Denise Skidmore, From -17D

My name is Denise Skidmore, and I’m starting around -16D. (I’ll get my exact prescription in two weeks.)

I’ve been wearing glasses… Well about 3.5 decades. Putting on glasses when I wake up is as automatic to me as putting shoes on when you go out the door is to you.

I don’t put my shoes on every time I go out the door. This isn’t my first attempt at self experimentation and unconventional self treatment. In 2008 I weaned myself off corrective shoes. Cured some foot issues I’d had, and reduced my ”fibromyalgia” pain down to one bad joint I’d apparently been compensating badly for.

I’m a DIYer in many other fields, I’m a hobby farmer, seamstress, 18th century food reenactor, 17th century clothing reenactor. My interests are too diverse to keep up with any intensively over long periods, but I dig pretty deep when I start something new.

So about 20 years ago I made a bargain with my husband that if he ever did something about his broken teeth, I’d look into LASIK. So a few months ago he went to a seminar and I was obligated to do the same.

The seminar didn’t really have any good news for those worse than -10, but the follow up consultation was free and they said there were other options to discuss. At the follow-up, they recommended implanted lenses plus LASIK (because neither procedure was strong enough alone) to the tune of $13,000. I’m a nerd, I have a well paid nerdy job, but I also have this money pit nerdy farm and just last year bought myself a new tractor and hubby a new car and the dental work hubby needs isn’t cheap either. It has to be the no brainier right choice before I make that kind of investment and trust my eyes to a surgeon.

So I started researching. I’m a nerd, I read medical papers for a living and for fun. My research is a bit more obsessive than most folks. I did a little self experimentation. What I’ve discovered so far:

  • Refractive eye surgery does nothing to help eye length, eye pressure, or any of the associated risks for further eye problems.
  • Refractive surgery will not stop myopia progression and under conventional treatment will need to be repeated or supplemented with glasses in time.
  • At my prescription strength, the lens distortion effects may be the majority of my issues with my current lenses. I only see clearly through the very center of the lens, and everything is very small even so.
  • At 41 I’m at high risk for lens hardening and will need bifocals soon.
  • Most of the qualitative benefits of implanted lenses can be obtained with contact lenses.
  • Retraining my eyes or at least stopping progression may be possible.

So those first three points make research on the last three points a priority for me.

I’ve identified 300+ research paper titles of interest so far and I’m beginning to read them. Folk on the Facebook page thought I should come here and share that work, I’ll post more when I have something. I’ve only gone through a few papers so far.

I’m a very cautious and skeptical person, I want to take this slowly. At the doc appointment I have next I want to discuss contacts and having different lenses for reading and driving. Wearing plus and minus lenses together will only add to total distortion effects, so I am looking at near work contacts with driving glasses over. If I can’t get that combo in my conventionally determined strength, I’ll do two pairs of glasses. I’m going to wear those for 3 months and let my brain and eyes adjust before dialing down my diopters. I’ll give it 6 months to a year to show progress. (In baby chick studies it took 24 hours to show some progress, being an adult that isn’t going cold turkey, I expect slower progress.) If I can go the contacts route I’ll be buying new lenses regularly anyway, so no extra trouble to change strength with each box.

The doc I’m seeing about possible eye surgery is an inventor and researcher, not just a surgeon, so I’m going to try to recruit him in on this. If I can get a vision screening and eye depth measurement every 3 months during the experiment, we’ll have a lot more solid data to go on.


sigh I’m too new to make more than 3 posts to my own thread, so inserting here…

My snellen chart arrived today. I can read most of the 20/25 line, and make several mistakes at 20/20, so I’m conventionally corrected approximately right. It is way overcorrected for near vision, and well over the NY legal driving limit of 20/40.

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Welcome and good luck! It will be interesting to hear what you learn!

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Nice intro! interesting read.

You’ll find that this forum is very anti-corrective surgery. As you say, it’d need repeating and doesn’t do anything about the main risks of high myopia.

But your myopia will protect you from needing plus lenses - think about it - even if your lens hardens and can’t bring the light’s focal point forward much - a myopic’s focal point is already well in front of your retina so you will never have the problem of not being able to read up close without glasses due to hyperopic defocus
edit: oh you just meant bi-focals as in less negative lens in the bottom half , just realised you probably meant that

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Welcome! Glad you joined :slight_smile:

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Yeah, if I went that route I wouldn’t expect support here. I’m postponing surgery and giving this a shot first.

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that’;s not exactly the case - some people develop myopia again after LASIK and those people are also supported. It’s just that people here generally don’t believe in the LASIK approach being good -and it’s irreversible. Although it does offer a quick-fix to the refractive error

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the implanted lens option (where most of my correction will come from) is reversible, but I can’t imagine it’s much cheaper to take out than it was to put in.

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The question is, what could they possibly replace it with?

My parents have both had cataract surgery.

Now that I know, I want nothing to do with it myself.

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Cataract surgery is slightly different. In that case they remove the clouded eye lens and replace it with the artificial lens. The refractive correction surgery places the new lens in front of the natural one, and reduces risk of certain side effects of breaching the lens. The refractive lens could be entirely removed, or replaced with a weaker one. (In my case can’t replace with a stronger one, they want to start with the strongest one that will fit between my lens and iris.)

Cataract surgery is not really optional yet. You can’t do focus exercises if your lens is cloudy and opaque. They are working on an alternative treatment that dissolves the cloud rather than mechanically removing it, and when that’s available it will be the better option.

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That farm life is going to be your biggest asset… …lots of outdoor opportunity. At -16D you are primed to see some major choroidal gainz early on. As long as you figure out how to unlock ciliary spasm and control your ciliary muscles you will drop a diopter in a heartbeat. Scleral gainz will by pretty epic as well.

The only unfortunate thing about your situation is that you will want the highest quality lenses on the market and even then you will be limited by which frames you can order if you are forced to go without the contacts; this combo can get rather pricey with the amount of progress you will be making. I suppose it’s still waaaayyyyy cheaper than surgery :rofl:.

I’m excited to see what you can do over the next year!

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Heyyy. Nice! I also weaned myself off the corrective shoes bit. Another “aide” to thank my very treatment trusting parents for. :wink:

-16 will take a while, but getting rid of some of those high diopters will be very rewarding.

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Welcome and May it go really well, sounds like you have a great starting attitude. Lots to read on the high myopia posts. As for your husband, have a look at myobraces. :wink:

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As a programmer I often daydream about running away from all the madness and get into a life of subsistence farming :crazy_face:.

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I’m a programmer now. The farm is run on a half hour morning and night, and 3 hours on weekends. More time would be needed to diversify or do everything perfectly, but that’s enough to manage. I work in a minor city, and it’s a 40 minute commute from there to my affordable 17 acres. They say you can do subsistence farming on 5 acres, but that of course depends on your climate, family size, diet…

Get your retirement fund set up first, you’ll need it. Get to the gym and increase your endurance, you’ll need it. You might ask around if there’s weekend jobs in the summer putting up hay, that will build your strength and give you an idea what you’re in for. I’m not strong, I hire in a lot of help, which is part of why my farm isn’t profitable.

It is however a nice lifestyle, some nights I throw the hay down to the sheep and just lay over the edge of the hay loft watching them eat. We eat the freshest tomatoes, homemade relishes, and as much lamb as we want. (We’ve got pork, chicken, and beef too, but those are a lot more work.)

Yeah, I am learning about this, have not yet seen the literature that shows if this is all going to be choroidal and scleral growth, or if the whole eye will eventually relax into a shorter shape.

I think I already have this. If I take off my lenses, about 3 seconds later there is a shift in my vision. It’s not clear, but it’s slightly less fuzzy.

I have found 2 manufacturers now that offer the lenses I need, but they’re custom order, can’t get them off the shelf at the various retail websites. I’m not sure yet if I can order them direct, or if I’ll need an optometrist. There is still the matter of me tolerating them. Hard contacts in my teens did not go well…

Yeah. Contacts are steeper than glasses, but changing prescription in contacts is easy, just order the next box a step down, and the distance lenses over will be the lower powered lenses that are pretty cheap to get. If I don’t go the contacts route, for each prescription step I’ll need BOTH nearwork and distance lenses in the high-index-anti-glare price range, which at 4 pairs a year costs just as much as the contacts. I will probably wait to see how well contact work out for me and work up to all day wear before messing with the prescription, just start out with one pair of reader glasses, my existing distance glasses, one box of reader contacts, and one low powered pair of driving-with-contacts glasses.

If I could just pull my font sizes down to human average, and turn down the DPI settings to “compatible with most applications” that would be huge for me. I’m not really in this to get rid of my glasses, I do enough nearwork I’ll always need either nearwork glasses or drivers.

Wrong kind of dental issue. We’re talking hybridge.

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welcome.

lets wean off of the lenses. i’m just glad i was talked out of lasik many years ago

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Welcome!
I have gone from orthotics to minimalist barefoot shoes! So yay!
So glad you found EndMyopia! I have been learning and trying things from EndMyopia for 5 months now (so much to digest!) and in the last month I have finally got it moving and am seeing improvement. Hope you get everything out of this you could want. -16 sounds pretty intense to me (who is a -3).

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yeah I also took a few months to really get going, it’s difficult to get your first differentials right and to eliminate ciliary spasm (though I think I have it down now) and get active focus working consistently

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I’m finding active focus changes the more one uses it.

I used to have to be careful when I looked at something to be sure it was in best focus. Now I just have to pause and watch while the lens works to clear up the visual image.

I have slowed down as I observe my world as a result. So this becomes like a mindfulness meditation, with a side effect of improving my vision.

Kent

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One problem for me is that near work is my life. Spending time defocused (which is the method used in the studies that causes rapid gains) sounds incredibly boring. I’m thinking I need to get back into tatting (a method of making lace). It was historically the form of needlework recommended for ladies with vision problems. I know I can tat a hair I can’t see, I might be able to postpone the fiddly bits until after defocus time.

Not sure if it was mentioned but have you considered using contacts say at a base level of -10 and then using glasses to correct to the dioptor that you need so it would be; -14 contacts with -1.75 glasses. Or because there are 6 in a box you could consider using 2 pairs of glasses for differentials and normalized. Then a number like -10 would last longer and it will be less expensive than the full prescription lenses. I know some others in the forum have used this sort of strategy.