4.5 Years of Vision Improvement

The march through the last diopter continues! I’m right at the 4 ½ year mark now, having started at -5.0 back in April 2014.

Back at the end of June, I decided to try going without glasses (unless absolutely needed) for 30 days, to see what would happen. I didn’t think that I was ready to be without correction full time, but it seemed a worthy experiment. Since 30 days has always been my testing ground for a new normalized, I hypothesized that I might experience a boost in acuity after 30 days without glasses. I’m not sure if it made any difference or not from a vision standpoint, but I did break through a major psychological hurdle.

When I first headed out to business, social, and family events, I felt naked and very insecure without the glasses! My major observation, though is that no one actually cared or paid much attention. During those 30 days, only 3 people (2 of whom were family members) asked me why I wasn’t wearing my glasses. And in truth, after 4 ½ years of this vision improvement journey, only 6 or 7 people have asked my about reduced glasses wearing (and if you take out family members, the grand total is 1 or 2).

The general challenge for me now is that I can often produce clarity with no glasses, but can’t yet consistently hold on it. So, at any given time, I might see really well without glasses, or it might feel like everything is blur. The needle is moving in the right direction, but very slowly. Still, the no glasses experiment helped to build an underlying sense of confidence. I’m doing something that few people know is possible, and most of the professionals say is impossible. There was something very powerful about experiencing life for a month without correction, directly seeing that I don’t fully “need” the glasses anymore. I’ve been able to do simple things like recognize my daughter from over a hundred feet away at the pool and leave my glasses at home when going out for a day at the beach with full confidence that I would be able to recognize my family from a distance.

Additionally, I can honestly say that I’ve come to love the process. The angst about glasses v. no glasses / “how long will this take” is gone from my mind. I know the day is coming when I’ll put them away for good. The date no longer matters to me.

Interestingly, my -1.00 lenses gradually become very uncomfortable to wear. So much so, that I decided to move down to -0.75. I’m a little over a month into these and things seem to be settling well. They’re definitely not overcorrected, but I am able to get functional vision with them. 20/20 in ideal conditions, but it varies based upon light, close up time, etc.

I’ve been having clear flashes for over a year now. Sometimes they are in both eyes, sometimes just one eye at a time. This is encouraging, especially to know that my non-dominant eye can pull its weight and produce 20/20 type clarity sometimes! Typically, these have only lasted a few minutes at a time, but they’re becoming more frequent. I had my longest one this past Saturday – it wasn’t a constant 20/20, but from 6:00 PM until I went to bed at 11, I was able to relax into seeing the 20/40 line in florescent light…if I were able to see like that normally, I’d never wear minus lenses again.

As it stands, the vision continues to be quite inconsistent. Still, the trajectory is good and I’m starting to carry this sense with me of “even when it’s not clear, I know what it’s supposed to look like.”

For now, I’ll stay the course, continue to love the process, and for my own amusement, set a target date of 2/20/2020 to be back to 20/20. As I said before, the date doesn’t really matter. Even now, I’ve all but stopped wearing correction outside (doesn’t feel good and I really don’t need it) and I’m starting to find moments where the -0.75 feel uncomfortable to the point that I do well enough without them. Bit by bit, I’ll get there!

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Matt…it’s always a lift-me-up to hear your progress :blush: Most will agree that you’re as good as 20/20 and seem to be taking the same journey as Jake, that is, enjoying the process of vision improvement. Whether we’re high or low myooes, taking baby steps and enjoying the process is really the beauty of endmyopia…no quick fixes like glasses or lasik. It’s a simple process that takes a little while for some and a longer while for others :hugs:

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Congrats!!! :tada:
Hope my post in 4 years will be something like yours!

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Thanks, Mare. That’s one of the reasons I post! I also find that the act of writing them up helps me to better understand what I’m doing, where I’m going in the right direction, and where I need to make adjustments.

There’s still a while for me to get to 20/20, but I’m going in the right direction. Next big milestone will be passing the DMV test and getting the “corrective lenses” taking off my driver’s license. I’ll have my wife test me probably sometime in the spring and see where I am on that.

Yes, baby steps and yes, process. You can’t help but learn to look at the world in new and different ways when working on improving your vision.

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Fundamental, process, and 0.75 diopters per year, plus sorting out overcorrection and ciliary spasm leads to a lot of improvement in 4.5 years.

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Thanks for this update. Helps keep things in perspective and reminded us that this is a long road back to 20/20.

Two days ago I saw a man break his nose on the pavement. He was running with his dog and the leash got tangled between his legs. His glasses were shattered and there was blood all over the Street. Me and my “tribe” (yogi friends) were sitting close by, and one girl chimed in, in reference to the man “That’s what happens when you have got no reflexes because you don’t exercise often”. I disagreed, I saw myself in that man, and I believe he fell because you become clumsy after a lifetime of wearing thick-rimmed glasses that block your vision and slide off your nose at the slightest movement. I thought of this when I read that you feel “naked and very insecure” without the glasses, and I hate how dependent we’ve become on something we didn’t need on the first place.

I’m certain you will keep on improving and, even if the date is not important anymore, you will reach 20/20 by 2020.

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Thank you, Moni! Good perspective on lens dependency. I have wished that they were a faster way, but it is what it is. The dependency, though, decreases a little bit with each reduction.

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Congratulations! I enjoy hearing about your progress and reading updates.

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I’ll aim to post updates 4 times per year until I get to 20/20. Thanks!

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Congratulations!!! Thanks for the update. This is so encouraging :smile:

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Thanks a lot, I am starting the journey myself and posts like this give me so much willpower to be persistent… I am starting from scratch and one day I will post my story as a ‘thank you’ to Jake and great people on this forum.

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Thank you for taking the time to do progress update. These reports motivate me and I wish I’d be getting to your place(below 1 diopter) in 2020. The exact date doesn’t matter as you said. As I’ve done this for half year, I feel the change very slowly after the initial improvement. I remember that you said take your time and enjoy clear vision(not dropping diopter too fast) and I keep your words in my heart.

Now I’m at -2.5D both eyes and my non dominant eye seems to be catching up slowly. It feels really frustrating when the vision fluctuate day by day. Of course I feel awesome on a good days. But on bad days I feel anxious. There is so much uncertainty and I start thinking - is it the light intensity? Do I have eye strain? Not enough sleep? Hormones./ sugar problem…? Or what I have been doing simply did not work. That’s when I need reassurance from people who have succeeded.
Congratulations for your achievement! That’s a shame that people won’t notice that one isn’t wearing the glasses as one used to. If they have the curiosity to ask, we can spread the words about endmyopia.

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Sooo good! Congrats! This obviously works (9 months in and I’m down more than 2 diopters from -8), but it’s very, very empowering to hear of others who’ve gone from moderate/higher myopia to nearly 20/20. Amazing!!

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Truely inspirational Matt! I love hearing your progress reports. How do you fair in the night when natural night is lost. I myself am at -1 & -2.25 and do really well during the day but reach for the lenses during the night time.

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I feel the same way with my -1 lenses, but did’nt thought about reducing them further. I just use them at bad weather condition or while driving at night. But it always seems that my vision is somehow disturbed after using them for any lenght of time.
After your post I now think I’ll give some -0.5s a try.
Thanks for your status update!

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Please post! You’ll find that it encourages others and helps you to better understand your own journey.

I think that most people just assume I switched to contacts or figure that my vision is pretty good and I only need the glasses a little (of course that’s true now, but five years ago my vision was useless without them).

You have to almost expect the doubts to come and go. One if the reasons not to undercorrect too much is that it’s easy to put yourself in situations where you just can’t see well enough. I say this from experience - reading menus in restaurants up on a wall or chalkboard can be really tough if you’re too undercorrected. Once I deliberately let a friend go in front of me and then ordered the same thing he did because I couldn’t read the menu! These mistakes are part of the learning process, too.

At -2.5, you should be starting g to be able to do some things without glasses. Look forward to the longer light season when we get there again and it should be a fun time.

Thanks for your kind words, too. My hope in posting is for others to continue their own journies so that one day, we have a huge pile of 20/20 reports!

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Amanda thank you. Everyone who takes the long view can do this, so stick with it and enjoy the journey!

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Night time is tougher, so is low quality indoor light. I tend to just stick with the same normalized I have for day time and deal with the reduced acuity. I have my -1.25 lenses handy, though, which will give me enough clarity to deal with most low light situations. I’ve tended to run about 6 months to a year behind for low light, so I use what I had 6 months to a year ago when I need better night vision.

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Andreas my understanding is that individual experience just varies. Some people can stop at -1.25 and just use glasses on an as needed basis. Some of us need further reductions.

I think the difference is that there’s a point where you don’t need glasses for distance stimulus anymore. Once you reach that point, the. The lenses you have are used to give your brain a reference for clarity and your system a break when it gets hard to produce clarity without glasses.

For me, I had those -1.00 for 16 months, and eventually my system just stopped tolerating them well, so I reduced. My hope is to be able to use the -0.75 until I don’t need them anymore, but time will tell.

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