Sight Restored to Lazy Eye after 75 Years

This article is by Herb Halbrecht:
There are many people who lazy eye when they were young. Up to about 15 or so years ago, opthalmologists were taught in Medical School that unless a lazy eye, Amblyopia, is treated before the age of 8 it is futile to attempt to do anything when they become adults. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG AND HAS BEEN PROVEN WRONG. Up to now, this has been mostly proven wrong for people up to the age of 45 or 50.
I was diagnosed with Amblyopia at the age of 3 and with advanced macular degeneration over a decade ago. Four years ago,  I was advised by Johns Hopkins that the macular degeneration in my “blind” lazy eye was not as severe as in my “good” eye. I was further advised to use my telescopic eyeglasses to learn to read with my “blind” eye. It took many hours of practice, but I learned to read again, twice.
Last Tuesday I turned 83. I have clearly shown, after getting injections of hope and encouragement from the head of the Low Vision Dept. at Johns Hopkins, that determination and perseverance can lick this problem at any age. I’ve done it twice since I was 79. If the information I’m sending to Dr. Cousins is of interest to anyone for themselves, I will be pleased to assist them on a 1:1 basis 24-7-365. It can be done and it has been done.

Dr. Cousins,

When you saw me in May I indicated that I was having problems reading after a 3 months period of hospitalization/re-hab for surgery on my knee but I was determined to again get functional control for reading. I did the same things I had done the first time. I started reading a large print book using more powerful glasses than the 10X I used last time. They have been increased to 14 or 16. Dr. Goldstein at Johns Hopkins indicated that after examining me my vision had diminished somewhat, as it also had done 6 months earlier at my last visit to her. She was reluctant to increase the power any more because that would require me to keep the book so close to my eyes it would be touching my nose. I read an entire book of about 600 pages, large print, and although it was difficult at first it became less so as I went along. I was reading at least 30 minutes 3 times a day and then 4 times a day. Although the glasses used were more powerful than before I could easily tell that my eyesight has been diminished. I then went to a regular print book which I am reading now, also 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a day as well as a couple short sessions of 10 minutes a day.Hereto my reading is becoming better though still not as good as before I went to the hospital.
BUT I CAN READ! I have to keep the book closer to my face than I am accustomed to but I CAN READ.I am mostly convinced that “lazy eye” might be conquerable with diligence, perseverence, and a total refusal to accept the concept of futility which had been told me by a low vision OD.
I am paying attention to some important basic advice given me by Gerry Mansell who has been very helpful. I really have to have good special lights, the paper of the book has to be a good clean white, and the print a clear strong black. Inexpensive paperbacks simply won’t do.
Despite my being a voracious reader, I accept the notion that I cannot and will probably never read as well as I used to. But I CAN READ.
The one thing I am curious about is whether this reading enhancement is only useful for people with “lazy eyes”.
I feel relatively certain it can’t work with many diseased eyes, but ….


Herb Halbrecht
(919) 969-1573

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