One of the key principles and an essential part of the foundation of Endmyopia is Active Focus. This guide covers the basics on Active Focus and how to discover it for yourself.
How does it work?
Endmyopia works by leaving you a little under-corrected for close-up and distance. This ensures that your eyes see a small amount of blur (more specifically, myopic defocus). It’s then necessary to clear up the remaining blur, to achieve clarity. Active Focus is the mechanism that enables your eyes and visual cortex to bridge that small gap between blur and clarity.
How do you get it to work?
This is a complex thing to work out and it’s different for everyone. It’s easiest to start with some simple text in a clear-cut and nicely contrasted font – in a book, for instance. You need to hold it at a distance that gives you a little bit of blur. You then pick a simple word and stare at it, in a relaxed and concentrated fashion. Looking at that word, you tell yourself that you want to see it clearly. You look, appreciate the word, and employ your will to get that word to come into focus. You can blink gently, of course, but make sure that you don’t try to blink or squint that word into focus. It’s best if it clears up by just looking at it – the word coming into focus more or less on its own.
It’s very nicely explained by Jake in these videos:
How long will it take for me to learn Active Focus?
This is very personal and there’s a wide range in terms of time required to acquire this skill. Some people get the hang of it within the first 5 minutes of trying. For others, it can take several months to master. It does not matter how long it takes for you to learn this skill. The important thing is that you don’t give up and keep trying.
How long do I need to hold onto the clarity?
You try to hold on to the clear word as long as reasonably and comfortably achievable. This can be as little as a second at first. Over time, this will increase, as you become more acquainted with this skill. It’s important that you don’t squint or over-strain yourself in any way practicing Active Focus. Utilizing it should be something that’s achieved in a relaxed manner, without requiring much effort. If you have issues where Active Focus is not becoming persistent, have a look here:
How often should I practice Active Focus?
It’s important to realize that Active Focus should become a habit and something that happens subconsciously. You can practice it as much as you like, as long as you don’t strain yourself in doing so. Over time, Active Focus will become second nature. At that point you will no longer have to actively exercise it. Jake lays it out quite nicely in this video:
What are common things that affect Active Focus?
- First and foremost it’s important to realize that your overall well-being is of great influence on Active Focus being able to function properly. If you are feeling stressed, under the weather, lacking sleep, or even sick, you will notice that it’s much harder, if not impossible, for Active Focus to work its magic. Don’t push yourself too hard and try again when you are well-rested and feeling better.
- The other main thing is the amount of good (and preferably natural) lighting that is available. If this is insufficient it can affect Active Focus profoundly.
What are normal side effects of practicing Active Focus?
- You may feel a little headache and pain or pressure in your eyes. This is completely normal and it happens because your eyes and your brain start working actively on seeing clearly again. They didn’t have to do that before, because your corrective lenses took care of it. It’s similar to starting a new exercise with sports, where you get some sore muscles the first couple of times, waiting for your body to adapt to this new stimulus. If this is the case for you, it should be gone in no more than a week.
Keep in mind that it shouldn’t amount to more than a little discomfort. If it does cause more discomfort there could be something else that needs addressing. A confounder such as ciliary muscle spasm, being under- or overcorrected by too much, or even something in the eye itself could play a role. Consider looking into these matters if this occurs.
- You may start to see double/misaligned vision and halos surrounding the text or object that you are looking at and trying to clear up. This is totally normal. It’s a sign that your eyes and visual cortex are adapting to bring that bundle of light into focus. If you are stuck with nothing but double/misaligned vision and Active Focus isn’t working on it (which is very common), have a look here: Resolving Double/misaligned vision.
- You may experience watery eyes while practicing Active Focus, especially outside. This is nothing to worry about, it happens to some and is usually gone within a minute. This could also be a sign of having dry eyes.
Important links that you’ll want to have a look at if this concept is still eluding you:
- The active focus link list: https://endmyopia.org/active-focus-links/
- The explanation from the 7-day email guide: https://endmyopia.org/day-77-active-focus-key-stimulus-for-better-eyesight/
- Some great threads on Active Focus from this forum: Distance active focus vs close up active focus, Am I doing Active Focus wrong? and Most inspiring active focus activity!
Good luck on acquiring this habit, it will be a great skill for you and your eyes!