Second Day with diferentials - some challenges

I plunged into the EM protocol yesterday with differentials for close-up work. These are 1.25 D difference from full strength - single vision without CYL correction. I have 2 monitors in front (60cm), 2 on either side with 80 cm on near side. Keyboard at 30cm. No blur for the keyboard. Manageable blur on the front monitors. More blurry on the side monitors. I also have a monitor above head level which is also 80 cm at the bottom edge.

My experience as follows: No problem with the keyboard. I can even practice/try Active Focus on the front monitors. I have to turn and lean forward a bit to see the side monitors. Workable so far. As long time wearer of progressive lenses, I have developed the habit of moving my head to scan up and down rather than my eyes. I really need to mindfully avoid this. When I move my eyes, I can focus and see better, which is lost when I raise the head to look through the bottom of the lenses. Perhaps I should wear a neck brace till I break this habit. I realized that neck and shoulder muscles are overworked and stressed because it was very relieving, when I stopped moving my head. This is Challenge #1.

Challenge #2 is trying to actively focus on the content on the screens. Screens full. of ever-changing numbers. It is especially hard with numbers 6, 8, 9 when they occur together in various combinations. At 80cm distance, I have to turn and lean forward to make them out. At this point, it seems to me I should stick to static text for AF exercises and get a new pair of differentials with more correction. for regular close-up use. Interestingly I can view the side screens more sharply from the corners of the eyes as opposed to turning my head & looking straight. Not sure if this is an artifact of the lens distance changing the focal plane or the celiary muscles relaxing a bit. I suspect it’s the former.

I am also debating whether to get a lens kit to figure out the best correction for the differentials for my situation. I thought I would share the experience of an EM novice and welcome comments/suggestions.


It sounds like you need a slightly stronger correction for your differentials right now, or just to slide the screens a little bit closer.

A test kit is “not required” but is very nice to have, in my opinion. I didn’t buy a complete kit, but cobbled one together from various sellers on ebay and aliexpress. I’d rank it as “super-duper helpful”. You can find out right away what difference an extra 0.25 diopters makes, or if cylinder correction is doing anything useful for you or not. You can walk around with it and see what that’s like. I have no regrets spending the money on it.

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Moving the screens closer is difficult, if not impossible. I have additional displays and a laptop as well. I also favor adding corrections to start with. Probably get a couple in 0.5 D steps.

I was thinking of the same. Buy the frame and some lenses within the range I am likely to need for this project. I have never used Aliexpress. I will check it out. Thank you for the ideas.

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If the screens are at different distances then it is not an EM-journey friendly set up :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I think your first challenges will be:

  1. to learn to move your eyes without your head as you already spotted
  2. reduce the complexity of distance and height in the close-up setup
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I hear you, but I have to work with what I have. One option I am considering is to increase the front monitor distance and increase correction to a manageable blur horizon. I would very much like to reduce the complexity of the multiple monitors to a single lap-top some day. Right now, I am not able to do this without compromising my performance level.

What is more possible is to reduce the time spent in front of the monitors - about 4 hours now to 2 or even 1. I have discovered a more EM friendly task - reading sheet music. I have this at blur distance and try to see the notes sharply (no pun intended). In familiar pieces, it is easier as the brain knows what it is supposed to look like. Sight reading new (for me) pieces may be more useful AF practice. Time will tell, which I don’t have a lot of. :frowning_face:


If your screen time is so little then it makes sense to define your usual close up activity somewhere else. Then just choose glasses for these monitors that don’t make you struggle but don’t give you more correction than necessary.

That’s great. I did it, too. Depending on your musical instrument you will have to keep a minimum distance and that will support you in staying aware of the peripheral vision, too. Especially if you have the person in front of you believing the ultimate sound of the orchestra depends on him / her, a.k.a. conductor. Then you have to keep them in the peripheral vision plus you have to change focal planes.

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