Astigmatism Exercise Trainer (Android only)

Someone posted a link to this Android app over in the Facebook group.

It looks interesting, and I’m willing to try almost anything to help correct my need for cylinder.

3 Likes

I joined LeMeow earlier in 2019, as I was worried about my vision dropping, my high myopia coming back after 10 years of 20/20 (after sadly, doing PRK. God help me that I never knew back then, what I know now).
Reading the 3m Snellen months ago, my left eye was perfect. But my right eye could only read about 55cm away. I got that up to 60cm in a week or two, but then it was dropping to almost 40cm the past 3 months. I started to worry about astigmatism, and found last week this video RE the topic, basically suggesting overuse of left-right (or up-down) views could lead to tighter muscles and stretching. Made sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahc9IaGdpXs
BUT THEN, after visiting the optometrist to be curious as to the prescription he was going to give me - got this.
KERATOCONUS - and - CORNEAL ECTASIA
Great, now I have more reviewing to do, and seeing what the word on CORNEAL CROSS-LINKING (CXL) will be. If a topography proves the diagnosis, not sure if there is anything I can do “naturally”…?
NOTES - when I was watching my vision, it could get clear moments - but then it would also become clearer if I slightly closed my eyes. I thought I didn’t want to be squinting, but it was in fact my eyelids cutting out some of the light and allowing me to focus on the letters (think pin-shade eye cover).
Also, apparently my cornea is only 395 thick, and my PRK correction was about -8.50. In my 40’s, I shouldn’t be developing further myopia, but DAMN - wish I really knew what keratoconus was all about, and was watching for something like this…
ANYONE have any similar experience or can point me in the right direction??

1 Like

That’s quite a story.

I suspect the best you can do is get back to where you were at post-prk.

I have mapped astigmatism, which is a pretty recent thing. It’s difficult to work with, but it does respond slowly. Be prepared for the cornea guy to give you the “professionals’ salute” and tell you nothing can be done.

That’s my signal to ignore them and do something about it.

1 Like

@Flash, keratoconus is more common than you’d think. A typical practice might see one or two people per week with that or with the non-progressive version. Keratoconus though, typically begins in kids, teens, or young adults, and is not something people over 40 or so are often diagnosed with. It supposedly has to do with issues with the proteins that form the eye’s structure. That said, I can’t help but question if in your case, it’s actually an issue that was caused by the surgery. In any case, they recommend against being aggressive physically with the eyes, as there is speculation that people with allergies who rub their eyes hard a lot might contribute to such corneal issues.

2 Likes

Thanks @kem, post PRK was perfect clarity, better than 20/20 fighter pilot vision.
Seems the issue isn’t astigmatism now, but that my thin cornea is bulging from eyeball fluids. It isn’t a tight lens / muscle issue. The odd shape of the keratoconus (coning of the cornea outwards) is screwing up the incoming light, meaning that everything is blurry, unless I am looking through a pinhole and filtering out all the extraneous light impacts.
Really freaky, and worrisome. Unfortunately, I can’t just push in that piece of my cornea and ducktape it back in place… and not sure if there is any muscle that can be worked when it seems to be caused by a thin cornea.
Would be really interested to hear if others have ever had such a prognosis!?!
Basic point - don’t do laser vision correction. Especially when we’ve got good people like @jakey feeding awesome information to the world. How I wish I could go back and work it out on my own now…

1 Like

Thanks @FMR, definitely seems to be a result of the PRK I did over 10 years ago. I’ve also read this tends to be a ‘younger’ thing when occurring naturally.
This is where I’d really like to SMACK MY HEAD. But that would be a little physically aggressive, and just make my situation worse. Ugh. Oof.

1 Like

Oh my word. My condolences, and best wishes to you. I always cringe when I see/hear eyeball stories. My imperfect vision is super important to me, and I’m sooooo glad I wasn’t temped enough to “improve” it that I went down that PRK/Lasik road…

God bless.

2 Likes

@Flash, I’ve noticed Google has seemingly declined in usefulness over the past few years, especially on mobile devices. I tried searching for whether there are many cases of keratoconus-like corneal ectasias due to the surgery. But the results it returns are things more along the line of “can I have PRK if I have keratoconus?”. And in the first few results, is an article for refractive surgical ophthalmologists recommending that people with keratoconus have PRK in conjunction with the corneal crosslinking in order to improve visual quality…wow.

That said, here is something more like what I was looking for: https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(06)01306-6/fulltext

And this: https://www.eyeworld.org/article-when-to-avoid-prk
The final section is really interesting.

Thanks @FMR
Ouch - you mean the part where that doctor says “If someone is very nearsighted, like –10 [diopters] and has forme fruste keratoconus, I would do a phakic IOL implantation first and leave a small correction for treatment with PRK [Source: https://www.eyeworld.org/]” … so rather than working their muscles for a few years and trying Active Focus, they just dump a permanent contact lens in your eye…?!?
Damn. It is painful to think that all this stuff was recommended, without alternatives to try (but I guess when you need a new Mercedes, or the wife wants to redo the kitchen, who is thinking about suggesting you leave and try free stuff?!?)…
I wish there was an opportunity for class action lawsuits here! Any lawyers in the group willing to run with that?

The description of “how to train” in the app sounds almost like a description of active focus. So at least that is in agreement with this site. Then again, dedicated eye training is something we want avoid, right? So just use active focus in real life unless you have plenty of spare time to be looking at your phone…?

1 Like

Well… This journey started with the realization that my astigmatism was preventing me from seeing at all out of one eye, and poorly with another.

This is really an extension of @jakey’s use of text for AF. The object under study must be regular/known. The shapes/designs allow practice and bringing into focus things the astigmatism makes difficult to see “naturally.”

I don’t anticipate having to continue using the app once my cylinder and sphere reduce.

1 Like

@kem I’m curious how you use the “Astigmatism training” part of the app.

Here’s what I understood from reading the English instructions:

  1. remove glasses and close right eye
  2. use “Sand timer” training and select my 55 deg axis
  3. focus on the neck of the hourglass
  4. look at the lines that form the neck until they are single dark lines instead of double lines
  5. repeat with other eye

I did this for a few minutes but didn’t notice any differences in how dark the lines are, so I’m not sure I’m doing it right. Also, there are quite a few different patterns to look at. It’s not clear what the best starting point is.

I also noticed something interesting about my axis when I use the circle chart in “Astigmatism Test”:

  • At 36 cm, the darkest line (OS) is “2”.
  • At 27 cm, the darkest line (OS) is between “10” and “11”.

In other words, if I get closer, my OS axis appears to shift by 90 degrees. I’m guessing that I’m supposed to train with the “distance” axis.

I usually just cover each eye in turn and run through the concentric circles, spiral, and focus exercises. The sand timer never did anything for me.

I mostly try to work at a distance that gives me a challenge, but I’m more concerned about clearing the lines around 360 degrees of the circle. Obviously some are more difficult than others.

It has taken some time but I’m much improved from my starting point. Can tell from the diminished ghosting, as well as improved regularity of the concentric circles.

That 10 and 2 artifact is likely your minor and major axis of astigmatism. We’ll both be happy when it’s gone or negligible.

2 Likes

When you say “running through the concentric circles”, do you start at the point where the line is darkest and then slowly work your way towards the area of most double vision (i.e. 90 degrees away), trying to get the two lines to merge into one dark line?

Also, the instructions say that the exercise should be done without glasses. Is that how you’ve been using it or do you run through it while wearing glasses with a reduced (or missing) CYL correction?

Sorry for all of the questions, but these exercises seem like an important component of what you found to be working for you and I’m still trying to “get” this exercise. Right now I’m staring at double lines for a few minutes without really being sure that I’m doing it right or that it’s doing anything at all.

Hi Francois,

I usually like the light-on-dark view, although from time to time I’ll use the default black-on-white. The dark view gives me a better perspective on the ghosting and aberrations.

I try to make the most difficult/aberrent parts as clear as possible. So I will view/review the entire graphic, with the goal of making my ciliary/the view as concentric as possible, as opposed to just clearing up the most difficult axes.

I find that my use of the app helps in that I can gauge or track progress, especially from the beginning, when what I saw was a real mess. I’m down to a bit of ghosting and slightly stronger axes in the right eye, and a clear ghost in the left eye. I hope that as my sphere reduces, these artifacts will lessen and diminish over time.

I hope this helps. The main thing, I think, is to get some control over the difficult axis, I tend to look for my slightly off vertical axes as well as good horizontal things for clarity in my day to day.

Good luck with your journey!

Kent

2 Likes