Newbie here, issues with first correction

Hello, Deano here. Complete newbie to both the forums, myopia, and indeed eyeglasses.

My story is likely similar to others.

Am 55 years old, and had to renew my drivers licence. In my country of New Zealand, you have to renew your licence every 10 years.

I looked into the machine, and could not see any of the letters at all. Failed the test, so had to go to an optometrist for comprehensive eye exam.

Was told I do not require glasses for reading, but require some for driving.

Here is my prescription:

Right Eye:
Sphere -1.0 Cyl -1.5 Axis 166

Left Eye:
Sphere -0.5 Cyl -1.75 Axis 175

I have never worn eyeglasses before in my life.
Here’s where my issues start.
I fell directly into the optometrists trap, and was told I needed two pairs of glasses, one for driving
at night, and another pair for sunglasses.

This was last October.
For the life of me, I can not adjust to my glasses.
Not only can I NOT drive wearing my glasses, but I suffer from ‘vertigo’, and when I wear my prescription, it affects me so much, I fall over and am incapacitated for long periods of time.
My glasses distort and warp my vision, and prolonged periods wearing them give me bad head aches, and very sore eyes, which last for days even after removing the glasses, and not wearing them for a week.

My optometrist tells me that I need to adjust to them, but it has been over 4 months, and they look just the same as the very second I first put them on.

I obtained some cheap glasses, and fiddled with my prescription, by removing the cylinder correction, and leaving the spherical as it was.

Instantly, I no longer had the warped vision, and my vertigo was not triggered.
I ordered more pairs of glasses, and added the astigmatism correction back in.

I was able to go up to -1.0 before I noticed any significant warping or bending.
I then tried lowering the spherical, and found things started to get blurry.

I can see all lines of snellen chart perfectly from correct distance using both eyes without glasses.
With Left eye only, I can also see all lines no problem without glasses.
With Right eye only, I see blur on different lines, at different times.

From reading articles on this resource, one is told to not mess with cylinder values for first couple of corrections, yet for me, I can not even wear my very first correction without lowering astigmatism values, as it triggers my vertigo.

I have kind of ranged in my preferred values of diopters, that would work for me.
So, I am not trying to break forum rules by asking for diopters.

What I want to know, is it alright to lower my astigmatism correction, so that I can at least wear glasses, but keep the spherical as per my prescription.

OR, should I lower all values a quarter diopter each until I no longer fall over when wearing my glasses. (ie. maintain the spherical and cylindrical ratio of my presription)

When I wear my glasses, I feel like I am looking thru a microscope, and everything looks way to sharp. Clear and sharp, but any movement at all creates warped vision when panning.
Everything is on a lean, and aspect looks way wrong, and I can not discern parallel at all.

How does one start the endmyopia journey, when you can not get started!.

…Deano…

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You don’t need to wear glasses to do the EM journey, especially with low myopia. But as it seems more difficult to reduce astigmatism, you may find it takes longer. If you can see the 20/20 line uncorrected, you could consider yourself to be safe driving without glasses, but if you want to be sure, get some glasses, as you yourself suggest, with a low cylinder correction that does not make you ill. Wear them only for driving and other situations where really sharp vision is required. See if you can find active focus, and some slight clearing with and without any correction on the 6m Snellen. You will have to concentrate on the sharpness of the edges of the letters, and not your ability to read them.

It is difficult to measure one’s own cylinder needs ( personal experience) but you might also consider going to another opto to make sure that you have as much astigmatism as measured by the first. The fact that you react so badly to full cylinder correction would make me suspicious. But the fact that you failed the vision test for driving may indicate that you have become a little too tolerant to blur to make driving safe without correction (here speaks someone who is highly blur tolerant)

There are others on the forum with low sphere and high cylinder, who can give you better advice based on their experience.

At the very least, the glasses-selling shop that sold you lenses that make you fall over with vertigo owe you a complete refund!

Thank you for the insights. Myself, I don’t think I need glasses to drive.

Had I not had to renew my licence, I would not know that I did not meet New Zealand driving vision standards. (Purely based on that machine test)

The person taking the test was trying to help me, and asked me to read a poster on the wall behind them, which I could easily read at considerable distance, and they said ‘you can see that!’and I replied ‘yeah’

But when I looked into the machine, I just saw a grey screen. Once you fail, your stuffed, and you have to go get an eye test, and a form from the
Optometrist, to renew licence.

And my licence now says I require corrective lenses to drive, so what ya gonna do. (Grin)
It’s a racket.

I failed the same test 10 years ago, but back then I went to optometrist, and he just asked me to look at Snellen chart with each eye, and I passed.

Back then, he told me that 50% of people fail, as the machine does not take into account that one eye is weaker than the other. He also told me that some people just do not get on with that kind of tech.
Apparently there is a technique to looking into these gizmo’s. (One I seemingly do not possess.)

I was really naive, and got caught by optometrist big time. Only smart thing I did was get my prescription, which here in New Zealand, not many places will do.

I was able to order some glasses and at least determine that the astigmatism correction was causing me issues, with the vertigo.
Oddly enough I hardly have episodes of vertigo, maybe once or twice a year, but the astigmatism correction seems to be like an on switch.

I think you are right about Active Focusing. I don’t really know what it is, but think I have experienced it. Maybe I have involuntary focus.

I have periods where my weak eye will just completely clear, and vision will be normal, and can see 20/20 line with just that eye open. Then my eye starts watering, and like spasms, and then I struggle to maintain it.

I think over the years, my brain has kinda got really good at fusing my vision, so much so, that I have never really thought of looking thru only one eye at a chart or anything, as with both eyes I see pretty good.

I think the nearsightedness kinda crept in with bad vision habits, watching media on large screen TV in not that big of an area.

Since I have been messing with these weaker prescription glasses, I have noticed my vision has improved, as initially the second FP line on snellen looked really blurry with weak eye,but now can see down to 20/40 line before getting blurry.

I can not seem to make it happen automatically, tho I seem to help it focus by kinda waving my fingers across field of vision, but people keep waving at me, or think I’m flipping them off. (Heh heh)

If I even put on the weakest glasses I have tried with no astigmatism correction at all, I can see snellen 20/20 line.
(Tho as I go back up my test glasses, things get sharper as the astigmatism values increase.)

I have ordered a pair of glasses at equal cylinder values of -0.75 for each eye, which is considerably lower than what I was prescribed.

I have a pair at -1.0 cylinder, and they were slightly distorting, but think I could adjust, so figured -0.75 would work as a beginning.

Then I plan to just drive and go outdoors with them, and after a period will try and equalise the spherical, as I am effectively already within the last diopter according to the bearded one.

Really appreciate the comments.
…Deano…

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That’s super-scientific opto-speak that they’re trained to repeat in opto school. Translation: wow did I ever botch this one.

Really important that you work at measuring your own cm’s, and maybe a test lens kit instead of all the trial and error glasses. You’ve taken matters into your own hands and that’s a great first step.

Best of luck and do keep us posted.

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And I’ll say not to get used to them. Don’t invest time in getting used to something that so obviously doesn’t feel OK. Why would you get used to vertigo and headaches??
And you’ll spend double or triple the time later getting rid of them reversing the opto recommended “adjustment”.

If you haven’t had glasses before, introducing unequal corrections to the eyes with unequal corrections within the eyes (i.e. high cyl) will totally confuse your brain.
You may need corrections, and if so, I think you’d be better off with something that is as equal as your natural eyes are (as your previous correction was “eyes only”) and without cyl correction (even if traded in for higher sph). Not against glasses for clarity, but very much against complex prescriptions - and accepting vertigo and headache when clearly caused by wearing glasses…

Disclaimer: I’m not an optometrist, so don’t take my personal opinion as a medical advice.

a) you can wear a different, better serving prescription - nobody can tell if you have the opto corrections on or not
b) you can keep a pair of glasses in the car and say you are wearing contact lenses
c) can work a bit on more conscious vision and go back to another friendly opto and get a paper that you don’t need corrections for driving

Thanks for your comments, and everyone else’s.

The glasses I ordered online myself arrived.
I shall regard these as my first glasses, as I can at least wear them for the task of driving.

The optometrist had prescribed cylinders of -1.5 for right eye and -1.75 for left eye.

The ones I ordered were -0.75 for both eyes.
The results are quite dramatic, and the terrible warped vision/distortion has gone.

When you say ‘equal’ for each eye, are you meaning both spherical and cylindrical?

At the moment my glasses have same cylinder values of -0.75, but spherical values are as per optometrist’s original prescription from comprehensive eye exam, and are -1.0 for right eye, and -0.5 for left eye.

The plan is to reduce my spherical correction, but should I equalise it first, or keep one eye stronger than the other?

Some suggest at -0.75, I could maybe just nuke cylinder correction altogether?

I took the advice of another user, and went back to optometrist and got a refund. (they were not very happy with me)

So, I finally have a pair of glasses I can wear, but I don’t think I am pushing the blur horizon.

…Dean…

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Wow, that is a huge drop in astigmatism. If you were overcorrected, I can see why that would be a huge improvement. If not, I wonder how your visual cortex is going to adapt to them. How is the angular blur?

Equalizing takes like 2-3 times longer than a normal binocular spherical drop and is generally not recommended until you get your astigmatism out of the way first. But there are no rules. It is important to experiment and go with what your eyes prefer.

That is generally in reference to your first differentials only. If you have less than -1D of cylinder to start with, some people have had good luck with dropping all of it and converting it to sphere based on spherical equivalence (you can convert -0.50 cyl to -0.25 more sph). If after 4-6 weeks you don’t have any visual issues (ghosting/double vision, strain, etc.) with that in your diffs, then doing the same thing in your normalized is reasonable.

In almost every other case, it is recommended to drop 0.25 cyl at a time using the same process as dropping sphere.

‘Angular Blur’
Hmm, newbie here remember.

Well, What I can tell you, is that with these glasses at -0.75 cylinder, driving while wearing them looks fine, and I see no discernible blur. Only see blur when I take the glasses off for a little time.

When I discovered I could not tolerate the full prescription, I ordered several glasses with different astigmatism values, from none at all, up to -1.5.
Anything above -1.0 really distorted my vision.

Whether I really need cylinder correction is debatable, as with zero cylinder correction, it does not really blur my vision a whole lot.
Lowering the spherical of my weak eye -.5 diopter definitely made some blur tho, but perhaps a quarter diopter would be able to handle.

I had no idea about all this stuff until I discovered this resource.

Excuse the pun, but it’s been a real eye opener.

Heh heh heh…
…Deano…

That must be a great relief, and congratulations for sticking with what your eyes tell you. I can add nothing to Merlin’s reply other than to wish you a speedy journey to being able to drive legally without correction.

Sorry, what I mean is do you see ghosted images or visual distortion that appears shifted slightly off center to the rest of what you’re looking at? Try looking at a single LED power indicator light in the dark for example. For me, I see a tiny bit of blur along the edge of text but only in one eye. The distance that blur extends from the central image depends on how far away it is from me. When I look at an LED light at night, I see two of them, the solid one and a ghosted one below and slightly to the left of the main image. I can fuse them using active focus (though I’m still trying to get the knack of AF since it doesn’t always work for me).

As for being a newbie… no worries. Technically I’m considered a newbie since I only started doing EM last month. But I have about a year of research into optometry and vision optics from before I started learning about Endmyopia. I also have about 3 months of research into EM… but that includes reviewing the majority of Jake’s blog posts & videos (the public ones anyway) and watching videos from students who post videos on a regular basis (Gemily, NottNott, Reannon/LloydMom, MattE, etc). I’ve been slowly churning through the backlog on the forum. So I feel like I understand the concepts pretty well at this point. I just need more personal experimentation to be able to have a more tangible connection to the process. :slight_smile:

With that response, it almost seems like you may not have astigmatism at all. Or if you do, you may only have a low amount, but for some reason your opto overprescribed cylinder correction where you may be best served with spherical correction.

If it were me, I’d get a trial lens kit and do your own subjective refraction at home to see what you come up with. Or, at the least, try out a few different combinations of spherical and cylinder correction to find the optimal values. I find that one of the best ways to do this at home is to build lenses that work at a known distance for differentials (like 67cm or 80cm) and make sure they are perfectly clear up until the blur horizon in both eyes. Then reverse the offset (add back the -1.25 for 80cm or -1.50 for 67cm) to see what your optimal distance correction should be and test that out on the Snellen chart. If you can hit 20/20 under indoor illumination, that is probably your ideal full prescription (or close to it). You can then compare that to what your opto gave you to see how far they overcorrected (or miscorrected) you, then drop from there to find your normalized (which should give you 20/30 or 20/40 on the Snellen under indoor lighting).

While I already knew a lot about vision optics and such, I really hadn’t put some of the pieces together in terms of understanding how hyperopic defocus leads to lens-induced myopia and astigmatism, and how pathologies like strabismus can accelerate the effects of myopia and induce astigmatism in some people. So like you, I also learned quite a bit after stumbling onto Jake’s blog.

I’m more eager than ever to experiment and see how real this all is. First for myself but also so I can take what I learned to ensure that my 5-year-old daughter never has to worry about wearing glasses like her parents.

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Sorry, what I mean is do you see ghosted images or visual distortion that appears shifted slightly off >center to the rest of what you’re looking at? Try looking at a single LED power indicator light in the >dark for example. For me, I see a tiny bit of blur along the edge of text but only in one eye. The >distance that blur extends from the central image depends on how far away it is from me. When I >look at an LED light at night, I see two of them, the solid one and a ghosted one below and slightly >to the left of the main image. I can fuse them using active focus (though I’m still trying to get the >knack of AF since it doesn’t always work for me).

I see one kind of strange anomaly, but only without my glasses.
Let me explain. When looking across my entertainment room, I have an AV Receiver.
It has an LED display behind glass, that lists various information such as inputs, volume etc.
The test on screen might say something like ‘Shield TV’ on first line, and ‘DD +’ or similar on second line.

Without glasses and using both eyes, I see it perfectly. With my left eye, it too looks perfect.
However, with my right eye (so termed weaker eye), I would most of the time see double, or blurred text.

The weird thing is that the distance this occurs at is very specific, like around 2m. If I lean forward, the text is perfect, and if I lean back, again the text is fine, but at that specific distance, looking at that specific display, I can not see it clearly.

Am assuming this is my so termed astigmatism?
I have a feeling, this is why when I look into the machine at the driving test place, that is why I have issues failing this machine specific test. Failed it 10 years ago, and failed it again a few months ago.
(which lead to visit to opto, and where all my troubles kinda began) heh heh heh.)

Looking thru with any minus lensed glasses I have experimented with fixes the effect mentioned above, regardless of whether the prescription includes cylinder correction or not.

Now, after wearing my new so termed ‘first’ correction pair of glasses, I find that the text on the AV Receiver display is decidedly more clear, and I can actually read it. A definitive improvement.

I also notice that using my weaker eye to look at snellen, I find that I am able to see further down lines and letters, that just looked blurry before.
This is just from wearing my new glasses for driving, and wide out doors walking etc.

I should clarify that I do not require any glasses for reading or close up, only for driving.
I am somewhat confused by everyone speaking of ‘first pair of differentials’, as I only wear single RX glasses for distance correction.

Are differentials the same as ‘progressive lenses’? (as they are called in my country)
(ie. For close up and distance, and everything in between)

To me, the fact that just wearing my new glasses for any period of time, seems to improve my vision after I take them off, validates that they are somehow forcing my eyes to do things that they don’t normally do, thus validating the endmyopia process.

But apart from that anomaly I mention above, when wearing my glasses, things don’t appear out of the ordinary… just clearer distance, and blurry when looking at close up. Like looking at my watch or phone… can not do that.) (which is what they are supposed to do)

As for being a newbie… no worries. Technically I’m considered a newbie since I only started doing >EM last month. But I have about a year of research into optometry and vision optics from before I >started learning about Endmyopia. I also have about 3 months of research into EM… but that >includes reviewing the majority of Jake’s blog posts & videos (the public ones anyway) and >watching videos from students who post videos on a regular basis (Gemily, NottNott, >Reannon/LloydMom, MattE, etc). I’ve been slowly churning through the backlog on the forum. So I >feel like I understand the concepts pretty well at this point. I just need more personal >experimentation to be able to have a more tangible connection to the process. :slight_smile:

I envy you. I too have watched some of the forum members videos. Gemily for one. She is so informative in her descriptions of the processes. Pretty cool.

I can not just ‘engage’ (Picard mode on!) active focus at will.
A few times I have looked at the snellen on my bedroom wall, and bam, all of a sudden I see every line in perfect clarity, and then it fades into blur again. But when I started all this, like I could not see the second TOZ line at all without blur with my weak eye, and now I can see 20/30 without blur most of the time with my right eye, and 20/20 with my left eye.

So I am seeing tangible improvements without really doing anything special at all.
(grin) Maybe my eyes really aren’t broken after all.

With that response, it almost seems like you may not have astigmatism at all. Or if you do, you may >only have a low amount, but for some reason your opto overprescribed cylinder correction where >you may be best served with spherical correction.

I think you might be right. I certainly can not handle high cylinder correction.
If my prescription is to be believed, I am right on the borderline as to whether I require astigmatism correction. I sorta feel that my right eye has been locked in close up mode for a long time.
-1.5 for left eye, and -1.75 for right eye.

I wonder if having too higher cylinder correction, and being a new eyeglasses wearer has some benefit, in that your eyes are really doing whacked out things trying to compensate to a correction, but at the same time giving the ole eye muscles a bit of a workout?.

I really don’t know, but it is nice to finally be able to wear a prescription, and go for a nice walk without feeling like your looking thru a fun house mirror, and the natural world around you looks the right aspect, and your no longer a 6’1" person who feels like they are inch high private eye, when walking. (it is the most awful feeling, and your like ‘what the F!’)

And your dispensing optician just says ‘oh it will take some time to adjust’

If it were me, I’d get a trial lens kit and do your own subjective refraction at home to see what you >come up with. Or, at the least, try out a few different combinations of spherical and cylinder >correction to find the optimal values. I find that one of the best ways to do this at home is to build >lenses that work at a known distance for differentials (like 67cm or 80cm) and make sure they are >perfectly clear up until the blur horizon in both eyes. Then reverse the offset (add back the -1.25 for >80cm or -1.50 for 67cm) to see what your optimal distance correction should be and test that out on >the Snellen chart. If you can hit 20/20 under indoor illumination, that is probably your ideal full >prescription (or close to it). You can then compare that to what your opto gave you to see how far >they overcorrected (or miscorrected) you, then drop from there to find your normalized (which >should give you 20/30 or 20/40 on the Snellen under indoor lighting).

That sounds like a plan. I like it when a plan comes together.
(why does that sound familiar?) (cue the A-Team theme music)

Thanks for the advice yet again. I don’t know what I am doing, but am doing something!.

…Deano…

No, they are not. Someone who can work without correction at decent distance to screen does not need differentials. The fact that you get more blur with you glasses for close up probably means that you have a small degree of presbyopia (age related), and it will do you no good whatsoever to use your glasses for anything but distance vision. Welcome to the world of taking your glasses on and off. :smile: Hopefully you will reach a world where no glasses are needed, even for driving.

Bit of an update:

I obtained another eye examination from a different optometrist.
The results for astigmatism were much different, and they said I was -0.5 cyl in left eye, and -.75 cyl in right eye. That is an entire diopter lower than I was originally prescribed by first optometrist.

No wonder I could not adjust to my first prescription.

I was told that at those levels, I likely did not require astigmatism correction at all, and that generally for less than a diopter, they wait for the patient to mention blur issues before they would consider adding astigmatism correction to a prescription.

So, not sure what has happened in my case, but the 2nd optometrist surmises that my prescription has not been transcribed correctly from diagnosis to dispensing, and that a ‘1’ has made it in front of the .5 and .75. (as original cylinder correction was 1.5 and 1.75)

So, my guess at altering my own prescription was not far out, as at present my glasses are -.75 for both eyes for cyl, and -.5 and -1.0 for Spherical.

I am wondering if I should lower my left eye cylinder value to -0.5, or not just worry about it til next reduction?

…Dean…

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Glad you had a second measurement. Was the axis of cyl the same with both optos for both eyes?

It must be a relief to know that you were not imagining things. I say it more and more often - trust your eyes.

How amusing that the 2nd opto surmised a transcription error rather than a measuring error - solidarity in the trade.

If the present cylinder correction gives you decent vision, it may not be worth trying to equalise cylinder now. You could drop all cylinder as your next step, with possibly a spherical equivalent for the higher cylinder (going up by 0,25 in spherical to compensate for the 0.75 of cylinder you are removing). The success of this may depend on whether it is the weaker or stronger eye that has the greater cylinder. You may not want to increase the diopter gap in sphere. There is no knowing how you will react to that as these things are very individual. With a diopter gap in both sphere and cylinder, EM starts to look more like juggling at this stage. :laughing:

Whatever you choose as your next step, good luck!

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This is a very good question. Given your low cylinder power, if your axis is moving around a lot, that could suggest transient astigmatism which you don’t really need to address at all. As you lower your sphere, any transient astigmatism may clear up all by itself.

In my case, I am pretty sure that any astigmatism in my dominant eye is transient. I have all my prescriptions for the last 10 years and of the 7 refractions done over that time, 4 show no astigmatism in that eye at all, and 3 show -0.25 diopters. In those 3 that do list cylinder, the axis measurement is always different… between 180°, 13°, and 30°. So I don’t really think it is real.

On the other hand, the astigmatism in my non-dominant eye doesn’t really wander much. The cyl correction is in every refraction, ranging from -1.00 to -0.50 diopter (on a downward trend, interestingly enough), but the axis always comes in between as either 10° or 15°. So I’m pretty sure it is real.

So, in your case, it could be transient astigmatism, particularly if the power and axis fluctuate from refraction to refraction. This might be something that is worth getting a trial lens set (at least a trial frame and some Jackson cross-cylinder flipper lenses) or an EyeQue VisionCheck (not the PVT) as a way to measure at home.

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The axis measurements were very similar, and within a degree or two from first prescription.

I was told that it is not uncommon to have -.5 to -.75 diopter of astigmatism, and have 20/20, but that correction is usual for -1.5 and above astigmatism.

Yeah, I too think it amusing that the optometrists seem to cover each other.

I had to go in yesterday to original optometrist, and return my night driving glasses, and my RX sunglasses lenses they fitted into my Rayban Wayfarer frames. They requested that they remove the lenses.

I told them that I went to a competitor, and got retested, and told them the results, but they did not seem to concerned, and refunded me $656 faster than seemed humanly possible.

For me, I think my myopia symptoms are almost certainly related to bad vision habits. Decades of closeup IT work, compounded by bad big screen TV watching in a smaller room environment.

The other night, I may have had AF for first time, as vision in my weak eye just went perfectly clear like flicking on a switch, and was like that for quite some time, then my eye started spasms, and I lost it to blur again. So, I can not voluntarily make AF happen again, but is more like random moments of focus. Close eye, open it again, wham bam, thank you ma’am, all clear, blink and it’s gone again.
(Grin).

…Deano…

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That’s good news. What you had sounds more like a clear flash than AF. My idea of clear flashes is that they are a supreme attempt by the visual cortex to achieve clarity, an effort that is not sustainable, or just sheer luck as the differents parts of the visual system come into aligment. I doubt if the loss of the clear flash has anything to do with ciliary spasm. But whatever they are, they are encouraging.

Yes, I think they are clear flashes too.
I have a query regarding Active Focus.

Can you do Active Focus with one eye only?

Reason I ask, is that using both eyes at medium distance (further away than my arms length), I don’t see any blur, so struggle to clear anything up when using both eyes, as things look fine.

But if I close my strong eye, then I see blur, hence my query.

…Dean…