Reading with cylinders

What’s going to happen to my distance vision, if I keep using cylinders for close-up? At the moment I feel like it’s jamming any progress from the distance vision. How can I ever make 2xSPH reductions after I start seeing astigmatic blur? I only have -1.0 and -0.5 cyl though with high myopia and I have the info from the free guide. But then another article in the blog said to tackle the CYL later after some SPH. Did that mean even for differentials, because a later step was to tackle the CYL in differentials? I can’t seem to find proper 1st differentials. Even if I leave -0.5 cyl in the other eye, I’m still causing astigmatic blur in my distance vision, right? If I go to an optician, they’ll change both prescriptions and scramble them.

First off, were you able to measure CYL on your own to confirm what the opto gave you?

There does appear to be some conflicting information on the site regarding CYL because there are special situations when it makes sense to tackle it differently. Remember, these are guidelines for the average case and not rigid rules. You will have to play around to find what works best for you.

Ok that’s a workable theory, and maybe now it’s time to put it to the test. You are much less likely to notice a missing astigmatism correction for close up than you would for distance. Some participants with worse CYL than yours have completely eliminated it from diffs with success. Your experience might be different but you won’t know for sure until you try.

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Hey @valleyguy,

I think the operative question is how does the astigmatism affect you? You mention high myopia but not what degree.

There is a good blog post where Jake outlines a plan to reduce complexity.

Given what you’ve told us, I’d say, take measured steps. If you have a test lens kit, see if you are able to usably drop/reduce cylinder from your differentials, with or without trading spherical diopters. Or if you have a friendly opto, get them to check you with lower cylinder to see how much you can tolerate. Or you can just order cheap versions from Zenni. As Jake mentions, keep the “ratio” (that’s not the true mathematical sense of the word, but basically keep the 0.50 difference the same as you drop cyl).

I’m having some “angst-igmatism,” too, except I’m in the situation where I have unequal L/R vision, and the cyl is equally as high as the sph is in each eye. (So I have like 3.0/3.25x174, 2.50/2.75x180.)

Early on, I tried a massive cylinder drop; that didn’t work out well for me. I also tried a sphere-for-cylinder trade in one eye in an attempt to equalize the cyl with the hope I could then reduce it bilaterally. That also didn’t work well.

What I’m currently doing is working a set of normalized with sufficient, proper cylinder, as well as a set of differentials that has just a smidge less cylinder than my normalized. Once I am seeing well with both pairs, I’ll evaluate my next step, but I’m basically following the plan as outlined in the article I linked above.

One thing I sort of missed in the beginning was the idea of training the visual cortex at the same time as the eyes are changing their shape due to the extra distance vision/better habits/eyestrain reduction. So working on that one focal place/dimension at a time. And waiting until the eyes are ready for the next drop down.

I hope this helps. I have to say, I was in a big hurry to get to the finish line when I first found the site, and I’m doing a lot better since much of that has settled down. I’m seeing better on many levels although I can’t prove it with either an updated optometrist’s prescription, nor are my cm measurements noticeably better. It’s a qualitative thing, at the moment. But I am happy with that, and expect over time that the objective measurements will follow the subjective improvements. It does take time.

Best of luck in your journey.


I may be misreading your post, but surely you would not be using your differentials for distance vision, so I don’t see how reducing or eliminating cylinder in your differentials would affect your normalised glasses, or full prescription ones, for distance vision. You would not have astigmatic blur in your full prescription and would only be introducing a little of it in your normalised when you reach the stage when you want to reduce cyl after some spherical reductions. If all goes well, your normalised will become your full prescription and it will be time to get new normalised. I find the terminology a bit confusing. I would prefer to use the terms ‘reduced for distance vision’ (normalised) and ‘reduced for close work’ (differentials).
I also found some of the posts a bit confusing about tackling cyl in differentials. On reading more posts, I realised that the advice was to tackle cylinder at a later stage for normalised (and not differentials) I suspect you could drop cylinder entirely for your differentials, or compensate for it with a slight increase in spherical.
My stronger right eye, starting point -3,-1 cyl, is now at -2.5, no cylinder, and is very happy with that at distance. It tolerates no correction at all for close work. It is my dominant eye and is improving very fast. My left eye, starting point -6,-2 cyl is proving to be very resistant to removing cylinder for distance. As for differentials, I have a pair of glasses with a lens for the left eye with 1.5 sph less and 1.25 cyl less than full correction, and the right lens removed, and this is working out fairly well as differentials. I might not even need the remaining .75 cyl in that left lens for screen work, but as I have no test lens kit, I cannot check that. I intend to use these differentials later on as normalised, when I will put back in a right lens. I have bought all my 7 pairs of Zenni glasses to date with the same frame, so that I can play this mix and match game. I may end up with a ‘test lens kit’ of my own making this way.:crazy_face:

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I meant that the cylinder-part is the same for reading as in the FULLS. I was hesitant to reduce the cylinder for differentials, because I’ve been reading with my full prescription for years before I found endmyopia. Mainly on a computer. This program often assumes that the prescription is fresh. But I know it would be good to get rid of cylinders fast for differentials. I like the terms normalized and differentials, because I can then learn the jargon and remember what to do.

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The opto showed me with test lenses what it looks like without the astigmatic correction and it was bad. Even reducing the minus diopters didn’t help. The only fear really is that the refraction errors become intolerable without cylinders.

It’s -8 diopters altogether with cylinder (counting 0.5 d for 1.0 cyl) in the worst eye (it’s not worse, just non-dominant, although it’s not sure yet which one is dominant).

I thought I’d be buying these cheap pairs for 6.95-25 $/€, but then the price for higher diopters has risen. They add at least 30 euros for thinning etc and I can’t get them tax free anymore (the price limit for that is about $22.). There should be a place to order glasses for high myopes, which have reasonable pricing. I haven’t checked lately, maybe it’ll change…or they’ll get as greedy as local shops.

No diopter specifics, just general thoughts. If I were in your shoes, I would simply keep the cylinder in my first diffs and normalized. It’s a low cylinder to sphere ratio, and with - 7.5, you’ve got room to work with it.

After a reduction or two, staggering the diffs and normalized, then you might try taking out some cyl. I think your visual cortex will adapt to spherical changes, and be ready to accommodate cylinder changes more easily. Give your eyes a break by going back to spherical changes.

I know I overdid cylinder drops early on and it’s costing me a lot of energy trying to get a new baseline for both diffs and norms. (That was a mistake…:slight_smile: )

I feel the same happened to me. I tried to take a “shortcut” with no success. Anyway I learned a few good thing to help me keep improving.

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Thanks for all the replies! UPDATE: There’s been a couple of reductions since last. My eyes started repelling the cylinder in the diffs just as expected after some spherical drops. I saw a blurry line in the normalized glasses as well. So what I did was find an old pair of glasses in the drawer with no cylinder quite close to my current diopters (only 0.25 difference in the focal planes). The ABBE value is near 60, because they’re 20 yo and made of glass. So far, in little over a week I’m reading 40 cm (started with 25 cm which felt too little to begin with). The downside is that AF feels different, kind of suffocated. Hopefully I don’t have to go back to the old glasses, since they don’t give me any more distance than these (maybe two cm at the most). Just noticing how the differentials play with the normalized glasses and change the vision there also. I feel like keeping these, if I haven’t messed up the process with that small focal plane change in the middle, which I didn’t intend, but my eyes were compelled to try.


I’m still finding it amazing that our eyes respond favorably to the challenge.

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So , when after few successful bifocal reductions, if we drop astigmatism by 0.25 first from diffs and then from norms it does sit perfectly in the lowering prescription complexity plan. And we do this alternating with bifocal reductions, till there is no cyl correction in either of the two focal planes. That is the standard guideline, unless someone is over-corrected.

That sounds about right.