Shaerah's low myopia moderate astigmatism dry eyes presbyopia path

I never wore any correction at all until January of this year. I’m a type 1 diabetic (have to inject insulin, tends to be very bad for eyes) and went in mostly to see if there was any problems with eyes like diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately the blood vessels in the eyes all look good. My previous eye test had been more than 20 years ago and they said everything was fine, mild eyestrain from the computer. So I never had a “prescription” until January 2021.

I don’t think I had astigmatism before covid lockdown. Using a laptop at home with a bad setup (resting it on the right arm rest of my chair, a bad habit!) probably caused it.

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There’s something called “functional astigmatism”. A little bit might not even be bad for you, just like “ocular dominance”, or left and right handedness.

If I check eyes individually on the Snellen eye chart (rather than the astigmatism wheel) I still see some noise in the image from each individual eye so they’re not quite perfect yet.

It bugs me when I see double images or ghosting at night, like the edge of the moon or the top of the Empire State Building, but that’s mostly gone.

If I were you I’d use just enough cylinder correction that it takes away headaches or annoying visual glitches. I couldn’t wear my “full prescription” in January, maybe because they put a different correction in front of each eye, but find that the -0.25 does fix the problem when I see some glitches at night (which is getting rare, fortunately.)

Screenshot 2021-05-24 10.41.36


You just described my eyes. We could be cyl twins :smiley:

It’s almost clear but not exactly. I sort of convince myself that it is actually clear - my brain is learning how to see sharp edges regardless of what the two images are. But in the moments when it gets fully clear, suddenly the letters are thinner? Someone adjusts the contrast and sharpness like in Photoshop.

Something like this - and depending on the distance to the signs / tests and on the distance between vertical lines within the text it can get super annoying.

Took me a while to figure out and I will say upfront that it is not necessarily safe, but by now I figured out as much as to know that I’m avoiding the top part of the circle when moving my eyes, even when I’m doing eye rolling exercises for astigmatism. I though I was drawing full circles with my eyes and had to realise I actually chopped off the top. When I tried to correct it my eyes even felt hurtful. Not too much, but a dull pain because my bottom eye muscles never allowed the eyeball to tilt upwards or the top ones never pulled upwards.
I kept doing it for 5 days very very gently, just moving my eye to the upper limit but not pushing into strain on pain. During these 5 days I had a constant dull headache (I don’t have headaches usually) and there was no correction that could make my eyesight any better. And on the fifth day suddenly all car number plate numbers turned super thin and sharp.


I surely found something for my eyes but not sure if it is any helpful for anyone else.
If yes, then I’d suspect people with cyl around 0 or 180 have the same but with 90 degree rotation.
As said it is very gentle, no strain or muscle building, just finding the full range of motion again…


I had good luck with this eye exercise. Stand at a distance where the spiral starts to have glitches or defects and imagine you’re following a race car around the track with your eyes, and try to remind yourself that the line is the same all the way around. You can also tilt your head a little bit which should make a different part of the spiral turn gray or blur, but your brain should pick up on the fact that what you’re looking at hasn’t changed.

Also, if you have dry eyes, drinking water and using allergy eye drops (if you need them) can be a huge help. Your tear layer provides 0.1 to 0.25D of refraction and can also (maybe) fill in little glitches in the cornea if there are any (nice smooth tear layer over a “bumpy” cornea). Dry eyes are going to make your vision much worse than it would be with nice moist eyes (or whatever the opposite of dry eyes is).


I was doing all these exercises but I didn’t do the top part properly. I though I was but in reality I wasn’t. I followed and followed circles and lines in astigmatism wheels and nothing happened. Until I started to be super observant about the top part at the axis of the cyl measured…


Yes, that’s right!

I notice that I never do look all the way up. I’d never thought about it or that it would matter.

Thanks for these ideas.

I feel my optimism is renewed! I will carry on!


Whatever you change after realising this, please be very careful and gentle to your eyes. I have first hand experience that this knowledge is a double edged sword…


Stopped patching the right eye
Ditched the differentials for now
Still clearing text or subtitles, one eye at a time with correction
Doing astigmatism spiral and circles daily without correction

Vision seems worse lately

I’ve been spending more time with tiny programming, and work is easier without any correction. I’ve kind of given up on edge of blur these days.

Left eye really has a messy view without correction. It sees better with correction than the right on the 20 ft. Snellen chart, but unaided it’s 20/70 and BAD. Other lines are so distorted it’s like symbols of some sort. Active focus will bring them into letters. With the 10 ft chart I can clear to 20/50 unaided. Right eye can clear to 20/40 unaided. I can’t active focus with correction.


monocular or binocular?

I looked at it with both eyes together most of the time (my eyes are pretty close) but also tried with each eye separately. I guess if there are big differences between your eyes it’s more valuable or worthwhile to spend more time doing one eye at a time.

State of mind seems to have a big impact on astigmatism (relaxing or meditating for 10 or 15 minutes tends to reduce astigmatism) so it seems to be one of those things you can get some control over like your breathing, or blood pressure or heart rate, or crossing and uncrossing your eyes.

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With spherical too, methinks. Intentionality, as our friend Hannie used to say.

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August 2021 Update

OD: -1.00 -0.50
OS: -1.50 -0.50

Visual acuity:
20/20 + each eye (not sharp)

OD: 85 cm
OS: 62 cm

These new norms have a little more minus to make up for the 0.75 total cylinder reduction from the starting correction (which I’ve really depended on for clarity). I wore the last norms 3 1/2 months and uncorrected distance vision hasn’t improved as far as I can tell. Red/green balance is good with the new norms, so maybe they have too much minus for a reduction. But I’m trying to reduce just cylinder, not sphere. The last reduction decreased both.

Active focus
I still can’t active focus with correction. Outdoors things are not sharp, but looking doesn’t make them any more sharp. The more myopic eye uncorrected was seeing 20/30 on the 10 ft Snellen chart today with active focus on my “looking up from the computer break.” The less myopic eye is less sharp, variably. I’m really concerned it’s the cornea (dry eye).

Clearing ghosting has gotten faster. I was waiting for the ghosting to go away completely. I was even thinking of adding back 0.25 cyl thinking the challenge was too much, but instead I tried on my next normalized. In June they were no good so I left them aside. Now with these new norms I barely see any ghosting!

Full correction glasses
There is no actual pair of “full correction” glasses for me to put on for best vision. I can’t go back to -1.25 cylinder. My test lens kit doesn’t reveal any ideal combination for best acuity. Perhaps a refraction by my “friendly optometrist” is in order, but I wanted to wait until I felt sure my refraction would show that something has improved. But he’ll tell me it’s NS changes anyway, like he did for the increase in correction.

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To me it sounds like you’re still making progress. If you’re able to clear up something then that’s good, it doesn’t sound like you’re over-corrected. Since you reduced both cylinder and sphere last time you’ve “got a lot on your plate” so I think if I were you I would stick to your initial plan and see if you can get the ghosting to go away completely before you reduce any further. I’d be trying to keep the dry eye under control, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. If you’re exposed to dust or allergens or pollution and you have clean water available I’d try to keep the eyes rinsed out regularly.