My current vision habits, any thoughts or recommendations?

Hi everyone. I just wanted to check in and get your opinion / suggestions on my current habits. The post is a bit long but I would greatly appreciate inputs from people who are further along the journey than I am. You don’t have to reply to all questions but maybe to some that you find interesting! (I’m on my first normalized and just ordered a second one, should be able to start using them soon!)

I know there are articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos available and I’ve watched / listened to a lot (but not all) of them. I still have questions regarding the details of some of the habits… Maybe some of these questions are too specific, and maybe nobody knows the exact answer, but maybe based on your best guest, you’d like to provide some input anyway?

CURRENT LIST OF HABITS:

1. Using differentials and sit around 60cm away from the computer screen. ~5-10 hours per day

Question:
1A. would it somehow be even better if I could set up a projector around ~3m / 10ft away and use Normalized instead of using differentials + regular computer monitor? Is clearing up things that are further away (~3 m) more effective than clearing up things that are close up (60cm)? Or does it make no difference? Or will being in a darker room with a projector hurt more than help? Maybe this is a silly idea…

2. Taking 3-5 minutes breaks to look outside and active focus every 40-60 minutes, but not so consistently (I often forget / feel lazy to do this, especially later in the day).
For those using Windows computer, I recommend using LYZ Stopwatch & Timer to do countdowns if you want to reminders take breaks.

2A. How important is taking breaks? Someone mentioned in the discord server he doesn’t do the 20/20/20 rule and can still make good gains. But I spend probably 5-10 hours per day on the computer (at 60 cm away with differentials) for work and for entertainment.
2B. Should I work to reduce my computer time? or is using differentials enough to counter this as long as you get outdoor time as well?
2C. What is your daily screen time for PC / phone and are you still able to make gains with them?

3. Take 1 hour walks twice per day (or at least once), Try to clear up signs and pattern on street lamps.

  • I find this pretty boring (despite Audio books / Podcasts, and my secondary goal to get leaner), but it seems necessary so I’ve been pretty consistent (except for a couple of weeks) with it. Unfortunately, I may need to stop doing this for a while as the Air Quality in my city has become extremely unhealthy (high PM2.5, AQI = 170)

3A. Is being outside alone enough of a stimulus or do you actually have to actively be looking at things and trying to clear them up? I have a feeling it’s the latter, but just wanted to double check… sometimes my mind wanders and I may not be actively looking / clearing up something far away. do these moments not count?
3B. If someone is working at a desk and has access to windows, does looking outside and doing active focus enough to replace these walks? This would maybe allow distance vision without the PM2.5 on bad days outside, and also sit in an air-conditioned room. lol

4. Watching TV 3.5 meters away and trying to clear the subtitles. ~1-2 hours per day. Can easily do more.

  • I’ve moved my entertainment from computer monitors with differentials to the TV and this is a very easy habit to complete each day. I think it has been helpful.

4A. Does anyone have experience with this and confirm that it helps?
4B. If this was the main / only distance stimulus, would it be enough to make gains? What’s up with the obsession with being outdoors? lol … If this ticks the Blue Challenge Box and the no ciliary spasm box, then why is this not recommended?
4C. If not as the only stimulus, is it possible to do more of this and less outdoor walks? (you may notice I really don’t like the outdoor very much. lol maybe I need to move to a nicer city with good air quality and colder climate… )

5. Tennis on the weekends for 1.5 hour each session.

  • This is actually quite fun (sometimes more fun than watching TV!) I imagine this is very helpful for my vision, and is much definitely more fun than the daily walks. I plan to do this more frequently but need to someone to play with who can actually tolerate my low levels of ability…

5A Do you think doing an indoor sport such as racquetball/squash would be just as helpful? Tennis is outdoor and the court is bigger, so I suspect it is sort of an “ideal” sport for vision improvement. But racquetball has a much lower learning curve and you can quickly get up to the level where you can play it, use it as cardio, and enjoy it much more.

6. Cycling every where most of the time instead of taking the car.

  • this may not be a good idea during bouts of bad air quality.

6A. Do you have to be actively trying to clear things up while riding for this to “count” as good stimulus?

Other ideas to implement:
7. Move my work desk to my bedroom and add a bigger window (this would cost money, and unfortunately my bedroom is really hot during the day so it would also be energy inefficient to try to cool it all day.) ugh!

Hope this is not too much. I would appreciate if you have any input on any of the points!

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You’ve made a really interesting post with a lot of ideas. I think anything you can do outdoors is an improvement over looking at screens, and in my opinion you’ll get more benefit from sports and from looking at things and trying to clear them up than you would just walking around listening to headphones and not really looking at anything. Looking through a window at faraway things is better than looking at the computer screen, but not as good as getting outside. Watching TV with subtitles at 3.5 m is better than watching on your phone or laptop, but but not as good as getting outside. Natural light tends to work better than the crappy indoor lighting you’ll get indoors. Indoor sports like squash or raquetball are going to be better than watching TV, but you’re not going to get full distance vision on in a squash court. Maybe if the back of the squash court is already beyond your blur horizon it’s good enough for now. Cycling is probably a great idea (you’d want close to full correction obviously while you’re doing it.) You’ll get plenty of work focusing on things you don’t want to crash into.

There’s a two-pronged approach. One is eliminating excessive indoor-time, screen-time, near work, and doing whatever you can to minimize eyestrain. Think of this as “Cutting down on bad habits / Harm reduction”. The other prong is adding in a bunch of quality outdoor time with activities that require your distance vision, like tennis or cycling or hiking or walking around with your headphones even. So that second prong is giving your inborn emmetropization processes a chance to work for you. The first part is stop making your eyes even worse, the second part is add in activities that are going to give your eyes a chance to heal up.

The technical side of it is just trying to optimize that process by manipulating the things you have control over, making sure you’re not over-prescribed or under-correcting too much, making sure the screen is far enough away but not too far away…

You’re certainly thinking of the right things and the more of them you can do the more luck you will have on your journey.

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I often am not at liberty to take breaks. I’m right beside my window but my eyes are really glued on the screen when I’m working. I can’t focus otherwise. However, I do AF at long distances in sunset lighting right after I work. My daily screen time is probably and currently at 8hrs. This habit did not stop me from some progress.

Lots of people in the community recommend reducing any screen time. But if it’s work-related…well then…I suggest you should work on taking breaks! :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve tried it, but as I was always leaning forward because I get tired at edge of blur, I wasn’t very successful.
AF and differentials on screen is still a flat surface exercise. The more dynamics, the better! Maybe if entertainment is in really big 3D or something… :crazy_face:
I’d say outdoor walks is still more effective. At least for me, because my eyes get lazy when looking at screen, they are more alert outdoors. I don’t like outside either. Too many mosquitos in my area, I have to wear long pants just to take a walk despite the hot, humid and hell weather.

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Thank you for taking the time to explain / reiterate the concepts! This is my first time posting on an internet forum, and I was wondering if anyone would actually respond! I think I maybe wrote too much. lol

I guess I’ll have to accept that there is no avoiding outdoor activities if I really want to keep making progress! I was hoping to reduce it to maybe one hour a day and substitute some by adding TV as a stimulus, but that may not be a good idea after all.

I will keep in mind the two-pronged approach and hopefully keep making gains! More outdoor!

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Glad to know that you can still make progress even without the breaks on the computer. I will try to take breaks when possible as I notice I can see better on the Snellen chart after them. This could be from my pupils dilating after looking outside for a few minutes. On the other hand it’s also good for not being seated for long stretches at the time.

I’ll keep in mind the outdoor advice. Everyone on End Myopia seems to be repeating it so I guess it’s an unavoidable key to improvements. It’s also very hot and humid where I live and will be hot for the next several months. But at least not too many mosquitos during the day!

I’m still wondering about the subtitle / screen thing though. I can definitely concentrate on them better than looking at distance (inanimate) objects during walks. My brain is probably just addicted to screens and too much stimulation! At least moving my YouTube/Netflix time from computer screen to a TV screen further away should reduce the negative stimulus.

I would like to actually know if indoor stimulus alone would be enough to make progress (with limited say 30-60min outdoor time only). Maybe it’s possible for people with high myopia like me (around -6D with -1/-2 astigmatism), but might not be enough stimulus for people with lower myopia (just a randome guess). But then I don’t want to risk going 2-3 month and making no progress at all. lol

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Getting the screens further away from you should certainly help. All of these little things add up.

If you’ll permit my silly analogies, for a patient in the hospital who never gets up out of bed, getting up out of bed and walking around for 5 minutes is a lot better than staying in bed all day every day. Nobody expects that patient to leave his hospital bed and go run a race.

30 to 60 minutes of outdoor time is better than no outdoor time every day. You just have to make sure you’re doing these small things every day, and try to keep making the changes you can. At some point you should cross the threshold from “doing less damage” to “making improvements”. I’m not sure exactly how many changes you’ll have to make or how many minutes of outdoor time you’ll need to start seeing improvement.

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  1. Screens
    If it’s writing and reading texts and calculating in tables, preparing presentations, I’d stick with the computer monitor. However, if you watch movies on the monitor, moving that to a TV screen could be beneficial. I’d avoid a projector and a dark room as utilising the peripheral vision is a boost to clarity.

  2. Breaks
    I spend 8 to 10 hours in front of the screen, which is the laptop screen and an additional monitor. Big NO to reading or watching anything on the phone screen! I don’t follow the 20/20/20 rule. I just have a tendency to look away from the screen regularly anyway to something that is not a screen and is further away than the screen is. Plus when I go to the kitchen and wait for the water to boil or microwave to heat up food I don’t look at the smart phone or the TV. Same when queuing anywhere outdoors (supermarket, station), I don’t start scrolling on my start phone on public transport or in any waiting rooms, etc, either. First it may feel uncomfortable as you think people will think you are staring at them, but you’ll realise that it is max the under 6 kids who will notice as everyone else is busy scrolling the time away…

  3. Outdoors vs looking through the window
    I’d say you actually have to look. Plate numbers, house numbers, signs. Everything counts as at least you are not in front of the monitor. Looking through the windows is better than nothing but doesn’t replace time away from the monitor. By the way 30-minute walks also count.

  4. TV
    At the end of the day that is still a flat monitor, not a real 3D image. Can add to your gains while you still have a good amount of diopters to work away, but the non-screen time will be needed more and more as you approach the last 2 or 3 diopters.

  5. and 6. tennis, cycling, etc
    Hand on your heart: how likely it is you will not look at any screens for hours if you are at home indoors?
    Hobbies, sports and outdoor time is recommended mostly to give you time with more focal planes and no screen.
    If you go and surf / play football / climb a mountain / ride your bike / chase your kids on the beach or keep an eye on them while they are in the water, etc, you’ll stop checking your smart phone. Ball games are best as the ball is moving you will have to follow it with your eyes, team sport is good as you have to follow the team mates movements. I’d say playing sports indoors is equally good, you just have better lights outdoors so you get more clearer moments to motivate yourself…
    The emphasis is on screen free time and looking at things at different distances and / or those things moving between different distances.

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That’s a good analogy. I think it’s all about slowly adjusting our habits but making it sustainable. And tracking progress to see if what we’re currently doing is working. I’ve started adding centimeter measurements and also tracking my screen time on the computer and charting it in Excel.

I have also added more tennis sessions to my week. So I will be getting more outdoor stimulus while also enjoying it more. I guess it’s all about finding fun outdoor activities to enjoy! Will look into more fun things to do outside!

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Wow, thank you BiancaK for your detailed replies covering all the points. Are you able to consistently make gains despite spending 8-10 hours in front of the screen?

No phone - thanks for reinforcing the point on NO phone. I will keep trying to reduce phone addiction. My current average is still 4 hours, so I’ll try to do 3 hours per day and gradually go down to 1 hour per day. Tracking this everyday on a spreadsheet should help keep my on the right path.

Outdoors - I’ll keep going on my daily walks and looking at license plates and signs. I started looking at license plates of moving cars and seeing them come into focus as they move close / going out of focus as they move away and that seems to be a really good stimulus! I did that the first day I switched to a lower normalized and found that I could read much better on the Snellen chart the next day (maybe it was also partially my eyes getting used to the new normalized).

[TV] Can add to your gains while you still have a good amount of diopters to work away, but the non-screen time will be needed more and more as you approach the last 2 or 3 diopters.

TV - thanks for confirming this point. It makes a lot of sense that the lower your diopters are, the more important distance stimulus is to continuing to make gains. In the long run, learning to enjoy more outdoor activities will probably be best. And I think I’m off to a good start with that. At least I can also feel good that my TV habits are also (at least in part) contributing to my gains while I’m still in high myopia territory. And that in the end, I will still be able to enjoy some indoor screen time with the right vision habits.

In fact, being addicted to video / computer games from a young age was the main reason I got into this myopia mess in the first place. :sweat_smile: I spent hours and hours everyday on the TV / computer and was never really enjoyed sports or being outdoor. As I got into my 20s, I diversified my activities and kind of “grew out of it.” The myopia part remained though! And like a lot of people these days, I still need to work on my phone addiction!

Hand on your heart: how likely it is you will not look at any screens for hours if you are at home indoors? …
The emphasis is on screen free time and looking at things at different distances and / or those things moving between different distances.

Sports / Being Outside - you’re right about this! I need to spend more of my time outdoor. Will look into adding more sports / outdoor activities especially with friends. I think I’m starting to actually be excited about being outside. This may seem trivial to some people, but all my life I’ve always considered myself to be more of an indoor person. Enjoying being outside will definitely make my journey towards 20/20 eyesight much easier, albeit still a long one!

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Mistakes Made / What I’ve Learned so Far:
Although I’ve only made modest gains (just recently started wearing my second pair of Normalized), I think I’m on the right track and would like to document / share some of the mistakes I’ve made at the beginning (that I’m currently aware of).

Back in 2018, I discovered that some people on the internet seem to be improving their eyesight without LASIK. I saw Todd Becker’s video on Youtube and got his free pdf, and I went ahead and got reduced glasses for computer work and everyday wear (Differentials and Normalized). I made some mistakes with the habits (detailed below) and did not make much progress, but my eyes didn’t seem to get worse so at least that was good.

Around June 2020, I found End Myopia. I decided to “get serious” and figure out what I’ve been doing wrong. So I bought the course, watched/listened to most of the relevant all the videos in the course, and also listened to all the podcast episodes. Currently in March 2021, I’ve made around +0.75 spherical equivalent in progress—0.50D Spherical and 0.50D Cylinder, which seems to be in line with what is to be expected.

I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it, But here are some of the mistakes (at least the ones I’m aware of) that I made when I first started out:

  1. Thinking print-pushing with differentials is enough to improve.
  2. Not focusing on being outdoor and doing active focus (which to me is blinking, and trying to clear things up).
  3. Getting too much undercorrection for first Normalized. Lowering Cylinder and Spherical at the same time for first Normalized by +0.50 and +0.75 respectively. Partly because my cylinder was above -2.00 for my right eye, and I would have to wait for 7 days for the glasses to be made as opposed to within 15 minutes for corrections with Cyl below -2.00. This led to blur horizon being not far enough to be comfortable. In the end, I got slightly stronger glasses and I’m finally graduating from the first undercorrected Normalized. It could have been a better experience though, with smaller changes.
  4. Getting too weak differentials and had to sit uncomfortably close to the monitor for a while. I finally got a test lens kit and figured the appropriate distance. Paid about $160 for a test lens kit. But it was worth it for me to figure out my appropriate Normalized and Differentials.
  5. Thinking that reducing my glasses = gains, rather than figuring out the appropriate reduction at the beginning, and focusing on gains on the Snellen Chart / CM measurements.
  6. Not tracking Snellen Chart / CM Measurements nearly often enough. And not having consistent lighting on the Snellen chart for more accurate measurements. I now have it indoor with no sunlight and instead shine a light on the Snellen chart.
  7. Not ordering glasses online! It’s just so much easier and cheaper! Highly recommend.
  8. Resisting going outdoor and not seeing that I’m addicted to my phone, and spending too much of my free time watching Netflix and random YouTube videos. I have been going outdoor pretty consistently but haven’t started to actually enjoy it until recently. I’m still working on my addiction to screens.

Now that I’ve got most things properly set up, I think I should be able to continue to make gains. There’s still a long way ahead, and there will be more challenges to deal with, namely my high cylinder (-2.00 and -1.25), and equalizing. But I’ll worry about them later maybe after a few spherical reductions!

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I’m still trying to “get off” this habit. I can still go for a walk, listen to a podcast and not hear a word because of the compulsive number plate reading :sweat_smile: It’s tough to moderate. Once your brain is on it, it’s hard to stop. You can totally exhaust your brain though… But indeed a good stimulus.

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You’ve made a lot of good observations and your situation is actually pretty close to mine. Also 8-10 hours of screen time due to work a day, figuring out how to reduce it and introduce as much distance vision.
Rotating my desk to face a window so i can look out was pretty good. Going out to the park solely to AF, getting more hobbies (being out 5-6 hours a day for airsoft and cycling and stuff).
Personally in the 5 years i’ve known about EM and active focus, my vision has only worsened by 1 diopter, but im glad it’s working out for you! :slight_smile: