About Dynamic Adaptive Vision Therapy and SSS
The following recommendations and comments will make your therapy easier and more effective and will give you a better understanding of what to do and what to expect. Read them twice prior to beginning your therapy and at least once or twice during the training period. You will learn something new each time.
How does the training work and what can I expect?
It is similar to physical therapy, in some ways. As is the case in learning other new skills, such as riding a bicycle or water and snow skiing for instance, you will normally feel, as you start each new exercise, that it takes great effort and causes some discomfort. Dizziness, fatigue, nausea or headaches may come easily; especially if you are over training. However, as you progress, much less effort will be required to perform each procedure, and you will no longer experience discomfort.
There are several reasons for the disappearance of symptoms. First, you will be “programming” your brain. The programming will enable you to achieve an automatic, coordinated, efficient, effortless skill. (Most things are easy, when you know how). Second, you will be improving the flexibility and range of motion of the muscles that move your eyes.
Whenever anyone starts doing any kind of stretching exercises after a long period of relative inactivity, it can be difficult and uncomfortable, and the muscles being stretched may feel stiff and sore for a few days. During your therapy you will adapt to seeing and feeling motion so that neither will bother you. That may seem impossible to you now, but it is important to realize that your previous avoidance of motion has tended to make the condition worse and this prescribed exposure to it will enable your eyes, mind, and body to adapt to it so that the seeing motion and moving your eyes doesn’t bother you in any way.
This therapy is essentially a process of desensitization which could be compared to haaving shots for allergies. When confronted with a dose of the offensive substance (visual motion) the body adapts in order that the next confrontation will be more tolerable. This type of eye exercise therapy could also be considered “physical therapy for the eyes,” in some ways.
Why is it important for my family to understand the SSS and its treatment?
It is very helpful to have the people around you understand your condition and be supportive and encouraging during your training. Have your family and friends read the information in this site. In most self improvement programs, one needs all the help one can get, and this is no exception. The information included in this site will also help explain to others why you have some of the symptoms you have at times, and that it is a fairly common condition which has a name and is treatable, with their support.
Why should I have training goals?
It is important that you have strong motivation and specific goals for your training. Fill out your “goals” form now, if you have not already done so. As you progress with our training, you will most likely become aware of additional goals that are achievable. Add them to your list as you go along. When people live with this condition for many years and have adapted to it, they sometimes don’t realize how much of a problem they actually have as they have no basis for comparison.
How do I know if I have the SSS?
A few optometric physicians around the country and and the world who are familiar with SSS, can make an accurate diagnosis. Fortunately, most SSS patients can accurately self diagnose themselves after reading the descriptive literature. More than one condition can be present at the same time, but the syndrome of SSS symptoms at it’s different levels of severity is often amazingly similar among individuals.
When should I do my training?
Choose a time for your therapy when you will be able to do the exercises on consecutive days, if possible. It is acceptable to take a day off every few days, but try to complete it as quickly as you can. Do your therapy at a regularly scheduled time each day when you are not overly tired and will have minimal interruptions. Try to do all of your therapy at one daily session if possible. If that is not possible, because of discomfort or your schedule, divide your therapy into one to three sessions each day. If you have a severe condition, it is best to start your training on a two or three day period when you have few responsibilities.
An adequate amount of sleep prior to and during your training period is important. It is also important to avoid starting the training during your premenstrual cycle.
Consider using some form of ginger prior to your training sessions. This may suppress symptoms of motion sickness while training.
In addition, the stress of SSS apparently produces a body chemistry change in some patients causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you have this condition, you should limit your consumption of alcohol, sugar, and caffeine and eat frequent meals and snacks. Standard blood tests will not detect this condition. However, if you have lightheadedness, headache, or depression when you haven’t eaten on time, you might have low blood sugar at times. High consumption of sugar may give short-term relief but the blood sugar can then go crashing down to produce even more severe symptoms than before. Reasonable comfort can usually be achieved with a proper diet.
How long should I train each day?
The normal total daily training time is from 30 to 50 minutes a day. However, in the beginning, some can only train for a few minutes at a time. So in these cases, the patient must do up to three or four separate mini sessions per day then change to longer and fewer sessions as they progress.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM UNDER OR OVER TRAINING?
I you are not developing some symptoms of discomfort – dizziness, nausea, headache, etc., during training, (no pain, no gain) you are probably under training or ready to move on to more advanced procedures – or finally, don’t need to do the formal therapy anymore. Or in other words, “find out what bothers you, and do it until it doesn’t”.
On the other hand, if the symptoms you developed, over and above your normal ones, during the training session are quite severe and/or last more than a half an hour or up to an hour, or so, you probably over trained during that session. If this should happen, wait until your symptoms are back down to “normal for you” before you start your next therapy session.
WHAT IF I AM A VERY SEVERE SSS PERSON AND EVEN THE REGULAR BEGINNING EXERCISES ARE MUCH TO DIFFICULT?
It is seldom necessary, but you could start with simple eye movement exercises, right-left and up-down with the EYES CLOSED until you feel you could move them with your eyes open. The ball should be at least 10 ft away and swung not more that 6″ to start with. The pencils should be held maybe just 1″ from each other and at arms length, to start. You may need to lay on your back or sit on a chair for support to start. Also, it may be more comfortable for you to do the therapy in a dimly lit room and/or wear sunglasses to start. Do whatever you can, them quickly more on to doing the exercises the standard way.
What are my chances of getting a really good training result?
Very good. Approximately 80% of those that do the therapy under the guidance of an optometric vision therapist consider the therapy to be a success. The success rate when the therapy is “done on your own” is unknown.
Is it possible that the therapy will make my condition worse?
Yes, but only temporarily. In rare cases, the newly increased side vision awareness caused a greater sensitivity to motion and light. Things get better in a few days, however.
Should I wear my glasses or contact lenses when doing the exercises?
Adults who need reading glasses or bifocals will notice that the letters on the ball and pencils are blurred when they are very close to the ball or pencils. This is to be expected and does not alter the positive effect of the training. If you question whether to wear your corrective lenses during the training, experiment by doing it with and then without correction. Then select the way that seems easiest for you. Accurate eye tracking is much more important than seeing the target clearly.
Are there any additional helpful hints?
Yes. They are as follows:
Expect good days and bad days. You will improve, reach a plateau, especially when you do more advanced procedures, then improve again.
Most patients find it easier to move their eyes in one direction than the other.
Some prefer to use a kitchen timer to time the procedures.
Some prefer listening to music during the sessions to reduce the boredom.
Remember, some of the basic symptoms of motion sickness can be: fatigue, cold sweats, pallor, nausea, a hot feeling, headache, and dizziness. (Won’t it be nice not to experience these things in the future?)
If major symptoms develop during or shortly after (delayed reaction) the training sessions, and you can’t seem to reduce the severity by lowering the level of difficulty, consider trying over-the-counter drugs such as “Motioneaze” for motion sickness during your training sessions. Motioneaze is applied in drop form behind each ear and they claim it takes effect in 5 min. and can be used even after symptoms develop and is free of side effects. I first learned of it in 2015 and I have no personal experience with it. Probably worth a try. Taking ginger in some form has been used by some for many years. Also, you might try using “Sea Bands.” They are wrist bands with a “button” that presses on nerves in the wrist. They work on the acupressure principle and are effective for some . They can be purchased at most drug or travel stores or on-line. If these offer no relief, consider using the “ReliefBand” which is a battery powered electronic anti-nausea wrist band device, available on-line.
Does This Training work for “REGULAR” motion sickness also?
Yes. It does work for car and air sickness but a vertical component needs to be added for it to cure ocean sickness.