Starting over after reducing too fast

Like other folks in the forum, I think I reduced too fast. Now I’m starting to see the light.

My last prescription before coming into EM (about 3 years ago) was OD: -2.25/-0.5 cyl, OS: -2.75/no cyl. When I first started I dropped down to -1.75 in both eyes for far vision. So I dropped the astigmatism, equalized both eyes and reduced a whole dioptre all in one reduction! I know Jake seriously warns against making so many changes in one go. Clearly my enthusiasm was clouding my thinking.

Honestly though, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was amazing to feel the ciliary spasm release for the first time. And I was pretty generous with my cm measurements. So it really looked like -1.75 D was where I needed to be: start with -2.75, take off 0.75 for the ciliary release and another 0.25 as my first reduction. Oh, and equalize the two eyes because, well 0.25 difference is really basically nothing. I wore my -1.75 D for a few months and then even made another reduction, down to -1.50 D.

The upshot is that I haven’t made much progress in 2+ years. I can function with -1.75 D but it’s a stretch, especially in low light. The -1.75 should really have been my computer glasses. I’ve been dealing with a lot of eye strain since. It gets worse in my weaker eye (the left) and especially when doing computer work. It seems that with close-up and precision work even a tiny L-R difference can add eye strain.

I had my eyes checked last year and got a prescription OD: -2.00/-0.25 cyl, OS: -2.25/-0.5 cyl. So there’s some improvement but not much. I figure most of it is probably from ciliary spasm release. On the other hand, when I go back to my old glasses they really feel too strong now. There is zero blur to the horizon and I feel my eyes locking up.

So I need to go back to the drawing board and reassess. I definitely don’t want to be over-prescribed, but I also need to listen to my eyes and respect where they’re at right now. I don’t want to force ‘improvements’ that are not really there. It seems clear thinking and mindfulness trumps enthusiasm here.

For folks who have been through this mistake in your journey, I’m curious about your experience.


Yes. If you reduce 0.5 sph and cyl, your vision is generally terrible.
Has not do good in mine as well. But in contact lenses it’s pretty good since there’s no spherical aberration.

On the other hand, I have 0.5 sph + 0.25 cyl reduction in my normalised and it doesn’t look so bad. Other eye has 1.5 or 1.75 cyl reduced and both still see 20/30 in darkness despite terrible image.

To note, I have high myopia and don’t have active focus yet.
So it’s very different story. I’d increase sphere to trade cylinder for sphere but one eye then sees 20/10 while other has 20/25 with 1 C for 0.5 S. Will not exceed 2 cyl because lens should have even more index and distortion. So I just use what I already had for long.

Like I have
R -9/-3.25(-3)
L -9.5/-1.75(-2)

I did -9/-1.5. But realized it’s better to do -9.5/-2. I was confused by autorefractometer shown I have only -8.5/-3 and -9/-1. But the other I wrote above was indeed correct. The office I go to doesn’t offer 0.25 sphere steps in high ranges, or I should go for really expensive lenses.

As well, since I have complex vision problems (phoria, tropia etc) my ciliary can be in greater spasm as I have way too few accommodation as for my age. Yet I didn’t use overcorrection nor full correction never in my life.

I am not sure why would you need to correct 0.25 and 0.5 cyl.
But there is what is, if you’re fine with that, I’m happy for you.

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Thanks for sharing this.
I think it is very important to stop and point out that with all the well intended over-enthusiastic pushing, you DID achieve a reduction and reduced the gap between your eyes. (I wouldn’t be worried about the cyl, statistics shows that 0.25 and 0.5 are the typical cases when the opto cannot decide whether to give you 0.25D more in SPH or 0.25 more in cyl only. With such low cyl you could have different cyl in prescriptions from different optos from eye-checks within the same week. The axis would differ, too)
It is far from time fully wasted. And is a confirmation that there is no need to overthink diopters.
Surely you have now learnt that if you drop more than a simple 0.25D SPH and you do not progress as you would like to, you shouldn’t be afraid to step back temporarily or with an alternating pattern or for a while, to nudge the eyes again.


One of my breakthroughs was doing CM and Snellen measurements in a consistent environment.
Before I wasn’t very concious of where I was measuring and this skewed my results.

I then took the advice of Kem and decided my ‘control’, my baseline measurement environment was indoors, well lit and no natural light. This has helped alot with not getting too over excited.


I equalized and dropped all cylinder starting out as well. I started with diopter of my better eye and it worked great. I think you got a little too optimistic going to -1.75 though. -2.5 might have been a better guess.

I say no harm done. Take what you’ve learned and do a restart. You already simplified your RX so it should be smooth sailing for a good while.


I had that same problem for the first few weeks of measurements. I would take some using ambient daylight, others using direct sunlight, and yet others at night using my desk lamp. While the results are reasonable for what they are, they didn’t really help me to plot a trend. So I eventually switched over to using my evening measurements with the desk lamp (~900 to 1000 lux) as my baseline for cm measurements so I can see if there are any noticeable changes or trends. (And no, it has only been a couple of weeks, so nothing exciting to report so far.)

But consistency in how, when, and where you measure is key to having useful (and hopefully accurate or at least consistent) data.

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That sounds very organised and consistent, but you might be missing something here - just a little spur to keep you hopeful in the first stages. I believe that very small improvements in both cm and Snellen measurements would probably be more noticeable in full but not direct sunlight than indoors. It is not only the light falling on the chart, but also the light coming into my eyes that seems to make a difference. I know how greedy my vision is for light and I have given up on measuring in anything but outside daylight. Fortunately I live in a place where this is possible on most days. Direct sunlight on the chart gives me an extra Snellen line (just to cheer me up :smile:) but does not make as much of a difference on distance to printed text (how I measure my much more myopic left eye - I do all measurements without correction).

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