My son's progress report

I think my son has discovered AF. I am starting a new thread so that i can track the progress.

A couple of times before today, I put one word on my laptop screen (black text on white background)(because a page full of words was distracting him from the activity), put it at a blur challenge distance from him and asked him to ease into the word. After about 10 seconds of looking at it, he would widen his eyes in excitement and give a running commentary on how it got clearer and how 5 seconds later it got back to being blurry again. (Honestly, I initially thought he was just performing for me to get me off his back.)

We used +1.5D glasses for this. (For his myopia history please scroll to the bottom)

Today we tried it again, and then moved on to reading an entire page while he held on to the focus. By the end of an hour, (he said) he could AF continuously. One time i asked him if he was doing AF or if the book was already too clear, and he said he wasnt sure. (But i also kind of tired him out by constantly asking him if he was getting a blur challenge). After that when i asked him to explain to me what he understood by AF, he gave me a very detailed and animated overview of what myopia is and why it happens. Including how ‘when you wear distance vision glasses to look at close stuff like screens, its the worst thing to do to your eyes’.

Things we have been doing in the past 6 months
Never wore the prescription glasses.
I bought a reduced prescription which he wore for a few days for a few hours in the evening when going out for a walk. He sometimes wears them when watching TV now. (Now i can tell him to AF on the subtitles like everyone else!)
Him and I go out bicycling about 3-4 days a week. No outdoor playtime otherwise because Pandemic.
Recently started doing some eye exercises like moving eye balls around the periphery. Not doing it everyday though.
Eating carrots regularly. This step may be the least effective but its the easiest to get done. Just cut them and leave them on the table and they are consumed in no time.

Regulating screen time remains a HUGE challenge still. He can be kept away from screens all day but that requires an active and ongoing involvement from me. So every now and then there are a couple of days of heavy screen use.

Myopia history-
Last cm measurement was Lefteye/Righteye - 56/98 cm
His optometrist given prescription in Feb’2020 was -1.5/-0.5 (L/R)
His cm measurement in Aug’2020 was 60/100 cm

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I’m still not sure myself at times.

That’s one lucky kid. I’m sure someday he’ll look back and realize what you’ve done for him. Good for both of you!

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Thanks Kevin!

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Cm measurement today L/R - 60/100
Print pushing for about an hour

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This post is more a list of things that have NOT worked.

CM measurements - L/R - 61/107
(Logging cm measurement every 4 days feels a little silly but i think journaling regularly helps keep the momentum, so here it is.)

We acquired a book stand a couple of months back and it had to be kept at about 70cm distance (without any glasses on). Turning the page from that distance was cumbersome and i would ask him to read the same page over and over to try to find active focus.

Unsustainable. Did not work.

I tried to project an ebook on the TV but turning the page through a phone was weird and he’d eventually start reading on the phone itself so that didnt work either.

Meanwhile i found videos on the blog saying plus lenses were to be used with caution so we did not touch those for almost 2 months. And then found some messages here in the community and in one of the podcast videos, hinting at plus lenses with children being relatively less complicated.

Because he has a difference in myopia in both eyes, found that he needed to patch the weaker eye, but no more than 15-20 minutes at a stretch and no more than 3-4 times a week. I bought a pack of eye patch stickers, but i was advised against taping an eye shut. So that was that.

Also explored Bates exercises, ‘Triangulation’ method by you know (or dont) who, reached out to Otis Brown (bless him).

Finally-
+1.5 glasses give him enough blur challenge at an arms distance, so he is able to read a book using a book stand. He’s able to sit for a long enough time doing AF. And once in a while for a period of 15 minutes, i tape the left side of the glasses frame for patching.

The cycling has been very helpful in a holistic sort of way and to get the much needed outdoor distance vision and hopefully also to develop his peripheral vision. I did not see any improvement through outdoor time alone though.

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I’ll offer my encouragement to keep up the outdoor time. Cycling is good for the mind and body.

I have no experience with plus lenses or exercises so I can’t help in any way. You’ll figure out what works, I’m confident.

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Thanks! I must say I myself enjoy cycling so much its hard to keep away. You know we bought a bicycle for him and it ended up being too tall for him so now I ride it and we got another one for him. (Oh, how very first world-y of me!)

Cant wait :slight_smile:

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Perhaps you mean Dutch?

image

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I find it very sweet of you to work so much on balancing between “commitment to improve” and “not killing your son’s motivation”, and equally nice of him to play along :blush:

In your first post you mentioned screen time. For various reasons, in today’s world it is almost unavoidable to give some screen time to kids, too.
So I believe the most important thing is to pay attention to good habits there, too.
Phone screen: yes to calls and short texts, no to reading or watching films
iPad/Tablet screen: yes to watching films from at least 60cms, e.g. placed on a table, but not crawling closer every ten minutes. No to placing it on the lap. And no for lying on the floor with elbow support and crawling close.
Laptop: Yes to watching it at the blur horizon, but no to crawling closer
TV: Yes to watching from a sofa / armchair placed strategically at a good distance (depends on screen, resolution, etc). No to playing on the floor between sofa and TV and watching TV parallel, or lying on the floor and inching closer.
Book: Arm’s length should be OK. Always make sure the lights are very good.

And keep up with the good habit of spending time outdoors.

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Indeed!
Infact the last time I rode a bicycle was in 2014 in Amsterdam.

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I have to admit that approval here is very helpful and encouraging. Thank you.

Also thank you for putting this list together.

This is the area which requires some checking and improvement.

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Yup, good anecdote with the +1.5 glasses. Once my phone/books have to be held too far for active focus practice, I’m going to use plus glasses to maintain a comfortable distance (like with your son), as books and the phone have been so instrumental for my progression while the naked eye edge of blur is under 40cm or so. My hope is I can maintain my improvement rate all the way to 20/20 this way.

That said, plus glasses use has been associated with some bad experiences with some people according to Jake, thus why it isn’t encouraged, except for kids to keep them from myopia in the first place. But, because it’s my life and eyes :), I will try anyway, and report any adverse reactions I have that can be attributed to the plus glasses use.

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The fact that you also get to read/entertain yourself while you AF is the clincher. Would be very boring to AF on road signs.

Good luck! I do hope it a smooth ride for you.
I can read 20/25 on the snellen with naked eyes. Have never worn glasses. I think I am going to try the plus lenses myself for sometime.

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Literally just made a video about this! :joy: I have seen too many people stagnating their progress because they are bored of looking at the same sign/license plate, what ever; that isn’t interesting to begin with and is less so after dozens of hours of staring at it!

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CM measurements - L/R = 67/102

These had dropped to 55/90 in between for a few days because of a lot of screen use.

Following these -

  • An hour of print pushing
  • 2 hours of outdoor time (not too bright outside in the evenings though)
  • wearing the plus lens for online classes
  • eye exercises
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Spent 7 days in the Himalayas at 10,000 feet (3,000 mts) altitude. Going to measure cm distance tomorrow morning and start the eye improvement routine again.

Son and I did a 3 km trek bare feet. It’s essentially a meadow at that height so it wasn’t too hard.image image image

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I wouldn’t survive at 3000 metres altitude. Darjeeling, at 2100 is the most I can handle. This reminded me that I am missing out on my visit to Darjeeling this year - the first year I have not been in India for October and November since 2008. I am hoping international travel opens up again next year, as I am missing my ‘family’ there.

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I have never been to Darjeeling, used to go to Siliguri often for work though. Sigh! I miss travel.

I dont have great cm measurements to report :confused: L/R = 57/76 (on two consecutive days)

When we started using the plus lenses to read books and gained about 10 cm in both eyes, I thought this was cilliary release. But looks like we didn’t sustain the centimeters through our weeklong outing. There were absolutely no screens used or books read.

I remember someone said they regressed when they took a break from active focus for a few days.
I suppose I’ll go back to the drawing board and read through the 7 day emails again.

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I think too much has been made of ciliary spasm release - 30 years of little cause for ciliary spasm did not improve my vision. There are quite a few people who have experienced some deterioration after a break from close vision and lots of outdoor time. This is why I do daily measuring - simply to remind me to pay better attention to what I look at.

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I see. In that case, I’ll take the last improvements as axial shortening!