Active Focus Astigmatism

If anyone has watched Mat Ely’s video on his method then you would know that he normalises as so:

  1. Spherical
  2. Astigmatism
  3. Spherical
  4. Equalisation

My question is whether if it’s possible for you to improve whilst being fully corrected for spherical yet slightly challenged for astigmatism (so, after 1 is normalised).

I heard that you can trade -0.5 of astigmatism for -0.25 dioptres of spherical. Is this true to reduce astigmatism?

Finally, can you active focus directional (astigmatic) blur?


My experience has been documented over in my “Kent’s Road to Emmetropia” series, but short answer is yes, after a fashion.

Not medical advice/opinion, just opinion. Cylinder/astigmatism is a pathology of the cornea/lens, while myopia is a pathology of the lens (ciliary spasm) and eyeball (axial length).

That reducing pattern is documented in Jake’s article on the open blog called Reducing Prescription Complexity. Basically he says (paraphrasing here), reduce sphere a couple times to get into the swing of things, then reduce cylinder in diffs, then work on remaining cylinder–with spherical drops in between. Then once the cylinder is gone, work on equalizing–again, with bilateral spherical drops in between equalizing steps.

The theory (it usually works in practice) that you can trade 0.50 of cylinder for 0.25 of sphere is fairly accurate, but it’s best to try working with a test lens kit for these kinds of trades. Understaning why you’d do it is key, too.

I’m getting ready for one of these rounds myself. I recently realized that the cylinder is having a greater effect on my visual acuity than I had realized, so dropped (+0.50 cylinder) for adding (-0.25 sphere). I did something similar with my diffs, but that took me to no cylinder. I have found that “leading” cylinder drops in diffs helps, but too much is…too much.

There is an Android/Google Play app called Astigmatism. It has some images, some static and some dynamic, which are excellent for diagnostic and “active focus” relating to the ciliary muscles needed to strengthen/even out/and reshape the cornea/lens. Otherwise you’re kind of stuck looking for natural lines that match your most difficult axis, and thereabouts.

I have found that working with the app was productive when I reduced my cylinder. When I had stronger cylinder values in my lenses, then the work I did sans glasses was offset by the lenses I was using daily.

I hope this helps… Astigmatism is very difficult to clear up, and stubborn/resistant to permanent change. I’ll have days and days where I think that it’s gone, then suddenly I’m dealing with ghost images, double vision, multiple lines, that sort of thing. Then a few days goes by and it reduces again.

I suspect I’m going to be dealing with minor forms of it even after my sphere is at 0.00.