn't affect that particular hobby. Folks like us can still drive just fine. Headaches were more common, but bearable. Movies and TV were normal enough I guess. I hate to gush about how much I really enjoy having the ability to see 3D around folks who may not get that chance, but to answer your question... It has been truly incredible.

Grifflon85 karma

Awesome. I'm really happy that you have had this opportunity. I regained my sight as my right eye had delayed maturation. Through visual stimulation everyday it slowly started to work.

Left eye is deformed and will never work.

souobixo60 karma

That flat out amazes me. I admire how much effort you must be putting into that.

SuperGhoulsNGhosts59 karma

What is your favourite kind of cake?

souobixo186 karma

Dude! Funfetti with the big soft multicolored sprinkle lump thingies in the frosting. That shit could get me arrested.

Luigee331055 karma

I swear I thought I was the only one,, your fuckin' awesome ex blind man

souobixo50 karma

It's not our fault right? We just noticed what the best cake is, and nobody else has caught on yet.

95731 karma

You think you're alone in your love of funfetti? A prerequisite for my girlfriend was that, in the event of a marriage-like ceremony involving cake, funfetti would be the cake of choice.

Who wants a chocolate raspberry cake with a light, whipped raspberry creme icing when you can have sprinkles not only all up on your cake, but all up in your cake?!

souobixo25 karma

That's what I'm talking about!!! Why the hell can't more people see this one simple truth?!?

95722 karma

Maybe they just have vision problems ;)

souobixo25 karma

I see what you did there...

95718 karma

After that surgery, you should be able to see these puns coming at you.

souobixo21 karma

I can see the puns, but not the raccoon...

jsimon854 karma

what was the first thing you saw when u opened your eyes after surgery?

souobixo276 karma

That was actually the cool part. The surgery itself is just setting up the real procedure. They cut the muscles in the eye and attach strings to them. Then they dial your eye into alignment after the surgery back in the doctor's office. I got out of the surgery and had about six pounds of gauze taped to my head. When I got back to the office, the specialist removed all of the gauze. You cannot believe the "Oh SHIT!" moment I had when I was looking straight ahead with the left eye, and the right one was pointed at the floor. They hadn't explained the whole process to me beforehand because I am a little squeamish about surgeries on my own self. So at this point there are two tiny black strings coming out of the whites on either side of my right pupil. He starts tugging on them very gently, and my right eye starts raising. More tugging, more lifting... The whole time I am just supposed to do my best to look straight ahead. It was less than a minute before he was having me look at a painting on the wall. He said to just concentrate on one of the flowers or something. Then he would block my vision of it in one eye with a card. He'd trade back and forth, making little adjustments on the strings all the while. When he had them adjusted so that my eyes didn't shift as he traded sides with the card, he tied and cut the sutures. Once he stepped back, it was like a punch in the face. The whole office came alive with shapes and shadows. I have seen like this ever since.

jsimon8112 karma

woah.... you mean to tell me the doctor literally pulled and tugged your eye into place? damn thats nuts

whats the most beautiful thing / amazing thing you have seen now?

souobixo166 karma

He literally did just that. It's hard to name just one thing that stood out. I would have to say trees have been the one thing that comes to mind. They have SOOOO much depth and detail. There is a national park not too far from where I live that has absolutely amazing colors in the fall. Even little things like chairs in the kitchen, or people walking around in a crowded room still make me stop and just look.

underblueskies5 karma

So can you not move your eyes around anymore? As in, look different ways without turning your head.

souobixo23 karma

Lol. Yes. They move around like normal people's do now. That put the funniest image of this guy in my head for some reason:

xxplosives29 karma

I have this as well! As a kid, I was always teased for having a lazy eye, wore an eye patch for a while, didn't understand the point of 3d movies and could never get the hang of sports that required depth perception. My dominant eye is my right eye though I am nearsighted there, and I mainly switch over to my left eye when I need to see distances as I am farsighted in that eye.

In college my optometrist officially confirmed my lack of stereovision, and then I realized suddenly it all made sense! I have tried the online tests and I can get stereovision for a second or two with that but with a slight headache after. The pencil push-ups also work for a few seconds as well, really neat. I would love to see the world in 3D constantly, though. Everything pops out!

What is the surgery called? Is it meant for everyone with this condition? I heard that there is a cosmetic surgery to align the eyes together, but I never heard if that one helps bring back stereovision.

Here is another link I found about stereoblindness, this one is about the advantage of translating what we see into art. Helps you understand a little more about the way we see the world, since everything we see is basically a photograph, already flattened. NY times link

edit: formatting, art link.

souobixo17 karma

Definitely ask questions. Ask your eye doctor for specialists is strabismus surgery. I went to a specialist/surgeon in Murray Utah. He was on something like 4500 south and State Street. I wish I could remember. I want to say his name was Peterson, but I can't say for sure. Your eyes sound like they are already better off than mine were to start with. I never saw anything in 3D. Let me know if I can help further.

Angelsrflamabl19 karma

how much more do you appreciate boobs

souobixo44 karma

I thought it was impossible to appreciate them more before the surgery. Now all i can say is, "Thank god for boobs."

a1gern0n18 karma

Strabismus and monocular vision here. What are your experiences with 3D movies? They're shit for me, an expensive ticket with no razzle-dazzle. Do these things work for you? Ever have a hard time in job interviews etc when making eye contact and either swapping eyes too much or not being sure if your non-dominant eye is behaving?

souobixo29 karma

Two years and no real 3D movies in a theater yet. I can see them tho. As for that photo of blue puke, I was wondering when someone might ask. I don't remember how I am supposed to do them. I tried so damned hard when I was a kid that maybe I am just trying way too hard now. I gave it a good 90 second attempt with no success. That is the first one I have seen in two decades.

Edit: Yes. Job interviews, photos, trying to meet girls, all a colossal pain in the ass. I couldn't tell where the other eye was pointing unless I switched over to it. Then I was worried about the first one. Pretty soon my I am batting my eyes back and forth like I am having some kind of seizure. I know I scared away one seriously hot redhead that way once.

Moonhowler228 karma

I can tell you right now that those images like the one posted above are incredibly hard to make work. Even people who have seen in 3D their entire lives might not necessarily be able to do it. It's a very difficult thing to do and it takes practice.

I'm sure some people can just automatically pick out the image without any trouble, but those people are rare.

Personally, I can do those images. It's a weird feeling and at this point mainly muscle memory. You have to unfocus your vision so that each eye is seeing the picture and it's overlapping itself. Kind of a crappy explanation, I know, but it's the best way to describe it. I'm sure you know what I mean. It's the same way that you make your hand have 10 fingers or your friend have 4 eyes.

You must be staring at the center of the image, or at least it helps because that's where the hidden 3D object is. Remember I said to see 2 images by unfocusing your eyes? Well now you have to focus on both images, but with one eye for each. They will overlap perfectly again and you will see the 3D image in the center. What causes this is the pattern itself.

The shape has a very, and I mean barely perceptible, tiny distortion in the pattern of the background. The shape of the image is always there. When one eye is focused on the background, the other eye notices the shape and projects it. That's how it's done.

Again, incredibly difficult. Once you start to get it, it gets easier. But it took me quite a while to be able to see it. I saw one without meaning to and just tried to recreate the feeling your eyes get when it happens. It took forever.

I recommend not attempting it. At least not for a while.

EDIT Ok so....basically forget most of what I said. In these images the pattern is repeating. The trick is to get the pattern to overlap itself by unfocusing your eyes as stated above. Imagine giving your hand 10 fingers/your friend 4 eyes. A much easier example of this: try to get the birds to perfectly overlap each other. If you can accomplish this, the 3D pops right into view.

souobixo2 karma

That is the best explanation I have ever read about those silly things. Thanks a ton for the clarification. I have wondered about those for quite a long time.

a1gern0n7 karma

Also, I don't even know what I am supposed to be looking for with that magic 3D image horseshit. I can cross the fuck out of my eyes, unfocus 'em, whatever. Nothing ever reveals itself.

souobixo5 karma

Same result here. I don' know if I am just doing it wrong, or if only certain people can see them. I get sick of staring and give up. I tried relaxing, staring, focusing, and nada. And I remember that wonky eye feeling all too well. I really hope they can get yours figured out.

a1gern0n2 karma

Me too, thanks. I have pretty great tracking except when tired and drunk. If I never gain eye cooperation or 3D vision, no big deal. Never known anything else.

souobixo2 karma


souobixo3 karma

Have you asked about options for treatment? Do you have headaches more often than most people?

Monkeyshine78 karma

What was the coolest thing to look at after your procedure?

souobixo98 karma

Trees. I think I have decided trees are awesome. Wait. Boobs. Boobs are more awesome.

tubbins7 karma

I had Strabismus correction surgery when I was really young, to fix badly permanently crossed eyes. My vision currently works as you described it: trading dominant eyes, other eye is extra peripheral vision, can voluntarily trade eyes. My eyes look almost normal, but they are never exactly right. People never really notice until I tell them about it. But I have always had trouble looking people right in the eyes, and I've never seen in stereo. Every eye doctor I have seen is pretty amazed when I explain it. They are always surprised I don't have a lazy eye. I honestly didn't know there was more correction that could be done. I'm 31, and really excited to look into this more. Thanks for posting this!

souobixo12 karma

Do it. Look into it. I am not a doctor or anything, but this is honestly what happened to me. Man it's kinda cool to identify with someone who has the exact same condition I did. I looked pretty normal. There were just some photos here or there that I would hate because I could tell one eye was wonky.

tubbins2 karma

Yeah! I'm definitely going to talk to a doctor at least about it. I am a little nervous about messing with it, since I'd be scared it would make it worse and not better.

I couldn't believe it when I started reading your post. I felt like I could have written it! I have never actually met anyone with a similar vision problem, and even my eye doctors had never seen anyone like me. And I know what you mean about photos. Most of the time I look fine, but occasionally you can really tell something is not right. Also, I tend to get red eye worse than other people in photos. Did you notice that too?

souobixo2 karma

Sometimes. And yes, my doctor said it was extremely rare that my eyes had preserved themselves. Normally one will become permanently dominant, and one ends up with a truly lazy eye. My first eye doctor didn't pick up on it. I had known him my entire childhood and was good friends with two of his kids. He lived two doors up. It took a very curious doctor to figure it out and not just write it off as a lazy eye.


I have the exact same thing, I had no idea there was a treatment. I'm gonna get straight onto this, 3D TV here i come!!!! hahaa

Thanks bro, Glad you got it fixed!!!

souobixo2 karma

3D TV is pretty bad ass. I will be getting one sometime this year I'd bet.

diversionaryaccount5 karma

how were sports?

I had one eye that was just really near sighted so when I dont have any contacts in my depth perception is severely inhibited

Judging the distance of a moving object was kind of hard

I would guess you would have it much worse than I did

souobixo13 karma

Sports were rough. I am terrified of flying baseballs to this day. Try catching one with one eye closed. You might shit a little bit.

TheHoontingHoonta4 karma

My boyfriend has had this same condition from birth, but he was always told by his doctors that any surgery done on his eyes would be purely cosmetic, because his brain never formed the pathways necessary for them to actually work together (i.e. see in 3D).

Were you ever told the same thing? Also what kind of surgery did you get?

souobixo3 karma

I got strabismus surgery. What was different for me is that those neural pathways remained active into adulthood for me. That is what made my case so rare, and the 3D sight possible. The only problem I had was alignment. Neurologically I was always the same as anyone else. All they had to do was shorten a muscle to fix the alignment and bang! Stereo vision.

geisterbahnhof3 karma


souobixo13 karma

I was a pirate for "not-Halloween" on stage waaaaay too late at night a few times after raiding the costume storage...

The recovery wasn't too bad. The only part that lasted a long time was the redness in my eye. It didn't look normal for a good six months. I could feel the sutures in my eye for about 72 hours after the surgery, but after that, everything felt normal again. The surgery itself was at worst uncomfortable. It was never terrifying or unbearable at all. I wouldn't say it was enjoyable, but taking it easy for a few days afterward sure was. If you're the only one holding you back, don't. The benefits are worth it.

saintfaint3 karma

I'm curious, most of the time children that don't have their lazy eyes corrected tend to have one dominate eye while the other one is "blocked out" therefore stereovision is not possible.

That being said, its important to correct it at a young age, because at a certain age 7-8ish the nerves to the brain cannot be changed meaning you will never gain stereovision even with surgery to correct the lazy eye. Usually the surgery at post 10+ years of age is for purely cosmetic reasons.

However, in many cases of mild exo or whatever tropias there are, there is still some stereovision-although limited. I'm assuming yours is somewhat limited...?

Have you done a stereovision test as compared to a control normal group yet? I'm curious to know the results.

Grats on the surgery by the way. I have a family member that has the same problem. Knowing what I know now and the importance of correction before a certain age will make me more aware when I have children or my friends have children to.

Good luck to you!

souobixo2 karma

Dr. Peterson was actually amazed by my age. He said that for my eyes to have remained functional is extremely rare. Normally they do exactly what you describe. Because mine both remained active, the strabismus surgery actually totally corrected my vision. Well almost. I still wear normal prescription eyeglasses for nearsightedness. My depth perception isn't limited in any way that I am aware of.

MrWhat43 karma

How was P.E./ Gym class as a kid?

souobixo18 karma

I can hide under bleachers with the best of em.

HughRistik3 karma

Did your voluntary ocular dominance ever give you an advantage in life? As someone who has studied the visual system, I've always found dominance studies to be very interesting and wondered if monocularity could be used in a beneficial way.

souobixo4 karma

I don't remember having any perceived benefits before my surgery. I had kind of just adapted to the situation as best I could. Afterward though I have learned to cross my eyes to be able to bring two images closer together for comparison. I can look at two CD players running simultaneously and watch the timers to see how closely they are synced up for example. This is a useful skill in the theater business. Can most people do this, or is this a leftover condition that was enabled after the procedure? I don't know.

Xcavor3 karma

So does porn look better?

souobixo8 karma

Nope. Still flat.

j00jy3 karma

Is there any kind of image that you could post to give us an idea of what your vision was like before the surgery?

souobixo7 karma

Not really. I was thinking about that earlier. If you close one eye, you can get a feel for the flatness. I was mentioning above how the non-dominant eye would seem like a completely peripheral eye. It was kinda like it was still gathering information, but that information was being mostly ignored. I'd notice light or movement, but not any real detail. Being able to switch eyes was pretty neat.

j00jy8 karma

That sucks. I was hoping life looked like this for you.

Maybe just go ahead and lie and tell me this is accurate...

souobixo13 karma

Yes. That is complete fact. Except that I never owned a gun that shot baseballs. Other than that, this is precisely correct. Even the ass is correct.

Spoonta2 karma

Have you stayed away from the horror that is 3D TV?

souobixo27 karma

Actually I just watched The Avengers last fall for the first time in 3D. I haven't had too many chances to see movies because I work two jobs. One of them is at an outdoor amphitheater where we put on a major production of Aladdin last year. Parts of the show had 3D video incorporated (genie stuff mostly). I have kind of enjoyed these 3D TV's a little bit here and there. I haven't been to a real 3D movie yet if you can believe it. Maybe I should work less and movie more...

maimonides2 karma

I have strabismus and my eyes are rarely conspicuously misaligned. I had no idea I had monocular vision until college, so there was no eye patching or anything for me as a kid. They've always looked normal unless they're very strained, and then I either see in double or one eye turns way inward. Over the past few years, my eyes have been getting far more easily fatigued (when I take stimulants, when I'm reading subtitles for too long). I'm basically maxed out on the amount of prism I can have in my lenses. If I don't make an effort, my brain will give up on my eye and it'll go totally lazy. Actually, it's apparently surprising that my eye isn't lazy and wasn't ever patched or anything. I've always been stereoblind.

I had a great few visits with an ophthalmologist last year, who specializes in binocular vision issues. She was extremely optimistic about the potential for vision therapy to help me. She really poo-pooed the idea of surgery. Over the past year, I sadly didn't end up doing much with vision therapy ($$$), but I had a few glimpses of stereovision and was so giddy from it that I know I don't want to give up.

How did you & your doctors know surgery was the best option? Certainly I should be more devoted to exercises, but it will require lifelong maintenance. Was there a risk you would have ended up with double vision following surgery? Surgery is more daunting than vision therapy, but a potential jump start on progress with my vision is compelling, too.

souobixo2 karma

I was way beyond the limit for prism too. I think I was up in the 26 diopter range. I can't say how good a candidate anyone is, but I can certainly say that it worried for me.

KackyKoolz1 karma

Man surgery these days can fix up any shitty part of your body!

souobixo12 karma

Almost any part. Can't seem to make my brain work any better.

[deleted]0 karma


souobixo5 karma

Haven't seen The Hobbit yet. I'm still trying to catch up with the year's worth normal stuff I neglected during this last season's show. It is definitely on the list. If only my wife was a fantasy lover. Oh well. She is into cars, so I'll take what I can get.