Dear Abby: Life improved after late diagnosis of eye problem

Learning he had ‘convergence insufficiency disorder’ helped explain the school problems from man’s youth.

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DEAR ABBY: I want to thank you for a letter you published in 2007. It came from a woman saying her daughter had “convergence insufficiency disorder,” in which the eye drifts and causes double vision. I was 61 and had that problem, but I never knew what it was.

I would get headaches from reading and did poorly in school. A teacher once suggested my mother have my eyes checked. The doctor gave me the standard eye chart test, which showed nothing. He recommended more tests, but Mom reasoned they would find nothing and be a waste of money. She insisted I was lazy, and believed corporal punishment would make me study harder.

In 1980, after I had a family, I started night school. It was difficult, but I taught myself to focus on each word before moving to the next one. After you printed that letter, I went to an eye doctor who prescribed “prism” glasses, which made reading much easier. Many people have been diagnosed with this problem, but I’m sure a lot more have not been diagnosed. Children can be given exercises to correct it, but the older a person gets, the less likely the exercises will help.

Your column reaches a lot of people, and it would be nice if you could mention this again to help others the way you helped me. Thank you. — BOB IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR BOB: Among other things, my column is sometimes a community bulletin board. I’m glad something you read here made your life better. Because good vision is increasingly important in our tech-focused world, it is to everyone’s benefit to have an eye examination once a year. Anyone with persistent vision problems should schedule an evaluation with an ophthalmologist or an optometrist so it can be corrected.

DEAR ABBY: How do I get my husband of 20 years to stop lying and hiding things from me? I have tried explaining to him that when he lies or hides things, especially small petty stuff, it makes me wonder what else he has lied about. When I confront him after catching him in a lie, he flips the script to make it about me and makes me feel like I have done something wrong. He also tries to manipulate me by bringing up my past or boasting about how I will never find a better man.

I’m at a loss because he shows no compassion when I am visibly upset. He doesn’t try to make things right, and he never admits to anything I call him out on. We end up in a huge fight/argument when I try to express my feelings. Please help. — NOT MATTERING IN MICHIGAN

DEAR NOT MATTERING: You are married to a classic narcissist who isn’t going to change his pattern of gaslighting you. Make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional who can explain how unhealthy (for you) this marriage is and help you to rebuild your self-confidence. The truth is, there ARE “better men” out there, but you will never meet one until you are rid of the poor excuse for a man to whom you are currently married.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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