Starting the journey from a weird place

Hi everyone, my name is Evelyn and I’m from Canada. I never post on forums, but I guess that’s changing now.

I’m 21 years old and I’ve been wearing glasses for more than half my life. At 10 years old, I was “prescribed” my first pair of glasses (about -2.25 diopters) because I couldn’t see the whiteboard clearly. The optometrist explained that since both my parents are myopic (my dad has about -8 diopters and my mom about -4) it was pretty much inevitable that I would be too.

As a huge fan of Harry Potter, I accepted the glasses without protest. I wore them for pretty much everything, including when I re-read all 7 books multiple times <50 cm from my face. Yikes.

At 11 or 12, my prescription increased to about -3.25 and I had astigmatism too. Wow. Yay.

Then at 13, I was prescribed -5.00 in both eyes with astigmatism. Now this pair of glasses really… hurt. I remember putting them on and feeling super dizzy. My depth perception was so weird, like there was a fishbowl over my head. It felt like the ground was so close to me but everything looked small. I remember looking at my hands/shoes and thinking they looked kid’s sized.

I’m pretty sure this was an over-correction. It was also winter in Canada with very little sunlight/daylight hours. I complained about it at the dinner table because even looking at the dishes on the table was making me dizzy. My dad seemed concerned and even asked me if the glasses were correct. Before I could respond, my older brother said I was just being “dramatic.”

Gosh, I wish I could rewind time sometimes.

I was so mad. But as a teenager who cared deeply about what everyone thought about me, I didn’t want to be seen as a “drama queen” or whatever… (honestly, I don’t even understand myself sometimes). I wanted to prove that I wasn’t over-reacting so I just stopped complaining and accepted it. Good for me, I guess…(sarcasm)?

After all, the optometrist assured me that my eyes would adapt to the new glasses, and you should trust medical professionals, right? I couldn’t go back to my -3.25 glasses either because they got cracked/broken. I remember taking the -5 off at the end of the day and my eyes hurting so much I wanted to cry. But that’s just me being dramatic…

My aunt visited the next summer. After hearing about my prescription she told me that she had a friend with a similar prescription (around -5) who moved to the countryside and after a few years stopped wearing glasses because she was always looking into the distance.

This gave me some hope that it was possible to improve my vision. I tried some eye exercises, palming, Bates method, staring deep into the souls of trees, etc… Maybe it was also because I spent more time outdoors in the summer, but at the next visit to the optometrist at 14 years old, my prescription only changed to -5.25 in both eyes. Luckily, the optometrist said this change wasn’t big enough to warrant new glasses.

Eventually, I grew disenchanted with the Bates method and eye exercises. It was just… not practical for me and I knew there were problems/limitations. I did try reading Bates’ book “Perfect Sight Without Glasses” at 14 years old, but I didn’t finish it. I think the best takeaway I got from the first few chapters was that my myopia was caused by wearing (strong) glasses and straining my eyes.

I tried going without glasses as much as I could that summer (but it’s really hard and kind of dangerous to do that with -5 diopters) but when school started again I would have to wear my glasses once more. I also couldn’t get weaker glasses either because honestly, who would trust a 14 year old kid to self-prescribe glasses? Even with the power of the internet, I didn’t have a credit card or money to order glasses on my own.

Fast forward a few years. I developed the habit of walking outside. Another shoutout to my aunt who had a Fitbit/step goal on her phone and got me into walking too. It was always in the back of my mind not to strain my eyes, and especially not to use my glasses for close up work (but with -5 diopters you’ve got a 20cm blur horizon… so 20cm was my definition of close up) I didn’t have any more problems seeing the board, didn’t have any more eye exams, and graduated high school. I didn’t change my glasses.

A couple weeks before I turned 18, during my first year of university, my mom thought I should get a new pair of glasses. I also thought I should try to get as many free eye exams as possible before I became an adult… haha.

My prescription changed to:

  OD - Sphere: -5.50  Cylinder: -0.25  Axis: 9
  OS - Sphere: -5.00  Cylinder: -0.50  Axis: 158

My left eye improved but my right got worse. I suspect it’s due to the placement of lights in my room, and that I tend to sleep on my right side. Also, those -5 diopter glasses didn’t really fit my face well (they would always slide down my nose). I could see 20/20, with my -5 glasses, but I half-reluctantly wore the new correction because I didn’t want to develop an over-reliance on one eye. Also, the new glasses just fit better… Less sliding.

Fast forward through another few years of university. I spent a lot of time on the computer with glasses as a computer science major (otherwise, I’d have to be 20cm from my screen). It’s been zoom university since 2020 too. I hadn’t thought about vision improvement in a while, but I would still take walks and take off my glasses if I was looking at something 20cm away from my eyes.

In May 2021, I saw a YouTube video by “Improvement Pill” about improving vision (I think it was deleted after a few days), and it led me to begin researching again like I did at 14. I read C.G. Hayes “No BS Guide to Vision Improvement,” watched Todd Becker’s video about hormesis, and watched Andrew Huberman’s podcast episode about vision and eye health.

They all gave me hope that there were ways to improve my vision based on underlying biological mechanisms. I started wearing my cracked/broken -3.25 pair of glasses for the computer (wow, broken glasses just like Harry Potter!) I was hesitant to get new glasses for distance vision because I wanted to check my prescription first.

Little did I know that this is the recommended method for endmyopia (? start with differentials). I got an eye exam in July. The only thing that changed was the axis for my astigmatism (and barely). I suspect it’s just due to the way the glasses sit on my face…

  OD - Sphere: -5.50  Cylinder: -0.25  Axis: 15 (+6 degrees)
  OS - Sphere: -5.00  Cylinder: -0.50  Axis: 150 (-8 degrees)

I wanted to rewatch Improvement Pill’s video but it was deleted. Luckily, someone in the YT comments for another one of his videos said it was basically a summary of his podcast interview with Jake. I gave the episode a listen, and well… Here I am.

I ordered normalized and differential glasses that arrived in early August, but I forgo-ed the AR coating (it was a mistake, it’s hard to see with the glare.) I still wore them for a couple of weeks before my new pairs arrived a few days ago with the coating. Here I am now, starting the journey, typing this up with my differentials.

Thanks for reading this far if you did. I didn’t expect myself to write a whole essay. I didn’t realize I had so much to say… I usually don’t. I’m very shy, even online. Please don’t hurt me.

TL;DR: My diopter history:

10 years old: -2.25
11-12 years old: -3.25
13 years old: -5.00
14 years old: -5.25
17 years old: -5.00, -5.50
21 years old (now): -5.00, -5.50

I was moderately successful at stopping my myopia’s progression. Now I hope to reverse it. Thanks for the community. I hope I’ll have good news to report in a few months.

Evelyn

PS: If there are any 14 year old kids/anyone who can’t get weaker glasses here, I hope you get some hope from this.

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yeah don’t we all wish we knew then what we know now?

I remember as a kid I didn’t like how I looked in glasses at all, so I did the exact opposite of what EM recommends - wore the glasses at home on the computer and not outside where people could see me… damn.

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Welcome to the forum.

I think you did really well on stopping progression in the most crucial teenage years. So well done.
The other “good job” goes to keeping your cyl low. That could have increased by wearing the cyl but stayed tiny. Most people on EM would say negligible.

I think you are starting from a good position with good habits.
Wishing you a nice journey.

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:joy: You have nothing to fear here. Not a forum user myself but (with admitted bias) there is no forum like this one!! :grin: Welcome to the EM community. :slight_smile: There are many resource available to you for your journey, enjoy them, we shall look forward to your progress reports. Best wishes

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This forum consists of mystical myopic beings and 1 Giant Beard. All safe. Welcome to the forum and hope to read more from you, Evelyn :smiley:

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Evelyn, I think you’ll find that your story isn’t as weird, or is unusual, as you modestly think.

Parenthetically, folks, am I the only person who ever came to Endmyopia without even having heard of the Bates Method? I had to join this utterly distinct project to hear about it for the first time, and it seems to come up every few minutes!

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There’s nothing weird about your journey, Evelyn! In fact, this is why pretty much all of us ended up with x amount of dioptres in our glasses: totalitarianism from the optometry industry.

I’m very excited to see how you will progress! If you can, do update us on any gainzzz you’ll be making!

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Welcome to the forum Evelyn. We all have our start-up weird stories, and successful ones as well… YOu are in good company .

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I’ve heard about most people know Bates and then try EM. Even my relatives told me to try Bates and I did, but it was too much work and wasn’t “practical.”

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I never heard of the Bates Method until here. I know a lot of preventative carepeople, naturopathic people, etc. and never heard anyone talk about changing their vision.

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Welcome, Evelyn! I’m fairly new myself so have no advise other than watch the videos over and over to help you understand what you probably missed the first time! :slight_smile:

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most people hear about bates first, so you could, possibly be the only one, yeah :wink:

most “vision improvement” schemes are based on his methods (that I came across before EM anyway) even if they don’t talk about him up front

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That is what I came across probably 8 years back repackaged Bates schemes that didn’t cite themselves as such, it wasn’t till I started with EM that I heard about Bates.

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