Fanatically curious kitteh reporting in!

Hi! I’m Georg from Germany, a fanatic asker of why-questions who never liked being myopic.

Yea, I’ve been on here for about three weeks without introducing myself… better late than never? :sweat_smile:

My story begins in second grade, when, lo and behold, I got glasses. Being a curious child, I asked the eye doctor whether the glasses would make things worse over time. Of course they said no, I should wear them all the time, and didn’t care to give me a real explanation.

Fast forward to when I was maybe 22 years old, and not for the first time, my prescription was stepped up. This time, L -3, R -2.75. It was always the same, no explanation, and a not too long after new glasses, my distance vision turned bad again! I became so disgruntled that I stayed away from optometrists for over eight years, despite degraded distance vision. It was bad, but I didn’t know better. And then, this March, my glasses were beginning to break down. I went to an optometrist and got a prescription of:

L: -4, Cyl -0.25; R: -3.5, Cyl -0.25. (with symmetrical oblique astigmatism axes.)

That was it for me. Minus four? Astigmatism?! I did not get such glasses. Instead, I started researching and soon found three extremely surprising things:

  • Todd Becker’s talk on print pushing and hormetism
  • The four eyes of my brother and me were all calibrated to our computer screens, after taking glasses into account.
  • Vision improvement stories online shared a common thread of side effects concerning double vision, astigmatism, or possibly higher-order errors, at a level of consistency that was unlikely to be fake.

This stuff was getting way too strange to ignore. I started tweaking my screen distance and getting into print pushing. There wasn’t much of a starting boost, but still, something happened. I asked my optometrist for regular autorefractor measurements; they agreed to run it over my eyes every three weeks.

The next few months, I struggled with figuring out how to best go about improvement. Knowing the scale of it all, I trusted nobody anymore, so everything had to be validated the hard way. I started ordering ever more glasses to experiment with, and combed the internet for any and all data I could find. Starting from Gettingstronger, I found Endmyopia, C.G. Hayes’s No BS Guide, Plus Lens Therapy, Inner Blindness and mainstream Bates, Nathan Oxenfield’s fork of the Bates method (that combines it with reduced lens methods), and a whole lot of individual stories.

I read or watched every lead I found.

On Forums, scanned all the posts. On Youtube, all the comments. On Reddit, read everything and sent some PMs to get more answers. I even started poking random people on unrelated Discord channels whether they could give me eye stories. Eventually, I homed in on some more, very interesing sources, like Forrest’s theory on astigmatism, and Frank Schaeffel’s long history of animal studies. And, of course, Endmyopia and its vast collection of improvement reports.

Over time, I became more convinced that the Reduced Lens Method is where it’s at. Many bits on Endmyopia check out with theory, much unlike the claims of competing groups like the modern Bates stuff. Also, Jake’s improvement prediction of 0.25 D every 3-4 months fits the slope of my improvement so far.

My current best-guess spherical estimate: L: -3.4; R: -3.1 (These are to horizon. Optometrist now prescribes L -3.25, R -3 with -0.25 cylinder each.)

For readers who are like me and always want more details: I’ve written this monstrous reddit post on myopia improvement, which also has plots for my measurements so far.

To be honest, I’m furious about optometry and what it did to me. Almost all my life, I had to deal with myopia and glasses, and hated it. The increasing undercorrection with my last “official” glasses kept pushing me toward being a shut-in, because many outdoor activities just aren’t as fun if you can’t see properly. But since I suspected that more “correction” would make it worse, I thought I just had to bear it.

Not anymore! I can now enjoy outdoor activities much more, since I now understand that it’s fine to use reasonably strong glasses outside if I use different computer glasses. So even if my total improvement so far isn’t too big, my improvement in quality of life is huge!

I got onto this forum in a slightly unorthodox way. Being a DIY maniac, I never actually did the 7-day e-mail course. Jake posted a link to Le Test somewhere, which led me here – I guessed it would be okay, since the link was officially public and I’d gone through the majority of Endmyopia posts and videos at this point.

So, yea, that’s my story so far. I want to dive even deeper into the research, so I’m trying to get biometric eye data and scientific contacts (Edit: as in, scientists to talk to, not fancy contact lenses :joy:). Also, I’ve gotten some friends interested in trying to improve and applying tight measurement standards. Let’s see how it goes!

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Welcome on board :slight_smile:

And a big plus on getting some friends interested. I made the experience that basically no one around me cares about there eyes. But I also stopped speaking to enthusiastic about the whole thing. Anyway nice to meet ya.

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welcome Georg,

thank you for the introduction and your story. You have made good progress so far !
Grüße aus Rastatt :wink:

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Herzlich Willkommen! Great intro there, lovely to read post from people who really detail and focus on facts.

(in Finnish, my native tongue, Vara means substitute/replacement and Kari is a common name for a man. So, apparently we have no Kari on this board, but glad that we have a sub-Kari. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Your formula is a bit difficult to read for the prescription is minus, where I guess one should drop the - doing the calculation:
(Latest prescription) - (1/6) D + 1/(distance to screen, meters)
Also the 1/6 diopter due to optometrician’s measurement distance vs used distance… this to me difficult to understand and sounds like it would depend (on how bad your eyesight is in the first place)… but I guess it is miniscule and could be dropped from the calculation (for practical reasons)? Is the “latest presciption” here the “normalized” one or the full one? For me, the full prescriptionon my R eye is -6.75, let’s say I am 50cm away… this would calculate to 6.75-1/6-2=~4.5. I got glasses off Ebay that are 5.5 on R eye and my astigmatism is -1.25… so if you add half of that to 6.75, you get 7.38 and you calculation were -5.2. So I am pretty close, I guess. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for your intro, and for this piece of information! :+1:

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Hi, Varakari,
thank you for your introduction.

Man, i can so much relate to that! :roll_eyes:
Had an appointment with a completely non-supportive ophtalmologist last tuesday which reinforced my decision to DIY my further myopia management (at the positive side: no signs for retinal or scleral pathologies :smiley:). Potentially proving him wrong one far day adds to my already immense motivation :wink:

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Woooow, fantastic read. Thanks for it, keep studying, you are a master.

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Amazing write-up, welcome :slight_smile:

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Good luck and thanks for another inspiring story. It never gets old hearing anothet encouraging story, especially if your not at to 20/20 yet. Best of luck again!

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Whoooa, what a response! Thank you everyone! :smiley:

Aha! I guess I know what it means now! :joy:

There shouldn’t be any sign dropped in this formula. The - (1/6) D takes you from the optometrist’s acuity test to the horizon. Then + (1 / screen distance) takes you from the horizon to the screen. Diopters go into negative direction for distance, and positive direction to get closer. There’s an example calculation just below the formula in the post. If the prescription you put into the calculation gave you full focus at an optometrist’s 6 m horizon, the result of the calculation gives you full focus at the screen distance you put in.

That’s the physics; in reality, it’ll all be imprecise for various reasons. Your prescription could be imprecise, and you get errors because it’s all rounded to 0.25 D steps. Can’t do much about that. Once you have a more precise measurement, for example undercorrected focus distance, you can use that instead of this formula.

If I understand you right, you’re using a large spherical equivalent to work on cylinder. I don’t know how that interacts with focus distance measurements. Replacing cylinder with half as much spherical doesn’t give you perfect focus at any distance, so it might be harder to measure focal distances while using a lot of spherical equivalent.

Credit to Reddit user Mastiff37, creator of /r/astigmatism. He dug up a lot of interesting stuff and got me into searching for Forrest’s studies. It’s a young subreddit with barely any users; if you want to pay it forward, you could say hi there and share your story or anything interesting you found.

TBH, Forrest might have been on to something big, and it’s a shame that his work has been buried in history without even a serious attempt to refute or discuss it.

Anyway! Thanks again to everyone! I’ll keep y’all posted.

And it’s really nice to have this forum! I’m only used to either disinterest or optometrists who are looking for a flamewar. This is a lot better. :smile:

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Yes, I am not sure either how cylinder relates (have of course read what Jake says on it, but I have to see it for myself). I am still waiting on the glasses that actually have the (slightly reduced from prescription) cylinder also, so I bought these Shaub & Fischer glasses off Ebay for less than 15€, to use in the mean time for PC. For distance like I am from the PC screen, my -0.50 cyl (prescribed, not self measured) on the left eye makes no difference, I can see clearly. The combined two eyes, I see equally well… on the right (-1.25 cyl prescribed) I can see clearly from like 30cm, but at 50cm, it is slightly fuzzy. This being -5.50 compared to -6.75, I am not sure if it’s the lacking cylinder or lacking diopters, maybe both.

Anyway, for me, I don’t see cylinders as something you are born with (yet to find anything conclusive written on this). I’ve had glasses since I was 7yo and the cyl has been increasing since diopters started reducing (in my 30s). So my plan is to reduce the cyl also bit by bit. I took -.25 off for both eyes on my first reduced pair that order from the UK. Yet to measure astigmatism myself, will do that and act accordingly.

Jake has posted lots of stories on changing cylinder, and there’s also a Rhesus monkey study where they induced cylinder error with lenses. So, “born with” is definitely not the right term, except for a few poor folks with genetic defects.

My cylinder error also only appeared in recent years. Further back, I got to really high acuity without any need for cylinder. I hope I can reduce it, so I’m not wearing any cylinder correction, but haven’t seen any cylinder improvement so far. If I keep improving through next year, maybe I’ll schedule a break from spherical reductions and see if that helps. But for now, my main goal is to knock down that -3 D mark. That would be a major milestone, and would also conclude any discussions à la “you’re just imagining things, myopia can’t improve.”

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Good introduction…
With just DIY you appear to got the wind.
Bet you would feel even better if you follow Jake’s emails and maybe back to 20/20.
I personally do not regret it…

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TBH, I doubt I’m deviating much from Jake’s advice. Maybe I’ll do the e-mail course soon, to see if it has advice I still didn’t come across on the blog and videos. But I really read and watched a whole lot of Endmyopia stuff by now, and came across most of the ideas three or more times already. And that’s not counting what I had already heard in Todd Becker’s method, which is very similar.

There are some minor things I changed for personal reasons, like how I avoid taking off glasses except when reading, because I’ve grown way too used to blur in the past. (So no early-morning-without-glasses routines.) Or how I started equalizing relatively early, so I can better print push without glasses. I also use slightly higher distance acuity before stepping down, again because of my history with blur adaptation. And if I get to cylinder, maybe I’ll try Forrest’s eye movements.

But in the larger scheme of things, those are details or just ways to adapt the general idea to my personal circumstances. It’s still all based on the same principles.

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Seems to be slower, at least for a lot of us. Started last year, cyl -0,75 both, just dropped it completeley, (differentials + normalized) January: no change. Now: According to opto, no change, but I felt the -0,75 being to strong. So, it’s -0,25 in a year.
Will do that astigmatism self measuring tool soma day :smiley:

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@Varakari: You seem to have a very structured and scientific attitude towards all this - any chance you are a physicist? :wink:

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Hahah, again a very precise guess, @mko! I got a Master’s degree in physics, my thesis was in computational astrophysics.

I could try guessing that you’re a physicist too, but I cheated and already looked at your intro post! :nerd_face:

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Before the Internet part of this whole adventure I did notice this trend. Scientists, and highly logical individuals would gravitate to this approach to vision improvement (even if they weren’t that interested in their own eyesight, something about that kind of curiosity and way of thinking - “I must make this an experiment and observe the outcome”).

Them and professional that need eyesight (pilots, professional sports types, etc). Most of everybody else, equal parts confused and apathetic.

Logical minded people with clear thinking and inquisitiveness make me happy! :nerd_face:

Todd, good basics. He doesn’t quite distinguish between close-up and distance though, and a lot of the detail that we got to just from years of experimenting and so many participants aren’t quite there. I like Todd’s thought process but sometimes get a little frustrated because so much “I’m having problems with x” e-mail I get is based on technical approach fallacies kind of introduced by Todd’s “abbreviated” take on the method. Like plus lenses for close-up for example … makes sense in theory, but in practice when applied to a large enough sample size, you realize it’s got too many side effects to be truly viable (without a bunch of disclaimers).

Much of the benefit I see in endmyopia is having so many people over a relatively long period of time having tried various approaches, and shared results. So when it comes to the details, nitty gritty, tweaks and experiences, we have a lot to work with.

@Varakari I keep log data from BackTo20/20 participants (with their explicit consent, of course). It’s highly detailed in a lot of cases, including diopter changes over time, correlated centimeter improvements, basic personal data (age, gender, etc). I had it set up with the help of a research scientist to make sure the data could be used in a future study. It’s very interesting since everybody there follows a very standardized approach, and a LOT of data is accumulating over time.

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@jakey Wow, that is fantastic! I’m trying to get into a myopia research group, and would love to be able to make use of that data one day! But currently stuck on stubborn people who won’t really listen unless I throw biometric data at them, so I’m now including axial length into my eyes’ stats and waiting for improvement. I suppose you don’t happen to have an axial length time-series measured with a Zeiss IOL Master or comparable device? :nerd_face:

True about the plus lens issues. On Todd Becker’s forum and comment sections, there were some people who couldn’t improve at all, but seemed diligent and were focusing mostly on near work/print pushing. He might be missing parameters, as people print push with very different blur amounts, surroundings, lighting, timings for breaks, peripheral defocus, and so forth. It would be interesting to examine stories with plus lenses in detail; maybe we could learn something about the eye’s calibration mechanism?

Still, I think Todd’s talk is superb in that it quickly convinces people like me that something is seriously wrong with optometry. Also, his hormetistic mindset is really useful; I fixed a skin problem almost completely with just the occasional cold shower.

Anyway! Have you considered under what conditions you’d be willing to share data? It’ll probably take me at least a few months longer before anyone listens, but if long-term axial reduction is real, the IOL Master (which I finally got access to) should pick up on it eventually, and from there I’d try again to escalate this.

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@Varakari I doubt the data will sell anyone. There’s so much research on animal eyes already, and confirmed human axial change going in both directions. I don’t see a lack of data being the issue at all.

My data is going to sit in the database and keep accumulating till I find some time and ambition to compile it into a study. Again not because it will matter, but just as a marketing tool for possible future use.

I have a whole PDF of an industry insider presentation acknowledging myopia causes and ways to stop it, and a number of other documents showing that the retail optometry industry is full well aware (to help sell some new fancy myopia slowing contact lenses based exactly on the premises we’re discussing, thought with a pricey product of course). It’s always that unless a marketable product (marketable and patented) is involved, there’s no benefit for them to acknowledge known facts about vision biology.

In my opinion effort is best invested on the consumer side. Social medial, Youtube, reaching those with myopia, rather than trying to convince people who really won’t change anything in the scheme of things. Academics like to argue things. Meanwhile even the tiny endmyopia channel with half baked and rambling videos has accumulated over 4 million minutes of time watched. Four million! That’s more than any and all studies are likely to accomplish, on reaching real people who are being sold glasses.

That’s where the value is. People talking to other people - I really want more individuals posting their improvement stories in video format. Let retail optometry and academics do their thing, while we all get together and talk for real. :slight_smile:

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