I found an app on Google Play called simply, Astigmatism. It is very good at providing a number of images, some of which are animated, to practice improving vision around the 80 or so ciliary muscles of the lens.
I dropped about -3D of cylinder out of my lenses in desperation a few weeks ago, and a week and a half in, found myself ordering some more lenses with some of the cylinder in them.
No diopter specific advice, but if you have access to a test lens kit, seeing how much cylinder you can remove and function comfortably is a good thing. Also, dropping a bit of it to give yourself some “room” for immediate improvements might also be a good thing depending on your individual case.
I will completely agree with you that once you start working on your vision and become aware of overcorrection for both sphere and cylinder, it causes anxiety and strain.
In my experience, there’s a box. Improvements will happen fast enough that you don’t want to be stuck in an over-cylinder lens, but dropping 100% of it all at once is too much for the eyes/visual cortex to adapt to. Finding that right amount and/or getting to a place where you can comfortably reduce at your preferred rate takes some doing.
I’m suggesting splitting the difference between no drop and dropping all. This is a good place to use the differentials, since the errors the cylinder introduce make less of a difference at close range, so it’s usually possible to get away with a 0.50, 0.75, or even 1.00 drop. Just keep the “ratio” the same between the normalized and differentials, i.e., if you have -3.00 / -2.50 in your normalized, add the same amount to both cylinders for your differentials (keep the difference the same).
Unfortunately, this usually means that an experiment catalyzes a need to order both norms and diffs at the same time, unless you’re willing to try diffs first, then update the norms. But my feeling is that when I get improvements from using weaker cylinder in diffs, I don’t want to induce strain by using full correction in cylinder in my norms…
Just a few thoughts, and hopefully helps you plot your own path forward.
Astigmatism really sucks, and I wish I had never heard of it.