Laurens' 2019 story of nothing gained or---

So fine people, as someone who likes to hear himself talk you don’t see me talking too much about my own EM journey these days.

The reason I’m not very vocal about my progress is because there is very little to report, well, actually there is.

So let’s recap for a moment. In the summer of 2018 I switched from -1.25 normalized to -1.0 glasses. My journey up until that point is to be found in my video: My EM journey video - Laurens

At that time I was able to see up to 20/20 on occasion with my bare eyes. -1.0 made total sense. Fall and winter came, big regression like @Varakari described in his extensive post about the winter solstice. I should’ve switched back to -1.25 during those months, but I’m stubborn, so I didn’t. Learn from this fellow kittens. If the blur/misaligned vision challenge is too much, go back up, you will just make it harder on yourself!

I reduced too quickly and the lesser light really got to me. Moving on, the start of this year I was still wearing a cheap -1.0 pair of glasses. So I figured, why not get a great and completely made for me pair of -0.75 glasses? I thought they’d be good to have for lesser light/night time for the coming years. You can see the whole post about that here:

At first, spring of this year, it looked like those -0.75 glasses were doing their job. But nothing had really changed. I bit the bullet eventually and this summer I switched back to -1.0 contacts. I’ve been using contacts for reducing since I started, some + glasses over them for close-up work. This worked well for me up until -1.25. So I decided to continue that line of success I had in 2018. I’m wearing these contact for about 4-5 months now and finally I can say that these contacts are now the correct normalized for me. Giving me a nice challenge whilst looking around and in the distance.

So what’s the take away here and what’s the plan?

The plan is to keep using these -1.0 contacts until they start to bother me and provide me with nothing but clarity during the day. In line with what @MattE does in his journey and what he explains in his videos.

Then it’s onto -0.75 contacts, with +1.0 glasses for close-up. Yes, you read that right, a tiny bit of + lens therapy for me there. Once those are all in the clear, it’ll become plano for intermediate and distance and +0.5 glasses for close up (my dental work primarily). Keep that up till I’m natural 20/20 during the day.

And the take away then?

Yes, my dear precious fellow kittens, the take away is: I struggled 1.25-1.5 year to get -1.0 to become good normalized. Don’t be as foolish as I was. Go back up a quarter diopter and give your eyes a solvable challenge instead of something too hard to overcome.

The beautiful (imo) -0.75 glasses will be my “peak prescription/correction” for the time being, until of course I’m really done with -1.0.

Now 2019 is really a year where I really didn’t progress that much, or did I? For the last three weeks I drive away from home and back home in almost complete darkness. These -1.0 contacts give me (especially if I´m well rested) pretty good vision in the dark, which was really unexpected. When I’m looking through my +1.0 glasses (for close-up) at work I’m able to see text about 2 meters away clear up for me. More complex objects come into focus more easily these days too. My eyes are starting to respond to my persistence it seems. You’ll hear back from me of course when I’ve got something worthwhile to share again. I am pleased that this course of action is starting to yield some results.

To be fair, this is not reflected in my CM measurements at all, but that is of no real consequence. I have a nice a solvable challenge for distance, 20/40 by default with these contacts and with 0.0 correction (-1.0 combined with +1.0) I’m getting better vision for distance, slow but steady.


Thanks a lot Laurens to share it.
A question about cm measurements: please explain in datail if you don’t mind which difference you find related to your -1.00 correction.
My cm measurement sometimes is not what I expect for my full diopter correction.

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Keep going, Laurens!

This last part is the hardest, but we can all get it done.


Thanks for the update!

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Also considering experimenting with the alternative. ~1 - -1.25 dipoters - or nothing. Basically ongoing zero diopter resets. Full clarity or challenge.

I see that working more often and with overall less effort and more pleasantly. You get nice clarity when you don’t want to think about EM, and a proper active focus session when you feel like going without them (and the lighting etc supports it).

There’s no one right way here, though if gains are lagging this one may be worth consideration.


Well, it’s complex, but let me try to make this as clear as I can:

Best CM measurements last year were around 100-110cm. To be fair, I was using Active Focus whilst getting to those numbers.

If I am really strict with myself, I get to 80 cm’s binoculary today. If I measure my eyes separately, it drops down to 55cm. What…? 55cm and you are wearing -1.0? A little extra context, I don’t have any blur left (1,5 year ago everything became double/misaligned). So that 55cm is the point where I see the first sign of doubling/misaligment. The combined 80cm’s is the same. I can go as far as 2m away and get it to clear up, just looking at it patiently and relaxed will get me there.

So there is a very wide range in which I can achieve clarity with relative ease. Some more info, my measurements of 55 and 80cm’s combined where made with -1.0 contacts and + 1.0 glasses. That’s zero, but still artificial to an extend.

I just took out my contacts (real plano) and it got to 60cm individually and 90 combined. But again, if I let this settle for a while I get so much better vision. If I measure it’s usually directly after close-up work, so there could be some different numbers if I just did a bunch of distance vision before I measured.

@jakey, alternating -1.25 with nothing is a valid strategy. I don’t have -1.25 glasses sadly, that would make it a bit easier. But if the lighting starts to bother me I could use -1.25 contacts for a while, the improved clarity could give me a nice boost for these darker days.


Once again thank you Laurens. Your reply confirms what I daily experience with my measurents. Different cm of course and maybe less gap between numbers (due to higher myopia) but I often get “strange” results that make me doubt about my work on reversing myopia.

Or contacts and plus over them - though that’s definitely something that requires individual experimenting. Peripheral vision can be affected by the lens curvature plus optical quality, and it’s not a best case scenario for this application often enough to make a blanket recommendation.

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Nice update, Laurens.

I’ve been curious, how did you do dental work in the past at the various levels of nearsightedness? Being -3 or -4 is probably too poor a visual quality to work without lenses.

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I just used my full correction contacts all the time. Little did I know how bad that is. I didn’t worsen much though, I don’t have static close-up in my job. I’m looking at different distances up close all the time (as you might imagine) so I didn’t get much ciliary spasm from that. Hyperopic defocus, sure, but not at a constant distance/amount of defocus, so my eyes didn’t elongate much more after becoming a dentist. Main reason that I stopped my myopia progressing is because I greatly diminished playing computer games after graduation (hi @NottNott :wink:).

So yeah, just full correction for up close. Bad ignorant kitten right there :smiley:.


And what did you use for work during the lens reduction period? Differentials or normalized? By the way, you’re lucky your reduction period was very short. But I have a guess as to why that might be, and it depends on your answer to this question.

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I used simple +1.5 glasses over my contacts for my work. It’s still working like a charm (only with +1.0 now).

My super fast reduction during the first half year was mainly due to my ciliary muscle relaxing again and the lifting of over-correction. If you globally put my ciliary spasm at 1.0 and my over-correction at 0.5 you immediately drop my -3.75 back to -2.25. And that’s just one months worth, reductions per 6 weeks followed and now I’m still paying the price for those quick reductions. -1.0 is good normalized, but I’m far from a decent 20/20 with them, so more patience is key here.

The other main factor is that I don’t get enough decent distance vision. Busy job and busy with the kids it’s hard to get the recommended 3 hours of distance vision so I’m stuck with about 1.5 hours a day. It’s not bad, my habits still check out, but this is the reason why I’ve slowed down significantly.

I’m curious about your take on this manner as you’ve hinted.


@Laurens, I’m not sure I follow. How did you have extra overcorrection beyond the value of your ciliary spasm without major discomfort or compromised vision at near and distance? Not to mention increasing myopia…? I guess it could happen, but did you ever figure out why the prescriber had no clue something was up with your eyes? Or for that matter why you yourself didn’t know until you got going with endmyopia?

I’ve often wondered what my own deal is (how much of my 3.75 D of myopia is currently axial versus spasm).

My original theory about your quick reduction was more along the lines of axial myopia converting into ciliary spasm. This could maybe happen if your minus power at near is still stronger than you need, but weak enough for distance that you get sufficient stimulus to trigger your refractive state to change in the plus direction. I think this is why many behavioral optometrists prescribe a normalized for distance, and suggest a low add for near…it preserves the buffer, I guess. I think I’m starting to understand how these factors relate, and what the buffer is/how it relates to active focus (which I guess is negative relative accommodation in our case) and myopia reversal…

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@Laurens, did you try @Dtnsg’s passive focus?
Maybe your progress will be quicker with that?

@FMR, if you wonder whether your eye is elongated, why not to measure axial length then?

I’ll try to do that, may publish that in the forum so my reputation can grow :stuck_out_tongue:

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By default I got corrected to about 20/13-20/10 in low lighting conditions, so you get where that over-correction was coming from. I guess the only reason I didn’t get too much discomfort was that I wasn’t looking up close with a static distance, so my ciliary was still moving about during the day.

Looking back when I got bumped with an extra 0.25 diopters every now and again I did have headaches for the first couple of days, little did I know back then…


I guess that makes sense. So about 1D of overcorrection slowly over time, and you partially adapted into higher myopia because of it, but it never got to the point where the entire 3.75 was fully embedded into your system.

I don’t remember how long you wore that level of correction, but I would think if you didn’t wear it for a very long time (e.g. 15 years), you wouldn’t have as much of adaptation to it.

In my case, I suspect that almost every bit of it is real, embedded myopia. I wore -4 or higher (including wearing -5 part-time for about 5 of those years) for about 8 years.

Anyway, I have one or two more higher normalized pairs to go with the power increases and equalization before I start on the path of lessening myopia. But when I do, I expect each reduction to take the full 4+ months, and not to be quick like your first 1.50 D, since there is no overcorrection anymore in my case. My true correction (with AF) seems to be every bit of -3.75. I’m wearing only -3.25 currently, but in the process of upping to -3.50 at least part time soon. I should be able to start doing reductions in about 6 months. So I am looking at at least 4.5 years from today to get near emmetropic territory.

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I must admit that I cannot help but wonder each time you explain how you are going up in correction, what makes you believe that you cannot do the EM journey starting from an undercorrected (or even uncorrected) state. You seem convinced that blur tolerance will hinder you. I am finding that it is actually helping me tolerate more print pushing than clarity addicted people would be able to tolerate. And this print pushing has shown results: from -3 to -1.50 in the right eye, with a ‘loss’ of 1D of cylinder in the space of 6 months - without the benefit of any glasses. The left eye has had a more modest improvement, via a short period of reduced cm distance while there was some funny business going on with the 2D of astigmatism in that eye, but now back on track.
I know we are all different, but I would still like to know on what you base your fear of blur tolerance.

Started in 2000 I think with -0.75 and gradually moved up until I hit -3.75. At one point I reduced -0.25 in one eye because the lenses were sold out and I preferred my power to be equal. I had no trouble getting used to -0.25 less. So I’m guessing roughly that I was in the -3 range for about 4-5 years before EM came into my life.

Your story is really different and you don’t have a buffer left. It’s good that you realize this and accept that reversal will have to go without a big first reduction. You might surprise yourself though, because you’ve trained your eyes more than others to adapt to different circumstances. In the end you might make that same -1.5 to 0 jump that Jake did. Would be really cool, but we don’t know until you get there of course.

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Thanks for the added info. That totally makes sense. I think it takes a number of years for a given level to convert fully from ciliary to chiroidal to axial. That is my guess.

I on the other hand had -1.50 at age 8 or 9, -3 at about 10 or 11, -4 at 12, and -5 at 15 or 16. So it has gotten really embedded. The things Jake recalls are similar to my own recollections along the way. Since you and I are about the same age, you can extrapolate the years.

That last couple of sentences make a ton of sense, and I’m almost embarrassed to say I hadn’t ever considered that. But yes, we will have to see what happens at that point in 2-3 years. As you know I will be very dedicated to vision stuff at that point, so who knows, I may also have new ideas by then I hadn’t thought of now. Or I might track my axial length at some point like Georg is doing. It’s hard to predict the future. But the non-negotiable part is that I will be totally immersed, even more than now. One thing I’d like to do at that point is to get my hands on glasses with smaller diopter increments and experiment. I think that would be fitting at around -1.5.