Low myopia - Last diopter updates

Hi all, just a little update :sun_with_face:

Background can be found here.
At that point I was using -0.75 both eyes as normalized. Then I reduced to -0.50. This reduction was not easy and probably not made at a good year time (just before winter 2018). Soo I felt stuck last winter or…was I just unaware that the process was ongoing because progress is somehow hard to notice when you’re in the last diopter? Maybe a bit of both…

But, with the return of the sunny days, I could really feel my situation deblocking. I’ve also been experimenting with a very moderate use of +1 lenses, only for a a few minutes a day. It has really helped and stimulated my left (non dominant) eye. Still some misalignement with this eye, but way less than before.

Okay, so now here is the real update: these days, I can see consistently the 20/20 line with each eye alone without correction on a 3m Snellen chart, in good natural light conditions!!! :tada: And I can make out some letters of the 20/15 line with both eyes open :smiley: That’s just a huge step for me!! I’m so happy, because with low myopia you can be easily demotivated, as your vision fluctuates a lot, it’s harder to avoid ciliary spasm if you have a job involving close-up work, more cm between the diopters, etc. Not sure if my cm measurements are still accurate (because there is very little to almost no more blur, just some little misalignement, or if I go back too far, the text is just too small to be read), but my actual edge of blur seems to fluctuate between 230 and 300cm.

Of course, my vision is far from perfect, especially in low light and at night, even if I’ve also noticed some progress in my night vision. I’m still using -0.5 as normalized at night and for driving (cause glasses condition on the license :tired_face:).

Next step: beeing able to pass the driver vision test, but it seems to be tricky as the test is made in a dark room. I tried in March (at that time, my Snellen results were not as good as now) but the optometrist (who didn’t knew me) based his regular exam on the :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: autorefractor’s results (something like -1.25/-0.75 + cyl…NB: I’ve never had astigmatism) that were really overcorrecting me even in the dark room (I’m sure the opto was correcting to 20/15 at least, but wasn’t willing to listen to me or answer my questions), so imagine the amount of overprescription in good light (ants from space…) :roll_eyes: But okay, now I know I can trust MY results and just won’t go back to this kind of very unsupportive optometrist. I’m really thinking about refusing to do the autorefractor test before they test my visual acuity on the Snellen. The results with the machine are always completely off (too high), don’t really know why.

I plan to do a new test (by another opto of course!) at the end of summer. I hope I can consolidate my improvement until then (fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:).

To be continued…:slightly_smiling_face:

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Congrats on your update! I have a question: are the +1 lenses you’re using on both eyes or just one?

I feel optos nowadays are just in it for the money. It’s common sense the more dark is it inside or outside, the harder it is to see. There are setting up their unsuspecting patients up to a lifetime of glasses unless there is an intervention like most of us have had. It makes me sick!

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Great work! Let us know how it goes with the new opto, and milk every moment you can from the longer daylight season.

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Thanks Bobby and Matthew!

@Bobby I use the +1 lenses for both eyes (it’s just basic reading glasses), but I do patch (cover) the dominant eye from time to time to stimulate the non dom a bit more.
Yeah, that’s so sad to notice a lot of optometrists are just glasses sellers who want to make money and don’t care about the consequences. But you can turn this to your advantage. If they are sellers, then YOU are the client :wink: Forget the medical blah blah blah arguments they want you to believe and make your own decision based on your knowledge/measurements (just one reserve, don’t play with safety when driving), i. e. refusing an overprescription or changing optometrist to find a more supportive one.

@MattE I have a quit supportive ophtalmologist. She doesn’t really believe in vision improvement, but accepts to undercorrect you to 20/40 if you ask (even if she then called me a “myope that doesn’t want to see clear” :joy:). If you can see better than your previous prescription, she won’t discuss and will give you a reduced Rx. But she has a 3-4 months waiting list…and does not do the driver test :neutral_face:
Of course, I’ll keep you all updated! :sunglasses:

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All sounds good, especially for people to be working with the opthalmologists. Look forward to hearing how you progress!

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Woohoo! Super interesting times, at this stage.

You get to fully appreciate your natural eyesight while also being reminded that you had to work for it - and that it still takes work to get the focal plane just where you want it.

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Yeah exactly!

Low myopia is a tricky stage, but if you keep at it, you can also live exciting moments, like realizing you can see the world (in daylight) almost as sharp naturally as just before you were prescribed glasses :smiley: Now I understand more why you were so positive about the low myopia stage. In fact, it’s an interesting experience, you really have to find new ways to challenge your eyesight but you can already enjoy the progress made so far, in particular a lesser glasses dependance.

Though I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m still not there yet :grin: There’s some work left :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for answering! Congrats on your progress!

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Hi @Sandra,
I know it’s an old thread, but I’d be really interested in an update from you. What happened after reaching the equalized -0.5D for driving last summer? It is hard to find low myop => last diopter => 20/20 journals.
Your story is so similar to mine that I could copy-paste, adjust 0.25D in the numbers, and publish as mine. Started Back to 20/20 from -2.25D / -2.00D last summer, got to occasional 20/25 vision without corrections (under best conditions only) by end of autumn, then a gloomy winter… and now at -0.75D both eyes, only wear them outdoors when it matters (driving, top balcony in the theatre, inside dimly lit pubs to be able to find friends’ table) but can see 20/20 without corrections on Snellen in good lights. Semi-friendly opto insisting she needs to prescribe glasses for 20/20 vision (or even 20/15) for night driving by law which in her view would be ~-1.25D… but accepting that zero correction can be OK for me in close-up and also that I should have enough clarity in daylight outdoors with -0.75D (except for driving)… but then apologising that she cannot prescibe other than night driving perfect vision glasses…
This summer I experimented with -0.5D outdoors, alternating with full days without corrections and occasional days with full corrections (to remind myself of the sharpness I’m aiming to achieve in the end)
So as mentioned, I’m looking forward to an update from you.
Thanks in advance. :slightly_smiling_face:
Bianca

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Hi @BiancaK,

Thanks for asking. I’ve been quite busy at work because of this corona sh… :poop: hum…virus, completely forgot about making an update. I had planned to get my eyes checked again this summer by an optometrist and pass the driving eye test, but I’m not convinced having to do the check with the facial mask on will get me great acuity results. Also not a good idea when you’re stressed. So no “official” results to show yet.

I would be tempted to answer that my situation has not changed much. I’m still using -0.5 D glasses for driving (safety and legal reasons) or for clarity reference purpose. However, in fact, there are changes if I pay attention to the details:

  • Equalizing was not that easy and I had a lot of double vision left in the non dominant eye. Now it’s really better, even if I still do some patching here and there. Lately, I found out the non dominant eye was now quicker at active focus than the dominant one. There is still a slight difference in acuity between the two eyes but I think really less than before.

  • My results on the 3 m Snellen have improved. Now I can see 20/20 with both eyes (no AF needed!) or each eye separately but also making out the 20/15 line with both eyes and each eye alone (with a bit of AF). That’s a huge progress in my opinion. Of course that’s still in good light (summer time), I’ll see how it goes when this winter comes.

  • Night and low light acuity without correction is better, less double vision. Day vision is now quite sharp, almost like with glasses (sometimes I don’t see a real difference when I put my glasses on…). A year ago I wouldn’t feel safe to drive without, now I think I could do it, even at night if I had to.

  • Better tolerance to close up work. I feel I can work many hours on the computer or look at my smartphone without ending up with blurry distance vision/too much ciliary spasm afterwards. I suppose it’s because it’s now a habit for me to regularly look away at a greater distance after some time. And I do it inconsciously. Of course, I’m still trying to limit screen time whenever I can and outdoor distance AF is part of my daily routine :slightly_smiling_face:

  • Using plus lenses was useful when I felt I was reaching a plateau, but now I don’t feel the need to use them.

The thing that helped me is one of Jake’s advices : find an outdoor activity that require you to have good distance vision. I have played badminton a lot this year and I feel that focusing naturally on the badminton birdie does the same as a long session of conscious AF, but this way you don’t even notice it and you have way more fun!

That said, my vision still fluctuates a lot, it can depends on so many factors (close up time, screen use, lack of sleep, stress). It seems you just have to get used to this, it’s natural (the vision with glasses is always the same but it’s artificial as your eyes are not working to get the clarity).

I learned that, when you’ve reached the last diopter, you can easily think that you’re not improving anymore. But in reality, you are improving, you just don’t notice the changes immediately because they are subtle. You just have to keep on with the good habits (diopter reset is a major key here). And one day you realize your vision is clearer and sharper, you have less double vision. From my experience, you have to be patient and play the long game :blush:

So, that’s it for now :smile:

I hope you’ll stay motivated (and patient :wink:) to tackle this last bit of myopia. Good luck to you :four_leaf_clover: If you have more questions, I’d be happy to answer.

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Hi @Sandra,

First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to provide an update. :hugs:

Eye test for driving: I’ve just read it (never thought of looking it up before) that the official expectation is to see a licence plate at about 20m distance ahead of you, which is about 5 cars away. And of course have good acuity around the area, including peripheral vision and from your driving wheel up to the licence plate.

Personally, I don’t think the mask would make it worse (unless you are totally uncomfortable wearing one), but stress can surely influence the result.
Actually for me, sometimes touching the side of my nose, or having something at the bottom of my peripheral vision (e.g. the top of the book) helps sharper vision with the object / text at the distance.

I know you want to get the glasses removed from your licence and you are so close to it now, but otherwise I think the official result doesn’t matter that much. You know what your eyes can do, and I think the last dioptre journey is about gradually reducing the daily dioptre difference (flattening the curve of your eyes booting up for best vision and degrading once tired) as well as reducing the dioptre difference within a week or a month or between winter & summer.
I know what you mean by “being tempted to answer that it has not changed much”. The glasses are still the same. But then, it is the overall experience that matters – the details.

In my case, I consider the remaining ~0.125D difference between my eyes to be the same as one hand being able to do handwriting and the other one not. But still wouldn’t put the “lame” one in plaster or braces or wouldn’t chop it off. I don’t think anything is really symmetrical in our body… I roller skate and one side will always be easier with turns and stops… Still there is a valid point in practicing on both sides and not letting the difference grow…

I have just started my practice of “letting go of AF” a couple of weeks ago. AF is something that came to me automatically, I never “practiced” doing it. I was just like a crazy camera zooming in continuously as I moved my head. This helped me hit 20/20 last year before winter, and this year again, but once the 20/20 became more regular it actually held me back from stabilizing it. I think it actually contributed to DV.
So now if I notice that I unconsciously AF’d, I deliberately drop AF. If I manage to do it, I’ll have a pulsation of blur and then super clarity I have never had before.
Still work in progress though…

Now that I am getting close to 20/20, I figured out my best vision will have to be 20/13, the stable one 20/15, so it is 20/20 when there’s not enough lights or I’m tired, etc. or when I’m tested for a driving licence :crazy_face:

When I asked Jake what to do for the last dioptre, when my best vision was already 20/20, but the worst one 20/50, he sort of suggested to pick a pair of glasses of 20/30 or 20/40 or even 20/50 and alternate the “no correction” with the glasses as “best vision without trying” or “reminding of sharp vision”. I now have 20/40 = -0.75D. May go down to 20/30 = -0.5D like you, but surely skipping -0.25D

I think this is super important. As my work is mainly in front of the laptop screen, I deliberately test this regularly. To see if I can keep switching from close-up to distance and back throughout the day.

I tried plus lenses (+0.25D), but they didn’t work for me. Not at close-up distance.
Instead, I got a pair of +1.00D and they were sort of helpful outdoors when wearing contact lenses. If I struggled with making out a text, I popped the plus lenses on for about 10 seconds and then there was more clarity when removed again…
What helped me more was scheduling my compulsive licence plate reading walks to twilight. Starting in low daylight finishing in complete darkness. That’s where I noticed the improvement (even if the daylight vision didn’t improve noticeably).

Perfect choice as this also includes moving objects (a fast moving one). Most objective feedback on how well you are doing. :sweat_smile:
For me it’s street skating. When you have to look in front of your skates not to trip up, but also watch the traffic around you (including moving objects), spot dangers… Skiing was the same. No self-deceit as if I miss something important, I’ll know immediately for sure :rofl:

Fully agree. It is a game – not a chore, as you simply cannot stop doing it, unless you deliberately cut back on sleep, let stress increase significantly in your life, drastically increase screen time and look at it at less than 50cms distance from the eyes, and never do anything that requires distance vision. If you are not harming your eyes (and health!) with these, then basically the improvement is automatic, just subtle.
I’m motivated as it doesn’t take me anything to do the practices required. I just got slightly impatient at the beginning of August as I reduced from the initial -2.00D to -0.25D within 2 months, and have been working on the subtleties of the last dioptre for the last 10 months.

So I’m really grateful for your updates, to confirm that it is the “ease of clear vision” and the “reduction of daily / weekly / monthly / seasonal changes” that is the big improvement with the last diopter.

Big thank you :blush: And well done on your progress. Surely it is a lot of joy for you to know that glasses are basically there to fall back on, but used less and less. And if you decide to drive without them and feel safe and confident, you can always tell the policeman you are wearing contacts, no??

I think the next milestone for both of us is keeping these achievements (or further improving?) during the gloomy winter days, too.

Take care

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