Astigmatics, Share Your Cylinder Reducing Strategies

What works for you?

Share the things you’ve done and your successes and failures so we can learn from one another.



I came in here thinking you’d start us off and was disappointed. I don’t have any good strategy yet either. Will try the "go up 0.25 sph and down 0.5 cyl strategy on my differentials first at some point


Well, I’ve tried a number of things.

  1. Running about 0.75-1.00 diopter off my normalized cylinder in my differentials.
  2. Completely dropping all cylinder, all at once, from everything. That seemed to clear up some over prescription when I added cylinder back in.
  3. Using an anti-astigmatism app from a Korean purveyor only available on Android/play store (it’s called Astigmatism)
  4. A form of active focus seeking out objects that are most challenging for my axis of astigmatism.
  5. Per Forrester, eye movement orthogonal to the movement that caused the astigmatic blur.

I was able to drop about 1/3 of my cylinder following my 2-3 weeks of no cylinder. It was way too challenging to see with that much of a drop. Maybe it indicates that I should try trading sphere for cylinder. I haven’t found much improvement after that experience.

The app helps up to a point. Its main advantage is diagnostic. Over time I can see what changes, particularly using white on black mode. I also can see what is not changing.

The eye movement helps relax my eyes, but I don’t see massive changes. That makes sense since there’s so little of that compared to the thousands of hours I spent reading, which is my most likely culprit.

Things I think I need to try:

  1. Trading cylinder for sphere
  2. Cylinder only drop.
  3. Keep walking cylinder down with sphere, ignoring the aberrations, and hoping they diminish as sphere decreases (up to now this was my strategy, but the aberrations are not diminishing as fast as sphere improves).

Any other suggestions?



I’m afraid I’m the same as @Ursa - no helpful suggestions because I simply dropped my astigmatism correction altogether (pre EM), and after a few years it was gone! My worst astigmatism opto measurement gave me -1.75 CYL OD and -0.25 OS (with -10.25 SPH both). I have had glasses with astigmatism correction, but I’ve always mostly worn daily disposable contact lenses and never considered or was advised to get toric lenses. Sorry!


Me too. Before EM i wore -0.75 CYL in both eyes for at least 5 years.
Since I had a hard time finding any astimgatism with the DYI tool I decided to just drop it all in one go. It felt weird in the beginning, especially the first 24hrs, but it was back to normal within a week as I recall, although the diopter bubble obv. shrunk.


Formerly high astigmatic that went cold turkey. Rapid initial improvement until the -0.50 area, then no improvement at all. Maybe improvements at lower diopters becomes slow like with sph, or maybe further reductions are somehow dependent on more sph reductions. Go-to exercise at the moment is fusing tree branches.


I treated it just like sphere and dropped .25 cyl and the other .25 dioptor. So if I had cyl in each eye I would do the same eye .25 lower.
Of course it is small at .50 but i feel it helped to just do 1/4 drop

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I’m in the middle of dropping a 0.50 cylizzards in my differentials. It seems to work, no twitching of the forehead or anything like that. It shortened the diopter bubble like a quarter spherical would. If you’re in the low spherical range, you could add some spherical trade gradually and then you’d have some spherical to reduce for the bifocal drop, before entering too low with the cylinders.


I was thinking about how I dont use differentials and I thought this contributed to my cyl corrections. So I was thinking have you tried a differential without cyl. You probably dont need much of differentials either but if you trade dioptors for cyl. It would be pretty low dioptors maybe .75 or so but I wondered if that might help soothe the transitions in dropping cyl

I’m actually thinking that’s the place to trade cylinder for sphere

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And I did it. Ordered -0.75OD, -0.75OS, and -0.50OD, -0.50OS. Should be here in 10-14 days. Just under $50. Used the test lens kit to make sure that will work for me.

I think the 8-10 hours a day I spend doing computer and close work will benefit from having no cylinder.

I kept thinking I could use the glasses from when I dropped all cylinder but I had forgotten that not only was I in the minus-twos at that stage, I was unequal by 0.5D. :crazy_face:


Did you increase sphere to compensate for the drop in cylinder?

How much did you drop?

I suspect cylinder is transient until it’s codified in a lens worn day-in, day-out.

Cylizzards, that’s great!

Yes, I’m in the mid minus-ones now. But low minus-twos spherical equivalent. I don’t really want to go back up that far just to flatten cylinder. Something in between, might work.

I need to keep in mind that clarity is the goal.

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Couldn’t agree more and I wonder if low level cyl might be effectively treated by using zero cyl contacts.

My starting point (Opto):
LE -4.50/-2.00
RE -3.50/-2.50

First set of diffs (in keeping with EM orthodoxy):
Note: purchased before learning how to properly measure cm’s.
LE -3.00/-2.00
RE -2.00/-2.50

These made me nauseous. Found an old EM article indicating that if sph reductions result in your differentials having a high cyl/sph ratio, it might be wise to tackle some cyl first. [Doesn’t seem to be in keeping with current orthodoxy].

My daughter wears equalized -3.00’s, no cyl, so I borrowed those to experiment. They worked quite well for close-up, but I didn’t understand why at the time.

Kept using them until my own -3.00 Zenni’s arrived. Toward the end of the wait I learned and became proficient at measuring cm’s, which went a long way to explaining why the -3.00’s worked:
LE -3.50/-1.00
RE -3.25/-1.25

The -3.00’s were only ~0.75 spherical equivalents lower in each eye than cm measurements indicated, which is not a huge reduction for closeup.

Either a great deal of ciliary spasm had been released in a very short amount of time, or I was over-prescribed to begin with. Probably some combination.


It seems like getting started is particularly hard with multiple pathologies. I really should be super thankful to be where I am. One year ago I had myopia, high astigmatism relative to the myopia (1:1), amblyopia and strabismus, with probably 50% or more degraded vision in my right eye.

Today I’m wearing equalized -1.50 -1.50x $axis, only the tiniest bit of strabismus to deal with (it’s more of a measured pathology than a functional limitation), and I’m able to work on dropping more cylinder and sphere at a relatively healthy pace.

Gratitude abounds.



I’ll be waiting to find out how those diffs work for your cyl correction. Even with .5 cyl and going through the process of reduction I could tell how my vision improved by dropping cyl.
I’m glad to hear you are going to give it a try with the cyl drop. In the earlier post after my suggestion i thought you were going to do the opposite some how and just have cyl correction no sphere. Of course i dont even know how you can do that lol
I am curious how we affect axis in the astigmatism when reducing cyl. I felt like the axis shifted in my eye based on the wheel. But since i only had a small amount to get rid of i just plowed forward and dropped it out as quick as I could.

Wow, that’s got to be my bust for bad communications.

I think I was talking about doing either a cylinder-only or sphere-only drop (I think almost all of my adjustments have included both, except for the one time I just dropped cylinder completely with no spherical compensation).

Glad we got that straightened out. :smile:

Ha ha yeah, I reread it a couple times but now it’s all clear.

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you’re super Kem. How did you treat the blunt eyes?

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With hindering prisms, as well as some virtual reality therapy. It was a lot of hard work.

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