Can See Better In Optometrist Lens That Are Technically Weaker Than Current Normalized Glasses. Why?

The current normalized glasses I bought from Zenni are -2/-2.25 OS/OD sph. Even though I have astigmatism, I don’t want to deal with that just yet. However, they are so hard to active focus, it is too blurry. I don’t know how I adapted to be honest, but it’s been around a year with these glasses and my eyes have not improved. In fact, they have gotten worse.

The fault is on me, EndMyopia is so subjective that it is hard to understand what is correct and what to do (even with all the scientific facts) and also quarantine has made my vision significantly worse. I started playing video games again and I missed having fun. I’m also a freshman in college and I’m starting to learn how to code. It has been destroying my eyes. Unfortunately, even with my EndMyopia habits and knowledge, I have a tendency to stay so focused that even if my eyes are burning from dry eyes and ciliary spasm, I don’t get bothered by it because I want to study and learn.

Recently, I went to the doctor to check my eyes and get new glasses because I’m gonna start driving soon. I want to make sure I am able to see the road and keep myself and others safe. As mentioned above, my current glasses are too blurry for me to look in the distance and active focus. So, I’m in the eye doctor with that lens kit where they flip lens and while I’m looking at Snellen chart letters. I honestly can’t see the small letters that well. I try my best, but they never get super clear, no matter how many lens my doctor changed. Eventually, when I did reach a certain degree of “okay I can kinda see the small letters” I kindly asked my doctor to print out my prescription, and my doctor responded in kindness.

My results? -1.50/-1.75 sph, -2.25/-1.75 cyl at 175 and 180 degrees respectively.

How is this possible? How were these lens so much better and are weaker at the same time? I only have two theories:

  1. My old prescription’s PD is wrong, so I don’t have the most amount of focus in the center. I’m pretty sure this is incorrect.
  2. The astigmatism correction helped. I don’t believe this honestly, I’m pretty sure the sphere and blur bubble help the most, not astigmatism. The astigmatism when I was looking at the Snellen chart was still bad.

I’m so surprised that with all the lenses, I still couldn’t see the letters. With my recent personal measurements, I definitely feel like a -4–5 myope, there is no way I’m that low of a myope with the results I got. But with vision that’s good with those lens, I’m not so sure.

Here’s the encore: my doctor first mentioned about retinal detachment and I got scared. This was the thing I was trying to avoid, and my doctor first mentioned it as far as I remember. And if I am a low myope, then I don’t know what to think.

tldr: I saw better with weaker sphere lens and some cylinder correction in the eye doctor’s office than my current normalized. What do I do now? I’m really scared, but I’m young enough to reverse this refraction error and live a good life. I don’t want to lose my eyes.

This seems the right answer to me. When you calculate the weaker axes from the phoropter readings, they are -3.75 and -3.5 (sphere and cyl added together) and this is what you should theoretically come up with when you measure naked eye distance to first blur/deformation/ghosting.

Even with a full correction for astigmatism, you might not have clear vision, as you may have compound astigmatism, which cannot be fully corrected for. I had the same experience when an opto tried out different cylinder corrections for my left eye, and I could not tell the difference - she kept on saying ‘but they are different!’

It is not surprising that it is hard for you to focus with your Zenni norms, escpecially as they have no cylinder correction. With your amount of astigmatism you need cylinder correction in your norms, and may have to keep some cylinder in your differentials as well. Having equal or near-equal cylinder and sphere is a tricky situation, that several others on the forum are dealing with.

Retinal detachment is a risk for anyone, myopic or not, but it is a higher risk for high myopes, and you are not a high myope. And remember that a risk is a risk, and not a certainty. It might be useful for you to have a look at the statistics on retinal detachment. This should reassure you. Astigmatism is most often a question of an irregular cornea and is not connected to axial length (as far as I know) as even hyperopes with too short an axial length can have astigmatism. .I doubt very much that high astigmatism increases one’s risk of retinal detachment.,is%20about%201%20in%20300.

My advice is that you get full correction for driving, especially if you are a new driver, and once you are used to those, work out, based on EM principles what you need for diffs for computer distance. Use these diffs for a month or two and then think about getting norms. Hopefully some other forum members with a similar situation to yours can add some advice, as I am only speaking from theory and not personal experience. My situation is different to yours as I had higher spherical than cylinder needs.

You have a lot on your plate right now, so myopia can be put on the back burner for a while. Eyes are not that fragile. Drive safely! :smile:


Always enjoyed your long replies, clear and logical. I thought of responding this one today as well, but I keep discarding the idea due to laziness :rofl: and also afraid of creating more confusion instead of actual help.

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Thank you. :+1:

I think you hit the nail on the head, but shouldn’t the Spherical Equivalent be the sphere power plus half the cylinder?

Astigmatism correction helps in two ways, first of all it does take care of directional blur, but it also partially adds to sphere power. If your sph was too weak you’d see some benefit from adding cyl although you could never reach perfect clarity with the lens power in the wrong shape. (You’d end up introducing astigmatic blur in the opposite axis.)

If you do the math for spherical equivalent on your prescription glasses, you’ll see they are stronger than your normalized, not weaker.

I was not referring to the spherical equivalent, where one undercorrects the weaker axis and overcorrects the stronger one - a compromise. I was referring to the blur point of the weaker axis, which one would notice first (ghosting, in my case). If one uses the plus notation for cylinder, this becomes clear. -4, +1 is the same as -3, -1

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Got it! I learned something.

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