Can I reduce Cylinder for my first Normalized?

Hi everyone, I have been reading around for an OK amount of time now, reading blog posts, doing the Le Rough guide, etc.

(EDIT: Originally, I typed differential for every word where I said normalized now, it should now say normalized now in the situations I intended)

I’m working on purchasing my first pair of normalized online. I am low myopia and low astigmatism and I just want to make sure I start off on the right foot here.

I know I should not be reducing both SPH and CYL/AXIS at the same time or else that will be too much focal plane change at one time it seems. My main question is, is it OK to start out reducing CYL before SPH? Also, I have seen people say how when your 1 diopter or less of ASTIGMATISM (I’m .75) you should maybe not use any CYL correction. I’m not sure why people say this though? It sounds like it means that your CYL will naturally improve if your SPH correction is improving? Thank you to anyone who helps me out with these 2 questions🙂


Somewhere in the bowels of LeMeow there is a posting by Jake that <-1.00 cyl doesn’t require correction in your diffs, and correcting for it only makes it more likely to be needed in your normalized. [I would send the link but am too tired to look for it :slight_smile:]

If you are low cyl, dump it in your diffs and follow the guidelines to drop sph by 1.50, maybe a little less so to account for cyl. Worst case? You are out 20 bucks for useless diffs and back to the drawing board.

Don’t be afraid to experiment…they are your eyes!

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Thank you for this information, but I realized I messed up my terminology. I meant to say Normalized not differentials. Really sorry, how can I flag the post? I want to re-post it if I can

I can change the title. You can edit the post with the pencil icon.

Would you like me to change Differentials to Normalized?

Yes, that would be good, thank you.

You said to drop sph by the time I reach 1.50, I am a little bit below this already. -1.25 and -1. Should I not use CYL correction in normalized at this point if I want to improve my astigmatism?

.75 cylinder is a pretty big percentage of 1.25 sphere. You may have to experiment a little.

You’re in the range to be able to buy lenses pretty cheap. I’d buy one pair with a little dropped cylinder, and one with dropped sphere, and try both on. One of them will be worthless in the long run.

I think one of the reasons why Jake recommends dropping sphere first, is that it’s the easier one for the brain to cope with, so you get a feel for how that is supposed to go before tackling the bigger challenge. But at your ratio, you can’t take a few sphere reductions to learn the ropes before your sphere is lower than your cylinder.

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So buy one pair with sph same and reduce cyl and then vice versia? If it’s best for my brain to start off with sph I guess I’ll have to start there but I am much more worried about my cyl tbh. So, maybe one sph reduction so that my brain gets used to the idea and then start focusing on the cyl?

Astigmatism, as Jake says, is a directional blur. From my experience it means you are going to see the astigmatism blur everywhere you look at, meaning all the time. That is in contrary to spherical blur which is noticeable only outside your diopter bubble.

So, you really don’t want to start with cyl reductions but with the spherical.


Alright, would you say it’s best for my normalized to throw away the CYL correction and only have a lowered sph correction?

I just said the opposite : don’t mess with the cyl when you start and for sure don’t throw it away in one shot (normalized)


I started out a low myope as well. Roughly -1.25 sph, -1.5 cyl. The idea of the first normalized is to get rid of overcorrection and introduce the right amount of blur for AF practice. In my case a great first normalized for me was -.75 sph, -1.25 cyl. I had to take some off both to get the sweet spot of the right amount of blur. From there I reduced cyl by .25 at a time before I wore -.75 sph, 0 cyl for a quite a number of months. I no longer wear glasses (for the past 6 months) but I still have lingering astigmatism. It just takes a long time for the astigmatism to clear up. One helpful tool I use is to do a lot of AF with only one eye at a time. Astigmatism is often such that the two eyes work together and with both eyes open your brain sees the whole more perfectly (the astigmatic blur for each eye cancels the other, not sure I’m explaining this very well, it depends on your axis numbers, if they are roughly perpendicular), so I found that as I reduced my correction I needed to make sure to do AF with one eye at a time to get the most progress. One of the reasons I wanted to reduce cyl first before sph is once you have 0 cyl, you are more like everyone else and can follow the regular advice for low myopes, etc. Working down that cyl was the main task for me. Hope this helps.


Thanks a lot for replying with your story. So right now, I currently plan on doing something similar where I do one reduction of sph, and then start working on cyl. Seems like maybe I could start off my first normalized by reducing both like you did, I’m just not sure if I should try do that or if I should take the more safe route and start off with sph, and then after that first reduction, start working on cyl. I like how you mention having 0 cyl makes it easier to follow the low myopia advice. I figured this being the case as my .75 cyl makes it more difficult to easily judge my distance to blur and to judge how well my progress is due to the astigmatic blurs making it more difficult to fully judge myopia.

One more thing, you are saying that doing AF with one eye helped with cyl progress? or mainly the sph? Also, did you typically cover one eye with your hand or wear something over one eye?


You can do the reductions as you are inclined, with doing one sph first. It’s important to trust yourself in this. It’s actually one of the most important lessons I’ve learned. Be in tune with your body and your eyes and trust your gut. You may find that doing one sph step alone isn’t enough to get the right amount of distance blur. It wouldn’t have been for me.

Keep something else in mind as well, when you reduce cyl if that is too tricky, you are allowed to add sph when you reduce cyl. If you search for this there is a formula for how much sph to add when you reduce cyl. I never needed to add sph because my starting normalized sph was enough to sustain me as I lowered each time with cyl. But I believe Jake has a formula where you can add back sph if a particular cyl reduction isn’t right for you on it’s own. The idea is to do what you need to do to get rid of the cyl correction, it can be tricky to do and is important to prioritize.

In regards to AF with one eye closed, it was something I needed throughout the second half of my journey. I didn’t realize it at the beginning but I got to a point where I wasn’t making much progress and when I realized my eyes were compensating for each other with the axis of astigmatism being roughly perpendicular, I removed the crutch of the other eye and started doing AF one eye at a time and it helped a lot. So when I’m at a traffic light, just looking for any signs around and closing one eye. I believe I read at one point that the most effective eye covering is translucent. It made me think of a tissue and I used one at times, draping a tissue over one eye so that light could still get in, but for me it wasn’t practical. I just shut one eye or covered it with my hand. Not for a super long time. Maybe 30 seconds each eye and doing this 10 times a day. Just whenever I had a chance.


Thanks again. When doing AF for astigmatism, did you also try focusing to align the misalignment? Did you try to hold the focus until the double image became one? Or did you mainly focus on clearing a blur for distance to blur?

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Absolutely, all of that. Thanks for asking as I had not gotten into these details.


You are on the right path! Stay positive. Trust yourself. Ask questions when needed. You’ll get there.


Thank you very much, much appreciated :slight_smile: