6 months and no progress: what's going on?

Hi everyone,

I started my EM journey in late Dec 2020 and have been diligently measuring my eyesight on the snellen chart, taking cm measurements every day and go out for a daily one hour walk without fail. I practice AF throughout my walk but find it challenging to practice it while working on the computer or doing other indoor activities.

Despite being 6 months in now, I have had no progress and feel a bit discouraged. My prescription at the start of my journey was L -5.25 & R -5.75 and I could see 20/25 on a snellen clearly (20/20 with AF). I wasn’t overprescribed as I had already been getting the optometrist to prescribe me slightly reduced glasses/contacts so didn’t get see any quick gains.

I was using normalised L-5.00 & R-5.50 and differentials were -1.5 of my normalised. The normalised were giving me good blur challenge but as I hadn’t progressed after 5 months, I went down another 0.25 in each to see if that would encourage progress, but I don’t feel like it’s helped. I have a desk job and use the computer 8-10 hours a day but try to take breaks by looking out the window often and as already mentioned, go out for a walk for about an hour a day. I know I have better eye habits as my eyes now feel instantly uncomfortable and strained if I look at a close object with my normalised, but maybe I’m underestimating what it takes?

I am hoping that some of you may have had similar experiences that you’ve overcome and have some tips or words of encouragement that you could provide.

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Do you mean that those were your Snellen results with those massive lenses?

Word of encouragement. Stick in there!

Have a look at this epic thread to see how community can help people stay on track.

Here are a few troubleshooting questions.
Can you take a screengrab of your phone usage time? I aim for less than 1 hour of phone usage a day.
Are you using differentials? what are they? do you need to revisit them.
Is half an hour walk enough? Jake suggests at least 3 hours of outdoor time a day.
What are you filling your time with outside of work?
Whats your diet/general health like?
Have you thought of dropping down another 0.25? Maybe your current prescription gives you not enough stimulus.

These are just a few questions. Other may have other insight.

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As an experiment you might consider using some base-in prism in your computer glasses to reduce convergence. I got the idea from http://www.i-see.org/plus_therapy/Haberfeld.pdf

When you look at things up close (reading, computer, etc) your eyes have to roll inwards to focus on screen (“convergence”) which tends to trigger accommodation and potentially creates conditions where myopia can progress. Haberfeld’s formula gets rid of convergence altogether but it’s a lot of prism. 2 or 3 prism diopters of base-in prism per lens (near use only!) might relax your eyes a bit, possibly worth a try.

I find added base-in prism a lot more comfortable than straight plus lenses (reduced minus lenses in your case.)

It might also be worthwhile to talk to someone good at vision therapy and see if there are any obvious issues they can identify and help you with. Some people have abnormally high accommodation / convergence ratios or other issues that could be putting your eyes under a lot of stress.

This is a great way to maintain vision, but it is certainly my experience you need more distance vision time to actually achieve gainz.

I wonder do you have a set with full correction? Your visual cortex might well enjoy a bit of clarity reference.

This is the situation of many, as Alex asked what do you do with the rest of your day? Many people have desk jobs and still improve, but it does mean that they spend off work hours balancing out that close up time. Also make sure you are actively clearing blur, just having it present is not enough… Anyways best wishes.

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Troubleshooting playlist: Troubleshooting - YouTube

Maybe having to see that face will frighten your eyes into better distance vision.

Yea, this. Total distance vision really needs to be way more than an hour.

Also check ciliary spasm that persists throughout the day. And recreational screen use, as reported by phone and other devices. Yes everything Alex said!

Selfishly I want people to try this to get more feedback. :grimacing:

Otherwise though (bias, yes), usually more complex corrections in my tiny brained mind seems to not be so much the ideal answer. The recipe is just two things, strain and stimulus. There’s either too much of one or not enough of the other or most likely, all of both.

Checking on ciliary spasm, really taking a hard look at phone screen use, slowly moving the balance towards more consistent distance vision.

I say this just from observation. Surfers always improve quickly, Hong Kong university students never do (ok that’s not true, but …). People notably misjudge their close-up time and ciliary spasm very commonly. That’s the #1 issue that I’ve found common with the “why no gains” question.

Not definitive, just another comment here in the thread.

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There is mention of the prism in the Huberman Podcast in the below 3-minute section.
1:24:40-1:27:53 Strabismus, Prisms, Eye Exercises. Key for Non-Dominant Eye issues: Balanced Visual Input

yep

Thanks :slight_smile: his situation is a bit different as I haven’t seen any progress at all (I can’t imagine quitting if I experienced even a little bit of reduction!) but the power of community is strong and I’m grateful for all your responses as they have already encouraged me to keep going.

I’ll look into an app to track phone usage but I reckon its about an hour a day as I’ve been using my laptop for messaging and browsing instead. Differentials are 1.5D less of my normalised as stated and I do about an hour of outdoor time on weekdays and generally more on weekends (sometimes 3h+). My computer usage is heavy as I work on weekdays and study online on weekends. Diet/general health is good - I don’t smoke, drink in moderation, don’t eat meat, high focus on organic whole foods. I dropped 0.25 about a month ago but decided to go back up from this week as it didn’t feel comfortable/productive (as could not clear blur).

Interesting, I hadn’t heard of this until now and will read up on it. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you, I think you’re right - this seems to be the primary issue.

Yep I do - I test them on the snellen chart / out the window from time to time to help my brain remember what full clarity is like.

Unfortunately my pastimes/studies require close-up work (reading - books and online research) so sounds like I’ll just need to put some of that aside to prioritise my outdoor + AF time if I want to crossover from just limiting further damage to seeing an improvement. Thanks a lot for your input.

Oh this is great. Thank you.

So that’s really all that it boils down to… it sounds so simple, but difficult in practice! Changing habits is indeed a process… but I’ll now focus on reducing strain and increasing my time spent outdoors actively clearing blur. Thanks Jake, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

THANK YOU ALL :slightly_smiling_face:
I’ll report back in a few months with some (fingers crossed) positive eye news.

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Simple and easy are not always the same thing. But I think you will find that you really enjoy the outdoors time. EM has given me back so much of the old joy I had outdoors, I have a perfectly good excuse to let myself off the hook for productivity and enjoy so many things I had let responsibilities rob me off, also fun experiment; take your book outside, read in the shade and take a look around at the end of each page. You don’t have to put all your hobbies on the back burner just learn to balance them a bit more.

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