Dark Days' Diaries: Can I Achieve Significant Year-Over-Year Shortening?

Agreed. You should notice that, or if not, at least notice things blurring up after it goes away. I don’t think AF can last for hours continuously for example (at least not without a headache).

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I’m having a bit of a weird week. Now that I’m concentrating on how I focus and sunlight is slowly starting to return, my subjective vision feels better, but my right eye’s AL just measured at a disappointing 25.8 – might still be going backwards a little. (Or just stagnant, depending on how much I average. 6% EMA is roughly flat-lining at 25.79X mm.)

Yea. It also doesn’t feel right.

Going by feeling, the poor distance focus plus the winter darkness could be making my eyes too used to giving up. I’ll be more conservative on the distance blur for a while, and try harder to get proper focus as often as possible, to see if that can get things going again.

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varies from person to person but I noticed that my focus is much more automatic when I’m outdoors and moving than in any other situation. It’s like a combo of focusing, taking in peripheral vision, and taking in binocular vision at the same time.

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@Bigkittyqueen That is weird; my focus seems to be rather poor while moving outdoors, especially when the movement is on the faster side.


On Reddit, someone used the expression unconscious desire to focus. That really resonated with me, because it describes the part that feels weak about my vision. Active focus, locking on, it all kinda-sorta works, but there’s often just this weird laziness, like not even expecting a focused image to be there in the first place.

When I concentrate on this topic and try to focus a lot, I sometimes get a slight headache on the right side of the back of my head, close to the visual cortex. I remember this same sensation from the beginning of 2018. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m finally on the right lead? Should try to re-train my unconscious expectations of focus to be able to improve better? :thinking: :eyes:

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Unconscious expectations could be influencing your rate of improvement. I have sometimes wondered if the fact that you do not see the improvement in axial length you are hoping for is putting a brake on the improvements you are allowing yourself to make. I am not trying to argue that there is no connection between myopia and axial elongation, but that the delay in axial shortening could be longer than you expect, or go via detours that we are not aware of.

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I think this is what Jake call’s “blur adaptation”. You are just used to the blur and don’t expect that you are able to clear it. I think it was the reason why I did not improved for 2.5 years. I did everything “right”, could AF easily when I focused on AFing, but had no AF when just lived my life, because blur seemed to be normal to my unconscious.
The solution was not to increase dioptre, but to remind myself all the time that I should AF. After a few weeks it somehow changed and my eye (or rather my brain) seems to do it without direct intent.

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This is what happened to me too, a few months into EM, but not as a result of conscious AF at all times of the day. I think the path of myopia reversal is so different for everyone, that we can only share experiences in the hope that somebody else may benefit from it. I had no clear expectations at all when I started, especially as several were warning me that it would not work for someone as uncorrected and blur tolerant as myself. I just set out to see what I could see, and voila!

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Couldn’t resist referring to this children’s song -

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would be nice to get to this stage. Though I’ve only been at it for like 4 months not 2.5 years. But I guess it’s hopeless to think I will improve (exept for ciliary spasm release) until I get to this stage. Not sure how it will happen

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Come now! What kind of attitude is that? :woman_white_haired: :wink:

p.s. I started to improve well before I got to the automatic AF stage. I think I started improving as soon as I had set my mind to do so. Have you not seen any improvements in your measurements, no matter how small?

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in the average cm measurements, yeah a little bit, but I’m still unsure whether its just meaurement error earlier. Let’s see, I’ll keep measuring

The two biggest improvements I can name so far due to EM are: no longer stinging when I look into the distance for a long time - so eyes can handle more strain and can “look” more consistently.
No longer have headaches in the evening after staring at a screen all day - due to wearing differentials I assume

The price I paid so far is extra floaters when learning to AF…

I track separately the cm till blur on weakest axis (max cylinder needed) and cm till blur on strongest axis (max spherical needed). The former (cyl) has not really budged but I notice about 1cm of difference when I have good sleep vs. bad sleep days. The sph cm average to blur point has gone up by about 1.5cm since the time I THINK I started measuring roughly correctly.

so far not such a great balance, but I’m gonna keep going since the method makes sense… and maybe just maybe the 1.5cm difference is real and due to EM and not just that my method of measuring is different now than at the start…

then again I shoudl add that this is mostly in the autumn/winter so in the summer it could get better

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Sounds good to me.

Cylinder vs spherical measurements always posed a big problem for me. I could never really tell when astigmatic blur changed to myopic blur. My left eye measurements to easy legibility on screen at 40cm with a differential lens are definitely improving, although this barely shows up in naked eye measurements??? Jake has commented on such apparent discrepancies being possible.
Do not assume that automatic AF is necessary for improvement. I find that all assumptions, beliefs and expectations can be stumbling blocks. And don’t you dare throw any unicorn manure at this. :smile:
On y va Lajos, and the best of luck.
I hope this does not sound maternalistic, but I reckon I am old enough to be your grandmother. :upside_down_face:

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Mother maybe but probably not grandmother :grin:

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I have over 2 D cyl. It is quite easy for me to see where the directional blur starts and where the omni-directional blur starts…

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for me I definitely have a strong desire to active focus but aside from that, I’m more like the doctor that Jake just interviewed with. I sometimes go into a meditative state in the mornings before I get out of bed and visualize myself going outside and seeing everything clearly. definitely some brain training involved imo. iI may have trained up some basic level of active focus from print pushing over the years before I came here. Just never had the tools to do the same for distance vision.

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@Varakari, what if it’s something super simple, like residual astigmatism, causing your active focus “laziness” feeling? That is the problem I’m currently having, and it’s exacerbated in low light. I plan to focus extra on the astigmatism by doing active focus on environmental lines at distance in good light with my normalized on.

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Don’t misunderstand me, it did not take 2,5 years of effort to reach this stage. The 2.5 years was “put on normalized and do nothing with it” stage :slight_smile: When I consciously started to put effort into getting into the habit of AF, it took only a few weeks (about from end of february to middle of march). Also what helped a lot is reducing my differential. Most likely I had some ciliary spasm because of the old was too strong, especially for mobile phone (for which I needed differential then).

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@FMR I think astigmatism plays a role, in that it is another source of blur that may push the visual system over the edge. But I found no way to make cylinder error disappear completely, and wouldn’t want to start wearing cylinder correction; even the opto only gives me 0.25 of cylinder. Since I did have times of good improvement anyway, at least cylinder shouldn’t be the only, or main, cause.

Total undercorrection could be, though. That is where my relatively strong distance correction in summer 2018, as well as the generally high correction at the beginning of 2019 come to mind, which both preceded, or coincided with, my best times of improvement.

This kind of explanation is difficult to analyze because it would lead to a volatile function of improvements per correction. With increasing correction, my focusing habits would improve and subsequent gains would increase, until I hit the point where overcorrection plays a role and results worsen dramatically. Since it’s hard to find the exact turnaround point, it’s also hard to exclude this kind of theory.

This is very similar to my return to improvement in early 2019, with the difference that I reduced my distance glasses as well. Because of lag and imprecision, I still don’t know what was the biggest component between reducing for distance, reducing for computer, more vision walks, or the general return of light levels.

I remember starting to get better focus while doing vision walks to the town center, seeing so clearly that it made me reduce. Subjectively, I felt I was improving about 2–3 weeks before measurements were showing it. Near the start of that period, I reduced for distance, and near the end, I reduced for the computer, which was immediately followed by shortening AL readings. It may have been similar to your story: the focusing habit and the screen reduction triggering improvement, with the distance reduction only coinciding with the events and the brightness levels generally helping my focusing habits to make the leap.

To test this hypothesis, I’d have to try to return to improving without the distance reduction and with more emphasis on good focusing. If it works, that would indicate the distance reduction was a red herring. But if not, then I’d lack a good repeat experiment of the successful spring I had last year. I think I’ll do it, since my weak distance corrections have been bugging me anyway. If they are also hampering improvement, I’d be shooting myself in both feet, and would like to stop doing that ASAP.

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Yeah I guess this is it for me too, too strong differentials but eye strain slowed me down. Now I realised I just have to give the eye a break sometimes by putting on a stronger prescription for a short time and then I’m able to cope with lower prescription in general

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I may also add another data point to this theory: last week I started to use computer without any glasses, and in a few days I saw a huge improvement in my distance vision with my current normalized. Then woke up with a frozen neck in the weekend and to make sure my posture is right I went back to my differencials. Few days later the improvements was lost. Yesterday I again did a half day without differential and the distance improvements seems to come back… Sorry, right now I only have subjective measurements, but will do some cm measurement in the following days.

Of course the improvement may come from the increased AF time: with my differential I could easily work with total clarity without AF, but without glasses I definitely need strong AF to be able to work.

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