Hello from Ireland! High myope getting started

Hi all, Gwen here from Ireland.

Like many of you, I was prescribed glasses as a child (about 7 or 8, I think) because I was struggling to see the blackboard at school. I was an avid reader and grew up in a house with very poor natural light. In retrospect, temporary myopia leading to a glasses prescription was almost inevitable.

And so began a swift progression of increasingly higher prescriptions. I started wearing contacts when I was 12 and wore them almost every day until I was about 30, at which point they were beginning to irritate my eyes and I switched back to glasses most of the time.

I horribly abused my eyes for years without realising it. My life has been very centered around screens and books (academic research, and then freelance writing and editing work), and I wore high-prescription contacts and glasses all the time.

My prescription seemed to stabilise eventually, and the last time I got new glasses (2017), I ended up at:
R: - 12.5 SPH -0.5 CYL @ 65
L: -13.5 SPH -1.0 CYL @ 95

Last year, during the first lockdown, the floaters in my left eye got markedly worse and my eyes were becoming very uncomfortable in front of the computer screen. However, I did nothing about it…telling myself I would see an optician when everything settled down.

Then, last September, after another day of ‘not feeling right’, a dark spot suddenly appeared in the vision of my left eye. It was scary - I was on my own up a hillside in the middle of nowhere and thought it was a dreaded retinal detachment.

After a visit to eye casualty, it turned out to be a haemorrhage caused by a PVD (hence the increased floaters). Not catastrophic, but not great either. The dark spot has faded, but the floaters are as annoying as ever. In follow-up visits to the hospital, I have asked several different ophthalmologists whether I can make any lifestyle or prescription changes to help my eyes, and have been met with a definite ‘no’ each time. The first person who saw me said that my eye issues were age-related…I’m in my early 30s!

I came across EndMyopia about a month before the PVD while googling ‘eye floaters’, but at the time I was sceptical and it didn’t quite click with me. After that incident, I went back to take a closer look. However, I found it very difficult to look at screens for quite a while, and I had to seriously limit my daily screen time and work in short 20-30 minute bursts with long breaks. Ironically, while this was the best thing for my eye to recover, it meant that it took me a long time to get through blog posts etc.

After reading the email series, I signed up for the Rough Guide, and gradually started making my way through it. The logic behind it made perfect sense, and I was so relieved to think that there might be a way to at least stop putting pressure on my eyes and prevent them from getting worse.

I’ve had a few setbacks and have made newbie mistakes, and I spent money on several attempts at first differentials that were not quite right, but I’ve finally got to the point where I’m confident that I can help my eyes to improve.

I’ll save details for other posts, but thank you so much to Jake and everyone here. EndMyopia has handed me a lifeline. In September, I was convinced this was the beginning of a decline into inevitable visual impairment, or even blindness. Now, I’m sure there’s another way to tackle my high myopia. It’s wonderful that so many people have taken the time to experiment, record and share what works.

Thank you. <3

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Welcome to the forum and good luck on this journey.

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From the limited research I’ve seen so far not much exists around floaters.

What I have seen (not studies) indicates they may result from the glycosylation of proteins within the vitreous humor, making them ‘sticky,’ which induces them to bind together, causing shadows on the retina.

Anecdotally, there are EM participants who have reported reduced floaters after going on low carb or keto diets, but there are no studies I’m aware of that prove this out.

If the glycosylation hypothesis can be proved given the confines of eyeball chemistry, however, this theory might have legs.

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Thank you, that’s very interesting! I don’t know a lot about the mechanism that causes floaters, and it seems to be a mysterious area. I added pineapple to my diet on the basis of the bromelain study, but that made no difference whatsoever. I took a closer look at the research recently and now realise that just eating pineapple was unlikely to produce results. I’ve decided to take a much more targeted approach, and am about to start taking a combined bromelain, ficin and papain supplement that replicates as closely as possible the highest dosage in this study:
Bromelain, Ficin and Papain to Treat Eye Floaters

If the floaters result from the glycolysation of proteins, it seems possible (in my limited understanding) that the enzymes could break them down. I’ll give it three months and see how I get on - if it doesn’t work, dietary changes are the next thing to examine! It’s great to hear what other people have tried, so I’ll be scouring those threads for other ideas.

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Fascinating to hear about the nutrition angle! I have a degree in holistic nutrition and work in the natural food industry, but honestly never gave much of a thought to supporting my eye health with food. Silly that I didn’t.

The connection between glycolysation of proteins and floaters is also fascinating. Without doing any research yet, it makes sense on first impression that a lower carb/keto diet could help with this, although it leaves me wondering why floaters are typically linked to high myopia, and not blood sugar issues in general. Unless they are, and I just missed the memo. Hmm.

Now that I AM thinking about nutrition and eyes, three things come to mind that I’m going to work on increasing in my own diet:

  • Maqui Berry for dry eyes
  • Goji Berry for general eye health (beta carotene)
  • Cod Liver Oil for general eye health (preformed vitamin A)

Anyone else using targeted nutrition for their eyes?

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Interesting, thanks Kali! I never gave it much thought either, beyond knowing that Vitamin A is good for your eyes…I worked in a health food shop years ago and was suspicious of the exorbitantly-priced ‘eye vitamins’. I still doubt that they’re worth it, and prefer to address health issues with foods rather than supplements, but I’m definitely paying more attention to any changes I notice in my eyesight after eating certain foods. The bromelain/ficin/papain experiment is an exception that I think is worth a shot. Hope your nutritional changes help you too!

I also thought that floaters had something to do with the elongation and pressure caused by high myopia (it makes sense that this would make the vitreous deform), but maybe blood sugar issues exacerbate the problem? You’ve got me thinking - something to check out. While reducing myopia is definitely my primary goal, I’d love to get rid of the little troublemakers!

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Hi Gwen,

Thanks for the great introduction. I have a lot in common with you - high myopia, floaters, useless opthalmological advice. I have retinal issues that need to be resolved. Eyes that don’t like contacts anymore. And screens bother my eyes too - so it’s hard to be learning it online. I hope you start some wonderful new habits and enjoy a steady reversal of myopia!
Carolyn

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Hi Carolyn,

Thanks, and sorry to hear that you are suffering with similar issues! High myopia is so frustrating from that point of view - it brings with it such a host of other related problems, and as you say, useless advice… Hope you are finding ways around the screen issue. I’m trying be strict with myself about dedicating some of my limited screen time to learning about EM rather than the billion other distractions online. I’m still at the beginning (on my first normalised and just about to move to second differentials), but am already noticing a difference, so here’s hoping…best of luck on your journey out of high myopia and towards healthier eyes too!

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Hello Gwen,
Is ‘pressure’ a general phrase you are using, or literally pressure?
I ask because glaucoma is something that is related to a measureable pressure in the eyes.

Good point, I should have been more specific! I was referring to pressure in the more figurative sense of putting stress on my eyes, rather than the measurable pressure of a build-up of fluid etc. Perhaps ‘tension’ is a better word to describe the way that elongation of the eyeball stretches the retina and may make other issues such as floaters more likely to occur?

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True, but isn’t higher myopia also associated with obesity and/or elevated insulin levels? Seems to me there were several studies on one or both of those points, but I have no time to re-check. If you do, please post.

There are also sudden, intense floater clusters associated with retinal detachment, but in my involvement with EM over the past two years, every time someone has had serious concerns the subsequent opto evaluation says, nothing wrong.

That said, anyone who has floater concerns should go get checked if only to set your mind at ease.