0.35 D/week = 0.05 D/day! Fixed blur adaptation in a few days (-2.5/-2 to -1.75 in 15 days)

The title is not clickbait! I actually improved at that rate when I pushed myself to my limit, doing AF as much as possible. I really did improve fast, excluding the period with 6 years of blur adaptation, which had no or minimal improvement. In my time-series plot, I see my diopters go up and diopter gap shrink, and then it plateaus for 6 years, and then this week, the left eye goes up to equalize.

[links to endmyopia articles are removed as I don’t have permission to post links–see my wiki user page for them]

After 6 years of slow progress because I partially read the site and didn’t understand the small details well enough, I finally reviewed the concepts in depth and fixed my mistakes. As [Jake says, if you reduce too quickly or improperly, “you accumulate debt with your visual cortex, that you’ll have to pay eventually”], which I seem to have repaid in the last few days. The blur I cleared during that time seems to have become axial myopia reduction, allowing me to “accumulate credit” and speed up later reductions though, as I have no blur to clear, just polyopia. I would recommend not reducing too quickly, because the extra strain of accommodation kind of hurt, but it was just for a few days.

Day 0-9

In June 2015, I started with cm measurements suggesting -2.5/-2 (40, 50 cm). I learned active focus very quickly and I used my old -1.75/-1.5 glasses as normalized (0 differential because I never used glasses for close-up) and quickly reduced to my old -1.25/-1, as I saw the cm measurements go to -2/-1.75 in 10 days, but it plateaued, probably because of what I did next. I also noticed it was hard to sleep on days with significant change in cm, almost as if the changes acted like stimulants like caffeine.

Because the diopter gap seemed to get smaller, I thought that I could tolerate large unbalanced focal plane changes quickly, so I went to -1 to equalize, and then I went to -0.75 and later 0 for extra stimulus, since that supposedly helps to break a plateau. I also messed up focus pushing by being too far away. I didn’t know how to measure, so I ended up measuring two different values with and without AF, which were steadily suggesting -2/-1.8 with AF to -1.7/-1.5 (about 0.3 D AF capacity). It would explain the -1.5 reading from the optometrist with a 6m chart resulting in refraction of -1.5/-1.33, which round to -1.5.

Over 6 years, there was no blur anymore and I got better at clearing the polyopia (“double vision” is actually “multiple vision”), but I could never clear it completely. Even in late 2015, without glasses, I even once had a clear flash that let me see small text on a sunny outdoor sign 80m away that I estimate corresponds to 20/8 acuity, but it was very short and hard to reproduce. I then got lazy and recorded cm measurements more rarely, but they show a measly +0.05 D change over the last 6 years (possibly just measurement error).

Over those years, I had the misconception that active focus was about making things ‘‘clearer’’, which happened, but that’s wrong. It’s about making things ‘‘clear’’. If you can’t make it perfectly clear, then you’re probably too undercorrected, leading to blur adaptation.

Day 10-14

This week, I decided to fix the issues. Based on the measurements, it makes sense to use -1.25 (AF blur horizon from 133 cm to 222cm) or -1.5 (AF blur horizon from 2m to 10m) normalized to equalize properly. -1 puts the -1.6 D target too close to be usable, as AF requires full clarity, or else it’s undercorrected. Since I’m either indoors or would get extra depth of field from sunlight, -1.25 seemed to make more sense.

Current normalized: -1.25

Current differential: 0

After 4 or 5 days with -1.25 and working near the edge of blur of my left eye (where both eyes see a clear image, checking periodically to make sure my left eye sees a clear image) and a 10 min of patching per day, and insomnia, today, the polyopia fused completely, and with the -1.25, it felt like I could clear up almost anything with AF, almost like magic. If what EndMyopia says is true (my eyes already returned to the correct axial length, and it’s just recalibration), it would explain the eye strain of convergence and accommodation when I was close to the screen. On a bright Snellen chart, I could barely read the 20/15 line with the -1.25, but the 20/12 line was unreadable. My centimeter measurements to fully fuse suggest -1.75/-1.65 (57, 60 cm, where the unfusable polyopia starts), which is interesting if that implies I can read 20/15 at -0.4 D defocus, while I know that full or overcorrection generally lets me read 20/13, 20/10, and maybe 20/8 (probably not) but not 20/6.

I was younger in 2015 and therefore could have cleared this much faster back then, if only I had been more careful.

Is it now time to reduced normalized to -1 (Peak Prescription, which I assume means 0.25 lower normalized) for more stimulus, even though I only used -1.25 for a few days, or should I stay with it for a while to prevent issues related to reducing too quickly? Later in the day, I lost that ability to clear up everything, and I saw some imperfections on distant objects, so I guess I need to stay at -1.25 normalized until those resolve, despite having 20/15 acuity.

History with Glasses

In 2010, I had pseudomyopia and probably could read 20/50 uncorrected. My parents took me to an interesting optometrist, who said it was near strain and that I should get reading glasses for near work. Perhaps she was a vision therapy specialist doing the same stuff as EndMyopia. My parents wore minus lenses and thought they were the way (they are definitely not [da wae], so the optometrist gave me glasses adjust by +0.25 D (from -1.5/-1.25 to -1.25/-1, which were probably still overprescribed after the reduction) and told me not to use it except for distance. When I first wore the glasses, I felt uncomfortable, but the optician said that “I’ll get used to it”.

In 2011, my uncorrected acuity dropped to about 20/100 (because I used the overcorrecting glasses and lacked critical information known as active focus). The optometrist measured the same -1.5/-1.25, but I felt my uncorrected vision was subjectively much worse. When I got my driver’s license, I failed the visual acuity test without glasses and have to wear lenses.

In 2013, my parents switched optometrists because the location was more convenient. The optometrist measured a -0.5 D change (-2/-1.75) and was reluctant to adjust by +0.25 D (-1.75/-1.5) but still did it, and recommended me to use glasses all of the time. My uncorrected acuity was probably 20/200, with a barely readable E at the top of the chart.

In 2015, my parents went back to the same location, with a different optometrist, and she increased the diopter gap between eyes and added cylinder (-2.75x 0.25x180/-2.00 -0.50x60). When I wore the glasses, which are polycarbonate instead of Trivex, I saw lots of distortion and chromatic aberration. Fortuitously, while I was researching chromatic aberration in lens materials and whether it has something to do with polycarbonate or the cylinder, I found an endmyopia article about that topic and decided to give it a shot by using my old glasses as normalized. For this reason, I wrote about technical details of diopters and combining cylinders with different axes, in case it’ll help someone find this place. I now know that CR39 plastic and Trivex are acceptable, but polycarbonate is garbage.

My parents switched optometrists yet again. In 2018, the autorefractor measured -1.5 spherical equivalent with some cylinder. The optometrist measured -1.5 spherical for both eyes and recommended using it for distance only, confirming that either the previous prescription was ridiculous (which is true) or that reduction is possible (which is also true).

:racing_car: Speedrun Progress :racing_car:

jk it’s not a race. But every diopter you clear later will be slower than if you cleared it earlier, and in my particular case of fixing blur adaptation, the slower I go, the more lens-induced axial elongation I’ll get from using my normalized.

Perhaps it’s unfair to exclude everything between day 9 and 10, since those years reduced my axial length.

Also, my friends know why the numbering starts at 0 and not 1.

  • Day 0-9: unsanctioned reduction -2.5/-2 to -2/-1.75 via -1.75/-1.5 that worked​:heavy_check_mark:, followed by 6 years of mistakes :x:, ruining my quality of life for those years :angry:
  • Day 10-14: equalize reduction -2/-1.75 to -1.75 via -1.25 normalized :heavy_check_mark:
  • Day 15: being an idiot binocular reduction -1.75 to -1.5 via -1 normalized :x:
  • Day 16: being an idiot use -1.75 full and -1.5 normalized, 0 (57 cm), -0.25 (67 cm) or -0.5 (80 cm) differentials, clear left eye transient astigmatism :hourglass:, clear right eye transient astigmatism :hourglass:
  • Day 17-65: stopped being an idiot, overcome -0.5x180 @ -1.75 transient cylinder, wait at -1.25 normalized :hourglass:

Day 15

I decided to switch to -1 normalized anyway. Some people use a Peak Prescription without issue, and it should be close enough to -1.25 to avoid issues. My normalized went from 0 to -1.25 to -1, with 2 changes in 6 days. But if -1 isn’t enough after the sun sets, I’ll just consider I use -1 peak and -1.25 normalized, which doesn’t break the rule about keeping normalized for 8-16 weeks before reducing. But that rule just seems to be [training wheels].

When I “woke up” (I wasn’t even asleep), without glasses, I saw some blur in the distance. I guess the cost of going back to stronger normalized is axial elongation, which I will have to undo later.

I’ll probably relax today and focus push/pull much less aggressively than I did over the last 5 days. While 0.06-0.07 D/day was possible for me, the cost of the side effect (too much stimulation and insomnia) is too high. My left eye did go from -2 to -1.75 in just 5 days, but at the cost of not being able to sleep this week. I’ll rest a bit before I AF a lot again. With the bright sunlight, I can completely clear my screen at 67 cm, and I can feel the accommodation strain at 1.5 D is much less than 1.75 D.

My vision is actually much better than average: high acuity (20/15 seems to be average, but I expect 20/10 or 20/8), fast visual cortex recalibration (0.3-0.4D/week) and tolerance (I was able to tolerate more focal plane changes than EM advises: I could tolerate and adapt to a 0.75 D change in left eye and 0.5 D change in right eye, with some cylinder reduction too (-0.5/-0.25 cyl, luckily used only for less than a week), but failed to accept a 1.5 D left eye and 1 D right eye change), and high accommodation ability (seeing my ability drop from about +25 D = 4 cm to +20 D = 5 cm to +17 D = 6 cm does make me worry about future presbyopia, although 25 D for a 18-year-old, 20 D for a 19-year-old, and 17 D for a 25-year-old are above the average “10 D for a young child”). My vision isn’t all that great though: they say I’m not colorblind, but I find some blue/black colors are hard to distinguish.

My driver’s license renewal is required within a year, and when I get to -1 or -0.75, I’ll be sure to re-take the visual acuity test and have the lenses condition removed.

As I’m a perfectionist, I will know that I’m successful when my refraction reaches 0. I expect, with uncorrected vision, 20/8 (or at least 20/10) in a bright Snellen and 20/15 on a dim Snellen. To reach that, I will possibly use a +0.25 to focus on a Snellen chart from 6m, inducing up to 0.083 D of hyperopia, or possibly outside to induce up to 0.25 D of hyperopia, which the emmetropization process will get rid of after I stop using them (just to make sure I actually clear 0 D). I wonder if the +0.25 is even necessary, if I can AF to 0 D with emmetropization. As a young child, I remember being to recognize people’s faces from about 70 to 150m away, which will eventually be possible for me again.

Axial length is adjusted by accommodation and defocus. It seems reducing too quickly keeps you in blur/polyopia that you cannot overcome, which gives you shorter axial length, so you’ll pay the price of extra accommodation strain while you revisit those old diopters. The solution is to “revisit old diopters” to have polyopia that you can overcome, and then reduce after you overcome them, which was very fast for me, at 0.25 D in 5 days.

I find that AF is the one-and-only true eye exercise. Combining the habit-fixing and gradual lens reduction of EndMyopia, the knowledge of high-school physics, the control system model from Otis Brown (his posts are in a really weird style though, and I think “extra” accommodation is subtracted, possibly making strong plus lens bad, even for near work, as they might induce hyperopia), and the concept of eye exercises (but using one that actually works, instead of other ones that don’t) seems to result in really fast gains compared to knowing only one alone (EM doesn’t advocate for exercise until you are a pro, knowing only how to calculate diopters by itself is not enough, control system model doesn’t account for polyopia resolution, and eye exercises that are not AF don’t affect refraction). Perhaps the axial length would take time to resolve if I didn’t solve it while I was “blur-adapted”.

I now actually think there are three different centimeter measurements you can make:

  1. edge of blur, based on axial length and accommodation, which AF (for far edge/myopia) and myopic defocus slowly increases over time, and AF (for near edge/presbyopia) and hyperopic defocus decreases over time
  2. edge of immediate clarity, based on resting accommodation and ability to completely clear double vision immediately, near or equal to previous
  3. edge of clarity, based on ability to completely fuse double vision, near or equal to previous

The idea to fix blur adaptation is to have lens that let you AF from edge of immediate clarity to edge of clarity, repeating this to extend the edge of immediate clarity to the edge of clarity.

Another interesting thing is how the polyopia relates to my prescription history, despite having used those lenses for less than 10 hours. At 57 cm, my left eye sees blur corresponding to that cylinder (images go up and down), and at 67 cm, my right eye indeed sees the oblique cylinder. Unlike before this week, I can actually clear it away now. This is probably the mechanism behind [transient astigmatism].

That part will be hard, but the next part will be simple. Jake suggests ["-1.5 or nothing"], but at this point, I’ll just use “-1 or nothing”. After -1.25, there will be no more stimulus from close-up, meaning I actually might have to go outside more have to use my Snellen chart for stimulus, and the last -0.75 might be hard, since it’s decades old, but the lens-induced elongation is recent, so I doubt [that it’ll take a year for 0.5D]. Until I get there though, it probably makes sense to do more close-up, hoping the accommodation will be subtracted for emmetropization.

No More Speedrun

As the sun was setting, it got dark, and my blur horizon shrunk rapidly, making me feel discomfort. My -1 peak wasn’t enough, and even my -1.25 was too weak. I had to stack a -0.5 on my -1 to make a -1.4 and look into the distance just to feel better. Maybe I’ll actually have to slow down (speed of reductions rule probably isn’t a “training wheel”), and +0.5 normalized offset is too much.

I have a headache with an “unbalanced” feeling. Yesterday, I pushed for binocular reduction after the equalization was done to get started on the binocular reduction. Maybe it takes time to get used to the change from equalizing, and even pushing towards -1.5 has a bit of strain. (6 years ago, if I could take a +0.75/+0.5 change “no problem”, why am I struggling with +0.5/0.25 now?)

For close-up, I have to move closer towards the -1.7 zone, and I feel really tired now. I’ll go to sleep early. I hope I can.

[Ingrid took 52 weeks for +7 D], which is +0.13 D/week, so maybe I should expect to go at half my pace. I also had a random bad [“pulling” sensation] that made my eyes spasm and water until I put on my normalized. It was first in my right eye, corresponding to the oblique cylinder, and then in my left eye, corresponding to the vertical cylinder. One of my left eye spasms actually occurred near my neck.

Day 16: Burnout & Unluckiness

Well, it turned out I made yet another mistake of [reducing too aggressively just because I saw good improvements and wanted to lock them in immediately]. I thought the spasms were from unlocking the transient astigmatism step and then tried to clear them. I picked up my phone, which actually stopped the spasms in my left eye, and I found that [Despina made the same mistake] and solved it by relaxing. I tried to relax, and it helped the spasms go away, but I still haven’t slept for 7 days.

It actually looks like I have transient astigmatism, which is annoying. I’ll have to use -1.75 full or -1.5 (makeshift for now) normalized and 0 differential (maybe -0.25 in the future?). I can work on clearing the transient astigmatism for my left eye, go to -1.5, and then clear on right eye. The -1.75 has a lot of accommodation strain though.

Did anyone else get transient astigmatism related to past cylinder prescriptions? Is it purely a fixed amount of time to disappear, automatically going away, or do you need to use AF to drive the improvement there?

Also, now, I’m concerned. I feel disoriented, sleepy, and unable to sleep. Did I fry my brain by shifting so quickly? Was it another stupid thing I did? Or is it just general disorientation from equalizing quickly or the transient astigmatism?

Wow. I feel as though I’ve taken some unfamiliar drug.

1 Like

Day 17: Regret

Everything I was doing was correct, but I just reduced too quickly. I thought the worst that could happen was that changes would be slowed, but instead, it is much worse.

This is what should have happened:

  1. use -1.25 normalized as a half-way point to avoid drastic changes while slow reducing blur adaptation
  2. use -1.75 normalized to equalize (go from -2/-1.75 to -1.75)
  3. reduce to -1.7 and resolve transient astigmatism
  4. reduce to -1.4 and resolve transient astigmatism
  5. reduce to 0

I did do those steps, but I did them too quickly. I never adapted properly to the changes, and my brain is somewhat keeping up, except it hasn’t re-learned how to sleep. By doing things, such as typing, I can feel it adapting, performing poorly and re-learning back to the previous level. Another issue is going into transient astigmatism, which would be easier to tackle one at a time, rather than both at once.

If I can’t re-learn to sleep, this is a serious issue.

Ignore all of my advice after day 10. Going from blur adapted to full correction really messed me up, and I couldn’t think right, leading to stupid actions until this post.

Still Learning

I guess I still didn’t understand the material that well. I was way overcorrected in the last few days, just because I thought not having total clarity would be blur adaption. While it fixed my blur adaptation, it messed up other things. Since I’m now equalized and have no more blur adaptation, I guess the fix is to use appropriate correction levels:

normalized: -1 or 0 (20/20 left eye, 20/15 right eye on bright Snellen)

tv glasses: -0.5 (for viewing at 2m)

differential: 0

I already feel a bit better going back to these correction levels, but still a bit strange. Maybe I actually have to go outside more in the future, since I won’t be able to keep getting 99% of my improvements from close-up.

I still have the transient astigmatism at 57 and 67 cm, but it’s not that noticeable, so I guess the solution is to work around 58 cm to avoid blur adaptation. This means I can continue to keep getting 99% of my improvements from close-up for now.

But the numbers are really strange. The edge of blur for left eye is 57 cm, which is -1.75, and yet -1 is still enough for 20/20 on a bright Snellen with AF. Maybe the Snellen measurement should not be taken with AF?

Still, the cm and Snellen measurements are off by a lot 50 cm (-2) for left eye would still see 20/20 with -1.25 (+0.75 undercorrection), which seemed to be exactly what was needed to fix the blur adaptation.

Overall, the real issue was that I was blur-adapted for 6 years because I needed more time with -1.25/-1 before going -1 to equalize, despite the fact that my left eye with -1.25 would read 20/25 with uncorrected close-up 50 cm (-2) blur horizon. In this case, reducing at 20/25 resulted in blur adaptation. I think cm measurements are better than Snellen for deciding when to reduce.

Maybe low-light vision is my next area to improve. Light makes a huge difference. With my 20/8 clear flash experience before, bright light can give me 20/8 peak (probably 20/15 more often) while I would have been 20/100 in a dim environment, despite being at -2/-1.75 with edge of blur.

normalized: -1.25 or 0 (about 20/20 to 20/15 for both eyes on bright Snellen with -1.25)-1.5 because of equalize step

peak: -1 don’t use for now

differential: 0

I’ve never used those types of drugs, but being on full correction after being blur adapted for 6 years really felt like it’s similar to one of those.

I realize have to wait for the equalize to finish before reducing more.

-1.4 normalized, 0 differential will have to do.

I guess this is where I left off, so I should finish it. If I had thought this through, I would have gone for a binocular drop first.

The cylinders and transient astigmatism make it less than ideal though, but I should be able to tolerate it.

Endmyopia is basically neuro-optometric rehabilitation in the professional world.

My first-hand experience provided me with insight on how it works. My eyes became less myopic over time, and the brain had to relearn how to process signals (double vision and cerebral polyopia). Weeks ago, I messed up when trying to equalize eyes, overwriting a big portion of various focal lengths, preventing me from sleeping.

If I’m undercorrected too much and look at something, my brain automatically tries to recalibrate and fails, resulting in transient astigmatism and warping my perception, even though I’m physically the same.

Yesterday, a regular optometrist did a full vision check and found no issues other than dry eyes (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) and referred me to an ophthalmologist. The autorefractor shows -1.5 with some astigmatism, which means I need more time at (-1.75 possibly and) -1.5 before going to -1.25 normalized. I also wonder if I can restore the 0.25 shift in my eyes or if it even makes sense to do that. The problem now is that if I look into the distance without correction, I’ll try to recalibrate to it, and the transient astigmatism messes up my perception. As I was eating a carrot, its perceived taste would change as my brain recalibrated. Very strange things would happen: I would hear sounds out of nowhere and have strange feelings. Different things would smell/taste/feel in a strange way.

I know I’ll need get professional help from a neuro-optometrist for this. If I don’t survive, I hope people doing this realize that equalizing is a very dangerous reduction. One solution I think is if I can get to 0 D refraction in time, my visual cortex should be back to normal. Another solution would be to put back the 0.25 D diopter gap and hope that prevents my brain from doing things when I look into the distance without glasses.

Upon further research, mainstream neuro-optometric rehabilitation might not believe in the animal science part of defocus causing eyes to change axial length though, so I’m not sure if they know enough to help. I was considering asking a vision therapist for advice though.

Day 17

My dad took me to the optometrist, who found no issues other than dry eyes (MGD with 3 treatment options, so we bought a warm compress) and referred to an ophthalmologist.

Many weird things happened: carrots would taste like soap, water tasted different, stuff smelled differently, I heard sounds out of nowhere

Day 19

The Tylenol last night let me relax, but I was conscious the entire night.

The ophthalmologist scheduled an appointment in October and said the lack of sleep is serious and that I should go to the ER to get sleeping drugs from a doctor. My dad bought over-the-counter sleeping pills, which should have less side-effects compared to stronger ones that require a prescription.

When I “recalibrate” on closer things, some of the weird effects are reversed. If I look far away, the transient astigmatism comes in and weird effects happen. If I recalibrate on closer things, the effects go away.

Day 20

With a Unisom (diphenhydramine hydrochloride 50 mg), I was able to enter and leave a dream state twice but woke up soon after.

I realize that the autorefractor might be right. My physical refraction might be indeed -1.5 -0.5x180/-1.5 -0.25x60 (also in 2018), while my brain expected -1.75, so that might be what’s throwing off my visual cortex earlier. With some AF around the -2 to -1.75 area, I am working towards -1.5 -0.25x180/-1.5 -0.25x60. It’s strange to AF on something that looks clear but is not (to the physical eye).

Day 21

I tried to sleep but couldn’t. There was an annoying ringing sound in my right ear. With a Unisom, I was able to enter and leave a dream state twice but woke up soon after. That’s about 10 nights without sleep before last night.

I feel like my eye is changing fast. If I can get it to -1.5 physically, that should match my visual cortex’s expectation, and then the symptoms will hopefully go away. If that works, I’ll just wait for a while to stabilize before further reductions. The problem is that I only have -1.25 right now, so I’ll have to look at short distances within 4m. I don’t dare to stack glasses now, since it might introduce other issues, although lenses can be added that way in theory.

Day 22

I was able to sleep last night with half of the sleeping drug, but it took about 2 hours. I entered a dream state, and my dad observed that I was in a deep sleep state.

I don’t remember exactly, but I think

  • On Day 20, I was able to fall asleep in a nap and enter a dream state twice.
  • On Day 21 (yesterday), I couldn’t, as the tinnitus was too annoying.

I feel my physical eyes are getting close to -1.5, reducing the issues when I look too far away.

Most issues seem to disappear, except the hearing-related issues, but those might be a side-effect of the sleeping drug. Maybe the tinnitus is being caused by the sleeping drug.


I feel like the issue was that I reduced too quickly 6 years ago, making my brain think I’m clear to -2/-1.75 and unclear after that (blur adaptation), while my physical eye went to -1.5 -0.5x180/-1.5 -0.25x60. After revisiting -2 by sitting closer to the computer screen, it made me the opposite of blur adapted. I feel I’m clear adapted now, and my brain automatically seeks clarity even if the input isn’t clear. Or maybe blur adaptation actually means it seeks clarity even with a blurry input.

The symptoms are so bad that I’m kind of handicapped for moments before my brain “relearns” stuff. The debt in my visual cortex is quite a lot, but I feel like I’m getting closer to repaying it. I’m afraid to lose my clear reference, which also seems to cause those strange effects on my perception, so I have to stay within the range that my brain accepts as clear.

damn, it is frightening to read your story. It cant be so hard to improve your vision. Just make wise little diopter reduction decisions and give it time. You can mess up your eyes before getting to 20/20 if you don’t watch out. You are working on your eyeballs. You don’t want to screw it up because of fast improvement. The eyes tell you every day how they feel with the vision. If you get double vision etc. that’s a sign you already did a mistake.
Make everything to feel your eyes comfortable first, and then you can start with a little challenge. If everything is confusing, give your eyes 1 month to have a rest and start over.

you know what: you should first fix your sleep and everything. then, when everything is fine for some time, you can work on myopia again.
10 nights without sleep is almost like dying.

btw I don’t believe in blur adaptation.

You would think that being young and having eyes that change axial length quickly with high neuroplasticity to resolve polyopia fast is a good thing, but when the physical (eye) and neurological (visual cortex) desynchronize, it causes lots of issues.

I guess other people here who reduce too much are lucky that they simply “make no progress” rather than create this imbalance between the physical eye and the brain.

I feel I have to get my physical eye to -1.5 (no cylinder) and stay there until my brain stabilizes. Otherwise, the transient astigmatism will continue to cause all of these issues.

“Double vision” here is actually “multiple vision” (polyopia), and when it’s small enough for recalibration, it goes away rapidly for me, within 1 to 3 seconds. If I only look within a close range and calibrate on a bunch of close distances, it disappears and doesn’t come back until I look further away.

The visual cortex can compensate for cylinder, so maybe as I worked down from -2 towards -1.5, the physical astigmatism was being reduced, resulting in a lot of load on my visual cortex for recalibration. Just 2 weeks ago, my visual cortex thought I was still -2/-1.75, while I was physically -1.5 -0.5x180/-1.5 -0.25x60 gradually becoming -1.5.

The interesting part is how the recalibration can seem to reprogram other parts of the brain, seemingly temporarily.

My friends are probably scared of the EM method because of what happened to me, but it was all my own fault for reducing too quickly 6 years ago.

Me: Are you going to try the endmyopia method now, knowing that it works but will mess you up if you reduce too quickly?

Friend: probably not

Me: so you’ll just continue to get more lens-induced myopia?

[no response]

Day 23

With diphenhydramine hydrochloride 25 mg (half of a 50 mg tablet), I entered a dream state once or twice and stayed asleep much longer than the day before. Just as how lenses are a crutch, so too is the sleeping drug.

Although it’s somewhat hard to tell with the cylinder compensation that my visual cortex keeps applying, I think my physical eyes are still on the way to -1.5. I just have to avoid looking too far away with my -1.25 normalized.

I ordered -1.5 glasses earlier, and I wonder if they’ll be too strong when they arrive. When they do, I’ll determine whether -1.5 or -1.25 makes sense for normalized and try to stabilize myself by staying at it for 8 weeks. If I choose -1.5, I will step down to -1.25 after the 8 weeks have passed. If I choose -1.25, I will step down to -1 after the 8 weeks have passed.

Endgame strats

To avoid transient astigmatism issues, I will continue to go down in steps no larger than 0.5.

Fixed 1.25 normalized/differential gap

One possible strat is to keep a +1.25 diopter gap between normalized and differential, resulting in the following normalized | differential pairs, following the same strat to the end:

  • -1.25 | 0
  • -1 | +0.25
  • -0.75 | +0.5
  • -0.5 | +0.75
  • -0.25 | +1
  • 0 | +1.25

By not using a plus that’s too strong, that should avoid the transient astigmatism issues that other people reported, which is one reason EM recommends against using plus lens.

But there are two other reasons: natural focal plane is better than introducing another artificial differential focal plane, and there is a high risk of increasing presbyopia from overusing differentials instead of fixing my habits.

Slowly reducing gap

In this strat, I would reduce normalized with this schedule, while keeping 0 as differential:

  • -1.25
  • -1
  • -0.5
  • 0

As the gap decreases, I will have to accommodate more for close-up, increasingly forcing me to improve my close-up habits, in exchange for having less risk of presbyopia.

Decide later

I don’t have to pick a strat yet, or develop a hybrid strat (use plus differential for a fraction of the time), but I will have to choose one later.

My power of accommodation has decreased from 25 D (4 cm) to 17 D (6 cm) over the last 5 years (maybe off by 1 or 2 D, so 23 D to 15.5 D, since I forgot to account for the far point not being 0), so perhaps presbyopia is a concern that’s worth sacrificing progress for, although it’s hard to measure accurately unless I use a -15 lens to measure near point. (I don’t have a -15 lens, but if I did, I would obviously only use it for a short amount of time to get the measurement. For example, near point of 50 cm with -15 on would correspond to -17, and if far point with 0 is 57 cm, corresponding to -1.5, the power of accommodation would be -1.5 - (-17) = 15.5.)

I remeasured my near point without lens: left eye 6 cm, right eye 7 cm, which means my power of accommodation is about 15.2 D left eye and 12.8 D right eye (16.7 - 1.5 = 15.2, 14.3 - 1.5 = 12.8).

Also, because I spend lots of time in front of a computer monitor, possibly without enough breaks, could it be that the blue light is highly stimulating? Moving closer to the monitor when I was revisiting -2 might have overstimulated my eyes. That could be responsible for some of the symptoms, plus the visual cortex recalibration could be responsible for other symptoms.

I think you are worrying simply too much. Do not make rocket science, it is not so difficult. Do not plan so much, just do the right things step by step.

I failed to do that 6 years ago, accumulating visual cortex debt that I’m currently fixing, which is the current step. Last week, I already realized I have to stop trying to speedrun this.

Planning ahead is a good idea though. Revising the plan later as needed, rather than sticking to a plan that doesn’t work, is also a good idea.

My current strat is to use -1.25 as normalized and not look further than 4m away for too long, which seems to be working, as the polyopia resolves slightly faster over time. I wonder what caused my issues: reducing too quickly 6 years ago, reducing too quickly now, switching too many focal planes, something else, or a combination of those?

On further review, I now believe my symptoms were more likely caused by a blood clot that restricted flow to my brain but resolved itself, possibly caused by the COVID-19 vaccine. Resuming EM stuff is probably just a confounding factor. This is pure speculation and I have no way to know what actually caused those symptoms.

Even though I had the Pfizer vaccine, their testing had reports of transient ischaemic attack, which seemed most similar to what happened to me.


The most likely explanation is now that something caused me to have more difficulty sleeping, thus becoming unable to sleep, and all of the brain-related symptoms were from the lack of sleep. That cause is unknown, but probably more likely from exposure to more blue light from sitting closer to the monitor to revisit the -2 to -1.75 range. The alternate causes (TIA from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the actual COVID-19 virus with taste/smell-related symptoms) are less likely.

With the -1.25, the multiple vision effect related to transient astigmatism seems to be gone, and my visual cortex no longer changes the cylinder compensation when switching distances, resulting in lower acuity and astigmatic blur now, also giving the chance for AF. Now, it truly feels as if I dropped -0.25 sph -0.5 cyl/-0.25 sph -0.25 cyl from full correction.

In this case, -1.25 is good as a middle-distance focal plane, and -1.5 (which drops the -0.5 cyl/-0.25 cyl of transient astigmatism, as a transition from -2/-1.75 to -1.5) should be good as normalized. When I receive it, I should try to use it to AF on distant objects as much as possible. Using -1.5 indoors might help the left eye, as it has a larger reduction.

In theory, astigmatism should be visible at all distances, but maybe the visual cortex has an easier job compensating for it at close distances, allowing me to see the screen clearly around 57 to 67 cm without glasses.

If I don’t make progress, I’ll try to troubleshoot, but what’s the worst that could happen? I could just take another break for a few more years. My situation is extra challenging, since I have to handle the challenges of low myopia (“slower progress and higher difficulty”), equalizing (about 0.125 to 0.25 gap), and transient astigmatism (-0.5 and -0.25 cyl), which is the same as other astigmatism (cyl reductions).

I looked through the -1.5 side of my old glasses, and I now see as much astigmatism as I do with my -1.25 glasses, but I seem to gain the 20/20 line on a dark Snellen (phone says about 1-4 lux, but I doubt the accuracy, since it shows 40-100 lx for indoor lighting) and would probably gain the 20/15 line on a bright (daylight) one. There’s no more auto-compensation temporary multiple vision from my visual cortex, so I wonder if that’s a step backwards (multiple vision back to blur) or forwards (visual cortex no longer tries to correct transient astigmatism, giving a chance to active focus it away).

In this case, -1.5 will probably be best for outdoors normalized, and -1.25 is actually a decent indoors medium-distance correction. I will test the -1.5 indoors when they arrive, but if they don’t reduce the astigmatism effect, I will have to use them only for outdoors. The idea is that with -1.5 outdoors, I only have to overcome the transient astigmatism and nothing else, no extra -0.25 sph reduction thrown into the mix, although it’s -0.5/-0.25 cyl unequal reduction. I hope it won’t be too many focal planes (-1.5 outdoors normalized, -1.25 indoors normalized, 0 differential).

I think my visual cortex is now accepting -1.25 for indoors use. When it’s dark, I no longer get the “claustrophobic need more correction” feeling, and it doesn’t just give up on trying to focus. With low light, I have about 20/25 acuity, from the transient astigmatism, which is real astigmatism during a transition between two spherical steps.

I now know why EM recommends managing close-up strain (rather than using close-up for gains) and using distance vision for gains rather than close-up: spherical reductions might cause transient astigmatism, which the visual cortex compensates for during close-up. Since your visual cortex fools you into thinking it’s clear, it’s harder to focus push at the right place, so focus pull with distance vision is easier to use for clearing the transient astigmatism.

My strategy will be -1.25 indoors (target about 4m distance) and -1.5 outdoors (target infinity) until the transient astigmatism is completely resolved, wait some extra time to stabilize, reduce by -0.25 to -1 indoors and -1.25 outdoors, and then simplify to -1 normalized for both indoors and outdoors. Also, I stopped speedrunning because it’s better to be a tortoise :turtle: that reaches the finish line :checkered_flag: rather than a hare :rabbit2: that doesn’t.