Who else here thinks that their myopia is not lens induced but managed to get their vision back?
In short here is my story:
Like for most of us my vision started to get worse during childhood. Started around 5th grade I think. In the beginning it wasn’t that bad. But gradually my eyesight got worse and worse… even though I did not have glasses. I got my first pair of glasses when I was 18 yrs old and they were -4D for both eyes. Now I am in my 30ies and have -5.5D in both eyes.
I would think that not wearing glasses as a kid should have reduced my eyestrain eventually or at least it should not have been getting worse (until the age of 18 cause after that I was wearing glasses for few hours most days so that could be lens induced I guess). Never wore glasses as a kid- still eyesight got worse. Maybe it was all eyestrain building up? Is that possible? Could that -4D all be eyestrain? Seems a lot… And its not that I was always sitting inside. I was a super outdoorsy kid, most summers spent at a countryside with no screens.
Any of you with a similar story and a high first prescription who improved their eyesight? I also am wondering if it correlates with struggles to find AF? Because I can’t for the life of me find AF after trying for a year.
Would love to hear your ideas or similar stories and hopefully something’s going to click.
I presume even though you did not wear glasses you still did a lot of close-up? If yes, then you most likely still held the objects too close, which had the same effect as if you would wear glasses.
If not, then I don’t know what could cause it. I presume you have no medical conditions related to eyes, right?
Yes, I did close-up work during school year. I guess it was a lot… I was very responsible and always did all the homework which took a lot of my time. So maybe that is a bit to blame. As of putting things super close to my face to see them- maybe in the beginning I did that. But when my myopia was already high I remember reading books at a distance when the text was blurry. Because I was copying the distance from others so they wouldn’t know that I can not see. Sometimes I did that at home as well. Eventually I wrote in blur because the distance from my eyes till the notebook was too big to see clearly and leaning down was uncomfortable.
No, no medical conditions. Not to my knowledge. I went to an ophthalmologist this spring for an eye exam. Besides an elongated eyeball and a bit of retinal detachment that comes with it everything was normal. I also checked my thyroid- hormone levels are good and the doctor even complemented how beautiful my thyroid was . Both my parents have excellent vision.
Do you have ideas for what what kind of eye exam I should ask for? When I went to the doctor I said that I have high myopia and I would like to know if things are normal with my eyeball. Everything seemed fine as I said.
To be honest, a -1.5 progression in almost two decades is less than what someone using overcorrection (even with no genetic predisposition to myopia) can expect. When you are myopic, especially if you work in low light situations, you do tend to get thing closer to your eyes than it is healthy. The effect of dim light on eyesight is greater the higher the myopia is. If you have been living with -4 without correction, it is very likely that you got used to working very near your object of focus. I mean, how can you even function if everything is so blurry?
Can you please explain more what you meant with the -1.5 progression? I was -4D when I was 18. Now I am 31 and have -5.5D. You mean that during this time my myopia should have progressed more?
I had no glasses and then BOOM -4D. I was wearing them only while doing studies at my uni or at home studying. When I went outside I took them off. Also when I left my desk, I took them off. Was using my glasses only while stationary. This lasted for many years. Then I got -4.75D cause my eyesight kept getting worse. Still for the most part I was using the -4D.
I started wearing glasses regularly only in 2018 when I stumbled across EM and read about blur adaptation and how bad it is. Then I mixed and matched between the two pairs depending on the task. This spring I got -5D to teach my brain what even clearer vision is. When it’s a nice day I can see 20/25 with them. For most parts outdoors though I wear -4.75D. On a sunny day I can see well and they give me a nice blur horizon.
Yes, basically I did spend a big part of my life in blur. But it is possible. You just get used it as it happens gradually. I think I was used to not seeing clearly. Blur was a norm. You start to see with your brain and not eyes. It’s kinda weird… Not now though. Since I wear my glasses regularly I totally notice blur when I don’t have my glasses on. It’s scary.
Maybe the reason why I struggle to find AF is because of all those years living in blur? My brain still finds blur a norm/ something that is just there? But then again I am wearing glasses for two years now, I know what a clear image looks like, I know what I’m reaching for… but I still can’t clear up blur.
My myopia was not lens induced, and like yours, it was lens aggravated. I agree with David’s point that excessive close work can start off the myopia (and more than pseudomyopia) without any correction being involved. That was the case for me, but not as high an initial prescription as yours. I have no idea what it was, but not the less than 1D correction that pseudomyopia might have provoked. From the start there was a diopter gap. Like you, I avoided wearing my glasses when not absolutely necessary and spent a lot of time outdoors in a sunny climate.
My thoughts are that getting one’s vision back (at least a goot deal of it) does not depend on whether the myopia was lens-induced or not, and also not on whether one has a genetic predisposition to myopia or not. I have improved my vision by at least 1.5D (possibly more) in both eyes in spite of the more than 3 diopter gap. The fact that my stronger eye was never worse than -3 enabled me to live without glasses for most of the time, especially after I stopped having to earn my living at a screen.
I also have ‘unorthodox’ ideas about the need for reference to 20/20 clarity. Both my eyes can see clearly at some distance, the right much further than the left, but both have a reference to clarity, and I feel that this is good enough (not EM advice!). In your case I think you could not function without correction. The slight danger is that becoming addicted to 20/20 clarity may make you intolerant of the slight myopic blur that you need to challenge to break through the myopic homeostasis
You are not alone in failing to find AF, whatever that may be. I tried with blinking and staring, which gave a very little and very short clearing, and at one stage I just started getting longer spells of better clarity without any conscious effort on my part. This is still the case. My view is that all we need to do is give the eyes/brain some myopic challenge and pay calm attention to the blur with the intention of clearing it a little. Jake has a very good video on this relaxed, almost meditative approach. Trying too hard can be counter-productive and cause eye strain.
I hope this reassures you that even myopia that was not lens induced can be reversed. We have a few other members on the forum in the same situation. Good luck!
I suspect that just like every other biological and neural process amblyopia is not a binary thing. Just when it’s not too bad we call it eye dominance. I also suspect that it varies person by person how strong this dominance is. And I also suspect that viewing distance somehow changes eye dominance. In other words I suspect that it depends on viewing distance how much the visual cortex use a given eye. There are some study on this regard, but they are not conclusive. For example:
What I suspect is that for those people how develop large difference between the two eye one of the eye is significantly dominant in close-up settings. Which ultimately leads to that one of eye deteriorate more. Which one? I suspect that the dominant eye. I think it gets worse and worse because it’s strained, while the other - whose signal is not used as much - can rest more somehow.
Thanks for the links, David. Interesting reading. In my case, however, it is the non-dominant eye that is the much weaker one, and also the one that has been given the most close vision work from very early on. I developed the habit of reading in bed with one eye only, the left eye, with the right eye closed by the pillow. This allowed me to rest the book on the bed as well, reducing strain in the arms. I still read that way most of the time. It is not surprising that I developed myopia and astigmatism, and a great deal more of it in the left eye. When I try to switch eyes for reading, I have to hold the book at 20cm, which is much less confortable. When I read sitting up I use the right eye.
Yes, from 9cm to 19cm it is the left eye, and from 19 cm to about 120cm it is the right eye, where a very slight presbyopia has set in. This actually gives me an accommodative range, between the two of them, of about 10D - as good as a little kid’s, although I am not yet in my second childhood.
“My scoliosis and myopia developed, despite the fact that I always tried to keep my posture, I had a “correct” portfolio, and when writing, I always followed the distance from my eyes to the notebook. Nobody forced. So what? The girl who, as it seemed to me, is a candidate for health problems (she sat sideways at her desk, put her legs in the aisle, her back with a wheel and wrote, running her nose over the notebook, I even remember the name - Jeyran, absolutely healthy. But I am not …”
Apparently some people have weak homeostasis and develop either NITM, LIM or FDM despite no severe predispositions were present for myopia onset.
I missed this in my first reply. I am very blur tolerant, and lived uncorrected for most of the time for 30 years before starting EM. This has not stopped my progress. There is a difference between just accepting blur as normal and ceasing to pay attention to it, and knowing that you are in blur, no longer accepting it as normal, and challenging it on a regular basis daily. It was this that got my eyes moving in the right direction, and not reduced lenses. I thought that I needed to go back to wearing glasses and giving myself an occasional reference to 20/20 clarity, but it turned out not to be mecessary. I know that I am an outlier, but outliers sometimes serve to hone in on what the real crux of the EM method is.
This will not help you to find AF, but might remove one reason (excuse?) you may be giving yourself for not finding AF. If you fail to clear blur at distance, perhaps you can concentrate on trying to clear a little blur at screen distance with your diffs. I started my process with print pushing at screen distance before learning to do some clearing at greater distances.
I don’t know if mine was even lens aggravated. As before any lens wear I already had -4D. After starting to wear glasses it increased for 1.5D. Which is not that much in 13 years.
I am wondering why during this time the eye strain (for both of us) did not go away? Initially when the pseudomyopia first started I had 3 summer months for it to clear up. It is the recommended way, isn’t it?: Do not put your kid into glasses. Let him run outside and look at trees and the vision will recover over time.
I think so too. I just want to understand how/ why I got where I am so that I can fix it. Since I can remember myself I thought that wearing glasses is kinda bad and tried to clear up blur on my own. I just never succeeded…
Yay! Awesome ! That gives me hope. I am so thirsty for the smallest sign of improvement.
So you have a different reference for what a good/ normal vision is? Do you mind sharing what is your reference?
Sorry, I did not quiet understand this one. Don’t I want to get sensitive (intolerant) to blur so I would want to clear it up? Don’t I want to be like: “Eww, this is blurry, where did the clarity go?”
For me it is still a mystery. I feel like any time something seems sharper is due to tear film.
It’s a nice description. I feel like I am doing this. But the thing is after trying for a long, long, long, long, long, long time without the slightest improvement it is hard to stay calm and positive. It gets very frustrating.
Thank you so much for your post! Knowing that I am not the only black sheep helps. Thank you for the encouragement and kind words! I will keep on trying.
I feel that I understand and yet I don’t understand . I feel that I have had the right mindset all my life. I knew that I was living in blur. I knew that I need to clear it up. I tried to stay positive, be kind to my eyes, love them. I tried to look at things, shift closer, further back to clear up blur. Tried with greater distances, tried with closeup. And this all before I found EM. Kinda felt intuitively what EM teaches us. But it kept on getting worse… And now since EM, wearing glasses, continuing to stay positive and working on my eyes I am so confused on how/why my vision is so bad and how to proceed.
Can you please give examples on your work with the mindset?
Yes, as Salt pointed out, not that much. I was given my first pair of glasses at the age of 13/14 or so, and stopped wearing them at the age of 44, other than for driving. So I had many years for the lens power to increase. Even then, my right eye never got worse than -3.
I have always read a great deal in my life, so even with outdoor time I was putting in several hours of reading for pleasure a day, often in poor light, in addition to hours of schooling a day and later university education. This much close vision leads the visual system to adapt itself to close vision. Accommodation for close vision is ‘work’ for the ciliary muscles (for distance vision they relax fully), and the body, always in search of reducing work, will adjust the eyes accordingly. People without a genetic ‘talent’ for this kind of eye adaptation, can read as much as they like without becoming mypic.
No, I don’t. I have a different idea of what reference to clarity is. There are some unfortunate people who have no clarity at all, no matter what what distance they focus on (such as with cataracts). Such eyes become form deprived and deteriorate rapidly. I can get perfect clarity with either eye, from the point of close vision up to the point where astigmatic ghosting appears. This is reference to clarity for me, and something for my visual cortex to aim for when I push the distance past that point of clarity. If I want a reference to clarity at 20/20 I can put on a pair of glasses with the right lenses for a few minutes, and get that. I do very little of that, as I do not want to get addicted to this degree of clarity. There is a difference between clarity and quality of vision. A -1 lens for my right eye gives me 20/20 clarity, but this is not worth the other visual distortion in terms of colour distortion and obstructed peripheral vision that glasses create, let aone the weight of the frame on nose and ears. This may not apply to those who wear contact lenses.
Sensitive and intolerant are not the same thing. If you were totally intolerant of blur you would never get past each .25D drop, which I believe is pretty uncomfortable for people who do it this way. You have to be able to tolerate this drop in clarity each time until such time as you have managed to improve by .25D, and then you start all over again. With 4D to clear, this means tolerating this drop 14 times, until you can go uncorrected in the last half a diopter or so. You want to go ‘Yay, this is blurry again, I have something to work on.’
I can understand that, and would probably have given up myself. Perhaps your excessive fear of blur tolerance is holding you back. Perhaps this is counter-intuitive, but’’ ‘loving’ a little blur, because you will be living with it on a regular basis for 4 years or so, may be a better attitude.