Some thoughts, observations, and frustrations after 2 years

Good day to y’all,

I began my journey back in 2019, almost 2 years ago now, when my original prescription was L -3.50, R -3.75. I had been over corrected like the rest of us it seems. It makes sense too, think about this: I went to the eye-glasses merchant (the optometerist) after 9 hours of working in front of a computer and was put into a room with the lights out to check my eye sight. Perhaps these merchants are onto something though, let me explain…

When I began testing my eye-sight for myself and buying glasses from eyebuydirect in 2019, I was measuring my eyes in bright sunlight and in the morning before my eyes were fatigued. This caused me to buy lenses for distance vision and PC work that were -ideally- to be used in ideal conditions. The reality is there are many cloudy days, even with frequent breaks from the PC (I use pomodoros to take a 5 min break every 25 min), really bad lighting in my office, etc. I am almost never in an ideal setting is what I am saying. Therefore I experience slightly too much blur it seems and I inch forward to work my active focus. I’ve always made fun of the glasses merchants for measuring us in less than ideal scenarios but perhaps they are on to something, haha.

Because of my initial measurements being so optimistic, I’ve had to continually take a step back before going forward again. I would say I have successfully reduced comfortable to -2.5 in each eye, which I am very, very happy with. At the end of the day though, with a high level of eye fatigue and poor lighting, I can measure my eyes with the EM app and I’m at -3 and -3.25, which is a pretty wild swing.

After 2 years of this I’d say I’ve built some really good habits but it took some time! I always wear PC glasses on the PC. I reduce screen time a lot, especially on the weekends. I never wear glasses when looking at my phone and I try to not use my phone much. I take frequent breaks at work. I even began eating organ meats because they have the highest amount of vitamin A out there (no carrots for me). The frustration then is that I am truly only at -2.5 in both eyes pretty much. This is in ideal conditions and also at night, so I feel good about this number.

I believe my issues initially were trying to build the habits in the first place, then under correcting too quickly. I dropped down .25 at first but it was too easy, so I dropped even more. I’ve tried to go down to -2 in both but that’s way too blurry and even -2.25 in both eyes is not safe at night, really. I have a pair of L -2, R -2.25 lenses that I have used a lot but they really only work when I am outside in the sun. The thing is though, I have been using those for that purpose for an entire year - I need to keep the process going down!

Perhaps one thing stalling my progress though and that I’d like some feedback on is active focus. I understand it and I have experienced it many times. When I am WFH my favorite thing to do is do long-distance AF on my neighbor’s house numbers while I sit on my patio and get some sun. However, I can only seem to do AF when I am doing it at a distance with my differentials OR when I have no glasses on and I am print-pushing. So I clear things up pretty decently in the distance and when reading books. But… most of my day is spent on the PC! I am having a lot of trouble here I think and since I spend 7 to 9 hours a day or more on the PC, I think this may be where my progress is being stifled.

There is some blur when on the PC but it never really clears up. The only thing I can do are 1. deal with the slight blur, which really just makes me subconsciously scoot my neck forward into a bad posture, and 2. move my monitor slightly closer, but then I don’t think I can do AF there because it’s already too clear. I guess option 3. would be to go up another .25 diopter? Perhaps I am not understanding or doing something wrong. My PC glasses are -1.5 in both eyes (perhaps I need it staggered since my right eye is slightly worse still than my left). I came to -1.5 through a formula and I did it based on my monitor being almost 80cm away. At one point when I was WFH 100% my monitor was closer so I dropped down to L -1, R -1.25 and that was going pretty well then.

Back to what I originally said though, I start the day and the PC glasses feel ok but after 1-2 hours on the PC it feels too blurry. Maybe the font is too small or thin and makes it difficult for me to do AF on? I think it’s mostly due to eye fatigue and I am using -1.5 which was measured for more ideal conditions. One thing I did do (the observation) was buy a therapy light. I put it right in front of me and look like a weirdo at work, but it improves my vision by ~.1 to .2 diopeters, which really helps. Even with that I don’t feel like I am getting a ton of AF on the PC. And you can’t use it after 2 PM or so really or you risk messing up your sleep pattern, apparently. Two things I am grateful for at my job though are my monitor with adjustable arm + moving height desk, and also being on the 30th floor, I can see for miles, which is a nice way to relax the eyes.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my novella. I love the EM philosophy and community. I just wish I had progressed at a more normal rate over the last 2 years, but it’s been a lot of learning and experimenting.


Thoughts: Optometrists might be right to measure your vision in poor conditions since you’ll be in those conditions often it seems. You should also reduce slower in order to avoid having to go backwards like I am doing.
Observations: Therapy lights help get more light into your eyes and improve indoor vision a lot, but don’t use them past 2PM or you risk messing up your circadian rhythm.
Frustration: Having only made about 1 year of progress in the 2 years I’ve been actively doing this. (Note: I’ve been going pretty hard on EM for almost the whole 2 years, but there were definitely months where I didn’t try as much or do AF often, but still practiced basic good habits around screens for example).


I too took a long time to understand EM- some mistakes I made include being over-corrected for indoors, continuing with bad habits, reducing when I wasn’t ready and even trying to go without glasses because I thought I would improve faster.

At least now I have a better idea of doing EM properly- even though I wasted a lot of time (I could be much further along in my progress).


AF and computer screens are actually the greatest combo (for me).
In comparison active focusing while reading books is a magnitude harder in my case.

Perhaps you’re simply missing the element of motion? Active focus and close-ups work much better when I rock my torso or tilt my head in different directions.

As for the optimal setup for greatest gains, this is what has been working for me:

  • strong light toward the background so the monitor has matchin brightness
  • text antialiasing off, so I can see the sharp pixels
  • black text on white background
  • constant motion, even subtle motions work wonders
  • constant active focus (which I sometime screw up even after 2 yrs of habits)
  • zoom out web pages to make sure my eyes aren’t lazing around (I read EM at 70% zoom)

Most of my setbacks are about not AFing properly, inching closer without checking for ciliary spasm, losing my vision awareness, or looking at hard-to-AF stuff.

Looking at hard-to-AF pictures for extended time will really wreck your vision. It takes me several minutes to recover. It’s better to just get closer if you realize AF is not working.

Edit: rephrase the “black on white text” so it’s more cler I mean black text (just in case!)


I too initially measured in ideal conditions, now I warn newbs not too but i catch a lot of heat for it… I measure much more realistically now under my typical light conditions with no extra light on the chart, then really a hard measure in my basement in terrible lighting before deciding to reduce. I don’t prefer to use the app’s measurements, I find old school more accurate. More in depth on my measuring habits here: Measuring your eyesight - YouTube if you pop over there, maybe have a look around the rest of the channel there might be content you find useful in helping you get moving forward again.


I agree on your measurement method and am now adopting it. I find with the ideal lighting we tend to be unknowingly “cheating” using active focus making out the letters with the clear flashes and telling yourself its time to move on. This program calls for patience and why not a little longer to work well and enjoy the journey.


Yeah it’s well known that the opto measures you for good night vision which is one reason people tend to feel overcorrected. They, correctly for most people assume you have one pair of glasses for all conditions, so it has to be good for night

What annoyed me though is they sometimes add an extra 0.25 to ordered glasses on top of the prescription

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Yeah, their play it safe by cranking it up cost me my quality of life for 20 years… so I don’t think annoyed describes my sentiments about it… but that bell can’t be unrung at least my children won’t suffer the same fate.

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I have read this a number of times on the forum, even some suggesting that most optometrists over-correct intentionally. I don’t want to accept that it’s true. When I learned to refract (taught by optometrist) it was stressed that we must “push plus” which meant to give the least minus correction possible for good vision (not meaning to give the most + correction in a hyperope).

My “friendly optometrist” said he does not believe in over-correcting, but he has been exposed to the concept. Id like to do a survey of his friends.


thanks, im a newbie, this was helpful to me!

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TWO IMPORTANT FACTS: The “pinhole lens” effect gives us an additional about -0:50 D correction in sunlight automatically. The iris contracts that much per an old post by Jake. Example: to compensate I wear -2:00 indoors and -1:50 outdoors in sunlight. That makes my eyes work about the same or see about the same both places and avoids me fooling myself about how I am seeing when it comes time to go the OD.

ALSO when I move to a new place OR get a new OD Rx I set up “standard lighting” at home i.e. re-create the OD’s setup (lighting, distance, lens) so I get the same clarity at home. That gives a somewhat objective measurement of changes over the long run.


well all I know is I had glasses prescriptions in the past, then ordered glasses at the same time as the new prescription. Years later I took the glasses to a completely different shop as I wanted to order the same prescription again and had it measured - they gave me numbers 0.25 D higher than the prescription - but I guess it could also be measurement error

I believe you. I just don’t want it to be true.

They overcorrect in the sense that 20/20 would equal the acuity of an emmetropic eye. But they also test you for 20/15 and 20/13 and 20/10 and most probably you will say it is clearer with the 20/15, but you may say it is too much with the 20/10 (too sharp). So they will settle with a slight overcorrection actually almost at your request.
Instead of “is that clearer” they could ask “is that better”, and then you could say that it is clearer with the stronger correction but better with the 20/20 as the latter is more likely to let you use your eyes to focus / accomodate for different distances when needed. :stuck_out_tongue:
After all who doesn’t see more details with binoculars at distance. The question is, should you really see those super tiny details all the time without the binoculars and without any efforts??


Don’t forget that your EM team has 3 members: left eye, right eye and the brain. Each eye provides an image with varying clarity and the brain does its best to merge the 2 images into one. Vision without blur, ghosts or DV means the 2 images are (very close to) overlapping perfectly - this falls into the scope of the brain. When you get tired, your eyes may deliver blurrier images to the brain or your brain may process and merge images with less success. So consider it normal and observe how this initial period increases over time.

I see this comment on many threads and this has always puzzled me. For me, AF doesn’t equal clearing blur constantly. No way.
Actively clearing blur while working on the screen - at least for me - is like the advice of walking around or standing while on a call. The moment I start focusing on the actual work, I’ll stop walking / standing.
If I did blur clearing on the screen 8 to 10 hours a day, it would affect the quality and speed of my work.
What I do instead is placing the screen at the furthest clear point and doing my best to maintain that clarity all day long. I don’t spend the day as a crazy camera autofocusing several times per second and I got back to uncorrected vision so it seems I have found a sweet spot of AFing unconsciously while spending significant amount of working time in front of the screen which then gets balanced out with other good habits and time spent with real distance vision and AFing when I don’t have to focus on work.


I took a while to reply because I was trying a lot of the things you mentioned. This was really helpful. I reduced the font on the screens and that really helped make the fonts more crisp. I wasn’t able to figure out the “text antialiasing” but just reducing font size helped.

The motion thing is really strange. It actually works really well for me at all distances too. Thank you for sharing that. No idea why it works but it makes AF kick in fast.

Follow up question, when you say, “…without checking for ciliary spasm…” how do you do this and know when you have CS? Maybe I am not understanding how to have a feel for that day to day.

How has your progress been after 2 years?

@Johnn Very interesting! That’s good to know.

@Lloydmom Thank you! That’s good to know. Your video was good and I am going to try some of those other methods just to experiment. I was only using the app because it was easier than Varikari’s desktop app (which is still nice). Mostly convenience, haha.


Very true. Work has been quite stressful lately so that is most likely also playing a huge role in this. When I am not on the computer I do pretty well at staying off other screens (in the evenings or weekends for example). But I am not always practicing AF, so maybe that is also why I feel like I am just maintaining my vision.

Very interesting! That is a good point. This is basically what I’ve been doing but maybe I need to inch it back just a tad, then, to try and get some of that subtle AF, lol. I notice when it’s blurry and I clear it, then I try to back up a little so I continually have a challenge. But if you have the initial blur and you clear it then I need to accept that and just keep working, for example, instead of moving my head back a little to create just a little more blur. Now that I think about it out loud I am not sure why I do that.

How long did it take you to get back to uncorrected vision? I am in the low -2s and it still feels like I’ll never be able to see uncorrected. If I wear my PC glasses (-1.50) outside I am essentially blind still. -.5 and -1 dipoter makes a huge difference in clarity.


You can read about it on my 20/20 thread:
In late 2019 began my actual improvements, I tried too hard at the beginning to to pull through the wall that prevented me from improving, and unfortunately gained an extra floater. Perhaps with my current experience now I’d be able to do it without all that initial suffering, but I can’t go back in time to double check.

The differentials helped a lot. Rate of actual improvement seems in line with the 1D/year, since I’ve been reducing when clarity went back to prior levels instead of 100% (because I couldn’t 100% them, at least not by doing computer work 13+ hrs a day)

Now I’ve been going glassless since February straight from -0.75, but I could’ve used at least one intermediate step. I’m undecided if buying them anyways for moments of weakness., maybe yes.
Progress is much slower from earlier reductions and there are always those bad days making me feel I’m going backwards, but the improvement is happening as long as I make sure the challenge is proper and AF is working.

Maybe it wasn’t conveyed clearly enough, but it is highly recommended to use all three (cm, snellen and distance landmark) measuring methods as well as a few light conditions to track your progress. Once you have done this for a while you will see that different aspects of your vision change at different times, having a broader range of data points is a really good idea. And all data points work best when you have your starting baseline so maybe get your log book well documented with your starting point.

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