The original thread, Denise Skidmore, From -17D is getting a bit long…
So summary for those of you just joining that don’t want to wade through nearly 600 posts, I’ll bold topics so you can skim if you already read the other thread.
I got here from researching LASIK (on a bargain), then contacts, then EM. It didn’t sound like LASIK (+IOL because neither procedure is strong enough alone) was going to improve the quality of my vision over glasses, and had more potential side effects, but I was encouraged to try contacts as a preview, and in researching those I happened across someone daring to mess with her own prescription… I research stuff all the time as a hobby and have done self-experimentation in other fields before…
My last manifest refraction I have record of is a spherical equivalent -17.5/-16.75. If I went down at 0.75 diopters a year, I’d be 24 years in the process, and the number of people on this board that have made consistent gains over multiple years is pretty low, there’s a high chance I’d backslide at some point and not make it in 24 years. I’d be an old woman fighting retina damage, cataracts, or glaucoma before getting my eyes to 20/20.
I’ve also learned that what I consider half blind may be what most of the rest of you see all the time. I have a best corrected visual acuity at distance close to 20/20. I can get 20/20 in the right eye and binocularly. My left eye has an “unfortunately placed” vitreous detachment it is hard to see through. My near vision however, is approximately equal to a 5x magnifying lens. I just need to accept that that level of near vision visual acuity isn’t obtainable at distance due to visual angles and the resolution of the rods/cones on the retina. I need to back off to a healthier viewing distance and accept the lack of clarity if I want to stop progressing. I may be able to train my visual cortex to pull out a little more meaning at distance vision without that level of fine detail.
So why am I even here if I know I’m not going to succeed in getting to 20/20, and I don’t want to give up my awesome close inspection vision?
- I want to stop progressing. The side effects of my current lenses are bad enough without making them stronger.
- I want to stop having eye strains and headaches every time the doc gives me a new prescription.
- Indirectly: I want to cut down the vertigo and increase the peripheral vision (this is brought about by wearing contacts, not EM directly)
Challenges at my level of myopia:
- Cm measurements are unreliable. A two tenths change in cm measurement would be a quarter diopter change.
- Vertex distance is a bear. The difference between my contacts prescription and my glasses prescription is about 3D. Even if cm measurements worked for me, I need to do more math.
- Vertigo is a bear. I can’t even tolerate an adjustment to my frames in the same lenses, it will take me a couple weeks to adapt. Switching glasses is not something I’m comfortable with. I have experimented with “defocus” lenses, a prescription considerably weaker such that I can’t see the floor clearly does not cause vertigo, but lets me see well enough to act like a sighted human.
- Refraction is unreliable. A 2mm adjustment in the position of the glasses on my face would change my reading by more than a quarter diopter.
- Glasses are expensive. Even normally cheap zenni glasses in the lowest index of refraction they’ll let me choose, there’s a surcharge for the custom work that my high prescription demands. I’m not going to just be able to drop $20/pair, I’m looking at $40-$90 depending on how heavy I’m willing to put up with. (Not even the recommended index of refraction, but the highest that they will do a spherical grind on.)
- Contacts have a limited selection. My doctor was only able to get his hand on two brands that might fit me at my strength. He’s not perfectly happy with what he ended up fitting me in.
- Contacts in my range only come in half diopter increments.
Challenges with the rest of my life and EM:
- Near work pretty much defines me, that’s how I got to be so myopic.
- I’m partially disabled, so long walks to do AF are not going to happen.
- I live in the middle of nowhere, even if I did take an AF walk, I’d encounter not many street signs.
- I’m way too easily bored to just AF off the edge of the deck if I wanted to “pull sheep” or “pull trees” the way Hannie does “cow pulling”.
What I’ve done so far:
- I’ve started wearing contacts. This base sits at 0 mm vertex distance, reducing issues with vertigo, peripheral vision, and reliability of measurement. I’ve found getting the contacts out challenging, and I need the wetting drops 2-3 times a day, but overall they’ve been nice to wear. These contacts are prescribed by my doctor and are a bit strong in the left eye and a bit weak in the right eye (-13.5/-14).
- I now have differentials, which relieve my strain at the PC.
- I’m trying to improve my vision habits, especially with using workrave to encourage me to take more breaks from the computer.
Ok, so now we’re up to the current day. I got new -12 contact lenses in the mail this week from http://www.saveonlens.com/. I had a little trouble with not getting my confirmation number, but customer service was able to send me my info and the lenses did come, and they look like authentic CooperVision products. They are the same material, base curve, and diameter as my prescribed contacts, but just low enough in diopters to be the less expensive branding. (Biofinity and Biofinity XR are similar enough to share a package insert, but the difference is $24 a box.) I did a reading distance subjective refraction earlier this week and a 10’ Snellen subjective refraction today.
Driving: -12 contacts + -2 glasses / -12 + -1.75
Computer: -12 + -0.75 / -12 + -0.5
If you’re paying attention, that lens combo has reversed the diopter ratio from my contacts prescription, but that is more consistent with the manifest refraction for glasses and 3 prior pairs of glasses. I wasn’t going to complain much at the time if I could only get the right eye under-prescribed, I was willing to keep that. I wonder though if my prescribed lenses would be more useful swapped, I’d see 20/20 on the right and be only a quarter diopter under-prescribed on the left.