First, the good news! Let me introduce you to my friend 889811, whom I’ve known since September, and who just moved in:
If you’re thinking, what, this device is called the IOL Master: IOL stands for intraocular lens, because its original purpose was to determine the parameters of artificial lenses for implantation. Among other things, it can use laser interferometry to measure the length of everykitteh’s eyeball down to tens of microns of precision.
I plan to use this to make regular measurements of my eyes’ axial length, to rigorously determine whether vision improvement through reduced lens methods is real, in a way that can be posted as evidence.
Now for the less good news. I had already taken AL measurements on three occasions before. These showed no significant change between mid-September and November. Now, the new estimates even claim that my eyes have elongated by about 50 and 70 µm, respectively.
This confirms something I already suspected from measuring blur horizon: I don’t think I have had any improvement in three months now. On the contrary, recently, it’s going backwards:
Various measures of progress. Please ignore the error bars for axial length; it is actually highly reproducible, and the earlier double measurements are because I used two devices. Also, the last green sample may be a bit cheaty, so I wouldn’t count it as “recovery”.
Anyway, I’m suspecting I’m doing something wrong and would be happy to discuss any ideas. I’ll try to summarize what I’ve come up with so far. The readily available suspects are:
Winter darkness. Of course, this is a likely culprit. But it makes me uneasy how early improvement started to taper off.
Dry air in winter. I made a thread about that hypothesis, and it probably plays a role, but if I’m honest with myself, blaming three months of failing to improve on this seems like wishful thinking, especially with the increased axial length.
The semi-mainstream explanation, where improvement gets harder as you progress. But Jake says, no it doesn’t! And Matthew says he continued for over four years and it kept working!
As you see, I’m not too satisfied with these explanations. Especially because they don’t really answer why it happens and if something could be done about it.
Here are a two more, a little wilder ideas, concentrating on the computer, which I spend a lot of time on:
Because of that weird Nature paper on contrast polarity, I had switched lots of color schemes to white-on-black text. But this reduces overall brightness. Could this have interfered with my proper focusing onto the screen, getting me out of active focus territory? I don’t feel my eyes “locking on” to focus as strongly when the screen is darker on average.
In mid-September, I switched my computer usage from -2.25 glasses and high distance to -1.75 glasses and medium distance, to get a larger field of view. The distance reduction may not have fully compensated for the half diopter reduction in correction, especially since I had just recently stepped down. Blur is harder to detect on screens at lower distance. This could have led to a subtle increase of blur levels on screen, violating print pushing rules. (I began vision improvement with Todd Becker’s instructions and have always tried to stick to his instructions for near work, but this time I may have been sloppy). This could have caused my old nemesis, blur adaptation.
If these two are both a factor, they could have been even worse together. I suspect I might be especially susceptible to blur adaptation, because I was undercorrected for many years. I reverted my computer glasses and distance back to -2.25 and over 80 cm screen distance just before the drop in focus distance happened. I also switched color schemes back to black-on-white over the last days.
Unfortunately, even though this post is long already, we haven’t even touched on the elongation yet. All the stuff so far is just enough to cause a lack of progress. But why did it worsen? Again, some (rather wild) ideas:
Lack of stimulus could cause the eye to regress. It looks like I was improving well up to September, so maybe my AL had already reduced a little, and then just bounced back once I failed to present the correct stimulus? What is a little strange about this is that my left eye had improved more than my right, but the AL increase seems worse on my right, which isn’t too well in line with this theory. Also, the large delay doesn’t fit.
Lack of stimulus could mean that even slight accommodation leads to an elongation signal. Maybe a bit like form deprivation myopia, where bad image + eye usage = lots of elongation. But if it were this easy to cause elongation with just a little blur, why don’t we have an epidemic of people who don’t update their glasses and become massively myopic in response?
Again, I’m nuking my own theories.
This all leaves me with my “best” theories for the elongation, which really don’t deserve the name:
It’s something completely different or random, similar to how women can have arbitrary eyesight changes when they get pregnant. If this is the case, I should catch it again over the months in the future, as I take a tighter AL time-series. But really, why would I have random hormonal changes or something like that?!
The IOL Master somehow decalibrated itself within the last few weeks, while sitting in a suitable storage room, where I took the first measurement before transporting it. And my own measurements randomly got worse around the same time. Yeaaah… not the most likely theory.
At least one of the computer blur hypotheses is true, and the hormetic response goes backwards before improvement begins. I got this idea because, since reverting my computer glasses and adding more light to the room, I have multiple sensations which I remember from times of improvement. Especially, a sensation in the left eye socket that continues at night, and an occasional headache near the visual cortex. These started right before the drop. So, this would mean (argh, please don’t quote this craziness out of context) that the choroid goes in the opposite direction (flattens) after a certain amount of stimulus, while the sclera slowly deforms for shortening. The choroid’s capacity to get thinner (or stop getting thicker) could account for just about the extra length, but, heavens, I can’t believe that this is the best theory I could come up with.
So, um, yea. If you got to this point, thanks for reading. I evidently have no idea what I’m doing.
For now, I’ll change nothing (beyond the reverted computer setup) and keep measuring, to get more data and exclude that silly last theory. But once that is ruled out, I wouldn’t be sure what to think. If you have any ideas or experiences that might relate, I’d be happy to hear them!