1 year Gains Update (27 years old): Journey from -4.00 (current average NL -2.50)

Hi everybody,

I am 27 years old and from Germany. I started wearing glasses at the age of 16/17, so for almost 10 years now. Wearing glasses has always bothered me and at the beginning I wore contacts all the time. Then my eyes started to get dryer and at some point I was not able to wear contacts anymore. My prescription got worse over time but fortunately I intuitively refused stronger glasses (I did not know anything about EM back then) at around -4 diopters and my prescription stabilized. I found EM in December 2019 and would like to share with you my gains so far.

Starting Point in December 2019:
Right Eye: -4.0 (Cyl. -0.25)
Left Eye -3.5 (Cyl. -0.25)

I bought my 1st Normalized in February 2020:
Right Eye: -3.25 (No Cyl.)
Left Eye -2.75 (No Cyl.)

But to be honest, I was not really consistent with the EM approach in the beginning. I still had bad habits (up to 5hrs of smartphone use per day). I also stopped wearing glasses at all for a few weeks and tried to AF without glasses. However, I instantly stopped using my distance glasses for close-up, so I avoided hyperopic defocus as soon as I found EM. I did not consciously use my distance vision (or doing pulling focus), but on sunny days I am often outside, biking around or just hanging out with friends. I need to say that it was pretty easy for me to find AF.

Despite my bad habits, I have still made some improvements. When I was seeing 20/30 with my 1st Normalized, I dropped again:

2nd and current Normalized:
Right Eye: -2.75 (No Cyl.)
Left Eye -2.25 (No Cyl.)

Since December 2020 I am taking the EM approach more seriously. I reduced my smartphone screen time to 30min per day. I try to avoid close-up and my laptop stands 80-100cm away. I am doing daily walks (even though it is winter and cloudy all day) and doing pulling focus a lot recently.

January 2020:
Right Eye: -3.25 (No Cyl.) -> 20/20
Left Eye -2.75 (No Cyl.) -> 20/20

Right Eye: -3.00 (No Cyl.) -> 20/25
Left Eye -2.50 (No Cyl.) -> 20/25

Right Eye: -2.75 (No Cyl.) -> 20/40
Left Eye -2.25 (No Cyl.) -> 20/40

I am very motivated to improve my eyes this spring/sommer with good habits and a lot of pulling focus. I also try to clean up my diet and restrict my sugar intake and eat a balanced diet with a lot of veggies.

I will update as soon as I am able to see 20/20 with my 2nd Normalized.

-Baldy-

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We look forward to hearing from you as you progress.

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Thanks, Ursa! I am really motivated and pretty sure that I will success!

Herzlich willkommen :smiley:

wow I’m always surprised when people got glasses that late in their teens and still managed to progress as far as -4! though I assume that had some over-prescription in it

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Thanks, Lajos :smile: Happy to join the EM community!

Yes, it is a pity that I started wearing glasses. My mother uses glasses (-4.0), so it was kind of normal to have some also. My father has 20/20 vision and my sister has 20/40 but never started wearing glasses luckily. I used to binge play gameboy all the time as a child, I am pretty sure that it made my vision bad in the first place.

I was wondering if I should equalize my eyes with my next Normalized. Does anyone has a recommendation how to approach the equalizing?

Maybe:
Right Eye: -2.25 (No Cyl.) -> 0.50 drop
Left Eye -2.00 (No Cyl.) -> 0.25 drop

Or is it better to do:
Right Eye: -2.50 (No Cyl.) -> 0.25 drop
Left Eye -2.25 (No Cyl.) -> No drop

Welcome and good luck on your journey. Jake recommends you get a few reductions in before you equalize.

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Thanks, Jenn! All right, so my gains so far are not enough to equalize?

You have made a few reductions, so it is not too early to try to equalise. Try is the operative word, as many people have a hard time with this. Whether you go for your first option or the second one is a matter of how much blur you can tolerate for the time it takes both eyes to improve.

What is the actual difference between your eyes in uncorrected cm to blur? They may be closer to each other than you think based on your current lenses, but they could also be further apart. Your decision may depend on this.

p.s. You and I might get rapped on the knuckles for asking, and answering a question that is diopter specific. This is not encouraged/allowed on the forum, for good reasons. You are really on your own as far as diopter choices are concerned, although general suggestions and advice are fine. :wink:

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This post was liked by Jake and this was my experience in theory (and to confuse you, this was my experience in practice).
As @ursa said, the execution part is very specific to your eyes, your preferences and tolerances with visual acuity, etc. But you seem to be on the right track :slight_smile:
Good luck.

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Thanks @Ursa & @BiancaK for your feedback!

At the moment EoB starts at:

Left Eye: 42cm (= -2.5) -> 43cm would be -2.25
Right Eye: 34cm (= -3.0) -> 35cm would be -2.75

So, that means I am just 1cm away (each eye) from reaching my Normalized prescription of -2.25/-2.75

My current differentials are:
Left Eye: -1.50
Right Eye: -1.75

I will just wait until I see 20/20 with my current Normalized before I decide on reducing the gap to 0.25 in my Normalized.

Great that you are so close to your current normalised, and the diopter gap you have right now is correct, so should play no role in your decision to try to equalise. You have already taken an equalising step with your diffs. How does that work out?

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It is not really noticable in close-up work, so it works out really well so far. My differentials were always 0.25 apart, just felt better than 0.50. But for my Normalized it has been the opposite, 0.50 felt better than 0.25 but I am confident to reduce the gap to 0.25 with my next Normalized.

That’s actually my “theoretical plan” for my Normalized:

L R
-2,25 -2,75
-2,25 -2,50
-2,00 -2,25
-1,75 -2,00
-1,50 -1,75
-1,50 -1,50
-1,25 -1,25
-1,00 -1,00

My suggestion is that you get them all in the same frame, so that you can mix and match if the plan doesn’t work out. Mine certainly didn’t and I am glad that I got the same frames, ugly and cheap as they are. The tricks for taking out and putting lenses back in are soon learned.

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@ursa and @BiancaK gave suggestions that I would have given. Your eyes may respond to the change well or may reject the process. Buy glasses with the same frames. What tends to happen in my own equalization is my right eye becomes intolerant to no blur challenge.

I had a slight astigmatism and used that when equalizing. It worked out well for me to drop cyl in 1 eye and sph in another. I am currently .25 apart in sph but my left eye does not engage in the same way and my last challenge will be getting to equal because I have no more cyl corrections. As of now my right eye has almost adjusted to the latest pair of glasses but my left is still catching up. So as you can see a bit of a challenge for me to leave the right in the same sph for longer. Plus my right eye does all the work at seeing letting the left be lazy.

Some people do not have that problem. I did buy all the same frames and that worked out well for me to do lenses swaps and I did need to do a few at the beginning.

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Good to hear there is still some progress. Your experience shows that things are sometimes far from straightforward.

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Short Update:

Just been to the optomotrist and got confirmed my improvement:

Left Eye: -2,5 (No Cyl)
Right Eye: -3,0 (No Cyl)

:smiley:

And I really feel the improvement when walking around the streets without glasses and I am sure to further improve this spring/summer! Will keep you updated!

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Congratulations! It is always very encouraging to hear of an opto-confirmed improvement.

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Just checked my eye chart: I can see easily 20/20 and even 20/15 indoors with my current Normalized of R -2,75 & L -2,25.

I am going to continue now with:

R -2,5
L -2,25

So, I will start to reduce the gap between my left and right eye. Let’s see how my right eye will react to this reduction.

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Nice going!

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The gap reduction did not work out so well. I am currently using NL with:

R -2,5
L -2,0

It gives me a nice blur challenge. However I need to admit that I only wear my glasses half of the time, the other half I am completely without glasses. I also do not need Differentials anymore.

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