Tips for a faster improvement?

I got my normalized on Sept. 10 after weeks of getting my differentials somewhere in August, and I unfortunately haven’t noticed any signs of improvement at all on my snellen. I actually went to the optometrist this month and she said my true prescription is still the same; -6.75 in my left eye, -7.25 in my right eye (luckily I found a supportive optometrist). My differentials are 2.00 diopters lower and my normalized are 0.50 diopters lower. The 20/25 line isn’t that clear yet with both eyes.
These things are part of my daily routine. I’d really appreciate any suggestions/tips that would help me make improvements.

  • I am a student, so I have to do closeup work for a very large portion of the day. I use my differentials for closeup work of course, and I try my best to do the 20/20 rule.

  • I only spend about 15 minutes all in all in an entire day outside because Canada is really chilly now and now isn’t the best time to get a cold :frowning: . The most AF I get is doing closeup work, which is what I suspect to be the reason of why I’m not improving?

  • Close-up active focus with my differentials isn’t difficult for me, but I have a hard time with distance active focus using normalized. In classrooms I try and focus on words on posters or boards and it takes me a WHILE for me to see them clearly.

  • Instead of using my phone or laptop for entertainment, I’m watching a lot more TV now, and I’m not sure if it’s the best substitute. Also, I cannot do AF watching TV 'cause my living room isn’t big enough for the screen to be far away enough.

  • I eat white rice almost every meal, which I think should be taken into consideration.

Also, the optometrist said she was impressed that the longer I looked at the chart in the dark in her office, the more clearer the text became, so maybe I’m not as bad at distance AF as I thought??

I really want this to work, so any tips are appreciated :slight_smile:

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Sadly I don’t have any tips for you as I am in a similar situation. I am not the kind who can get a lot of gainz without sustained distance vision, and the winter here is too harsh to make that a routine. I would say try to limit your phone use as much as possible. If you can get into the habit of looking outside through your window for extended periods of time (a meditation or while listening to an audiobook), I believe it can help. Beyond that, maybe try not to worry too much about it. As long as you’re avoiding the worst in terms of strain, let nature take its course. Things will get better once spring is here.

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My living room is similar to yours, TV too big and distance too close to effectively perform Active Focus. Can’t you find any other room / angle and perhaps plug a monitor into your laptop and watch that from at least a 10ft distance with subtitles?

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Unfortunately I don’t have any monitors, so if I watch on a laptop it’ll add to my closeup time.

What you can do when it’s freezing cold outside (if your country’s lockdown allows):

  • look outside through the window, but best if you also have traffic or shop / street signs to watch. You can do this from home, from a café, from your school’s classroom. You don’t have to be outside, just look at things that are at least 10 metres away.
  • drive around and stop to watch the view (it’s also OK from the car) or stop at a parking lot and read the number plates of parking and moving cars
  • go to a shopping mall and walk up and down looking at the shop signs, same can be done in a bigger supermarket. Moving vehicles and faces are the most difficult ones. Again, aim for 10 metres at least.
  • when at home find the maximum distance and place some text at the furthest point, and at half way and spend some time looking at one, then the other, then relax your eyes, repeat. Changing focal points but also trying to focus is good for practice.
  • or just read the book titles on the bookshelf (different fonts, colours, sizes) and walk away until you have some blur challenge, see if you can clear it, and then if you can increase the distance gradually

None of these replace good distance vision, but ideas to do when hours of outdoor distance vision is simply not an option.

Still, just because it’s called laptop you don’t have to watch it on your lap, you can place it on your desk and watch from further, from at least 1 metre. I know it’s a small monitor, so it will be like old time TVs…

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Hey @Michie , Sad to hear you haven’t had any significant improvements.
I started at about the same time as you and have definitely had measurable gains.

It’s also tough in environments where its snowing all winter like Canada, the warmer months are definitely where you get more improvement, thats one to keep in mind.

As the other’s have mentioned you will need to find interesting ways to get yourself out of the house. Shopping malls, Long drives, indoor team sports all are good options.

Next thing is measurably reducing your near work time. You’ll need to hold yourself accountable and record the amount of time your spending.

My advice would be to get your phone use down to an absolute minimum. Download a time tracker or use the inbuilt tracker in your phone. Aim for less that <30min a day!

Divert as many things as possible from your phone to your computer. Then track your computer time. You can theoretically spend 8hrs a day on your computer with differentials but that’s not the point. Also aim to reduce that down as much as possible. If I have a day with <4hrs of computer time I can literally see the difference in my CM measurements that day!

TV from a far distance in my experience is no issue. Watching a movie or an episode a day is no biggie.

Active focus outside with distance vision is always a priority. Print pushing is no-where near as good.

Stay fit and healthy. Everything’s connected. You’ll see alot of us in this forum are seriously into health. Though I haven’t seen anyone delve deeply yet into the link between eye health and diet its definitely somthing to consider. Check the other posts for some good health advice. Essentially it revolves around. Cut out process food, highly processed seed/vegetable oils, cut out highly processed carbohydrates and sugars (incl white rice), eat real food you cook yourself from scratch!

Hope that helps.

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Hard to really substitute effectively for some quality outdoor time. Ice skating? Some kind of activity uniquely suited for cold times?

Or maybe an indoor climbing gym, bowling, … something?

Sometimes too it’s the little things: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgB_5pbB86Gh383GV6wdQrbQ8vTiOAj7W

Not saying that you should, but I went out of my way to purchase a 22" monitor for $89 from Amazon and connected my existing Amazon TV stick to it for special use with improving my eyesight. Depending on where I am with my current reduction I can watch it from less than 5ft to 18.5 ft away and it’s easy to move around. I would say that this is my #1 tip for faster reduction if you find that you don’t go outside a lot.

Do you have any recommendations as to how long one should print push/ look at things 10 metres away per day to get progress? I’m trying to look outside through windows for 40-60 minutes a day and also trying your suggestion on print pushing w/ book titles for 10-20 minutes per day, but since print-pushing isn’t super effective, I don’t know if I’m doing enough of it.

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I’m afraid not. These things only work for me if I build them into my days as habits.
So I grab a cup of coffee or tea and just look at the distance out of the window, I stand in the kitchen while cooking and read the text on the boxes and bottles on the kitchen counter, I sit on the sofa listen to music and look at the books, brush my teeth in the bathroom and look at the text on the shower gel and shampoo. These are the mid distance practices incorporated in the every day life. The only thing I sort of time is the real distance practice that should ideally be at least an hour. Preferably a walk with looking around continuously at 20m, 50m and more. I don’t just focus at something far away, but keep changing the focal planes all the time. Alternatively I stay indoors and observe the world through the windows. But I find it extremely difficult not to start doing something else parallel that eventually will mean close-up looking… So I prefer to combine it with doing exercises or playing music while I can still keep looking outside through the (balcony) window, or listening to an audiobook (but that doesn’t keep my hands busy, so I may reach for the phone, tablet, etc)

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The eye does what the eye does. You can slow it down, but once you’re consistently active focusing and not doing much close up ( as defined by looking closer than your currently worn glasses prescription lets you see ), then you’ll be at the rate your eyes will go.

BiancaK is right. The key is habits. This has to be easy and become almost automatic without hassle, otherwise you’ll eventually get tired of it, dismayed at the lack of apparent progress, and give it up.

I found this out during my eye exercise experiment earlier this year. All I was doing was some simple eye exercises twice a day at ten minutes each. Even that ended up being a hassle! I grew to hate doing those, was so relieved months into it when I was sure they weren’t helping, and was genuinely happy when I stopped. That showed me that a non-habit is unsustainable. I have no idea how people exercise every day (regular workouts)

Remember, this takes years, is frustratingly slow, and requires discipline. That is very hard to sustain on willpower alone, which non-habits require.

For me I have several “habits”. The biggie is my daily work on my PC. Hours in front of three big monitors writing code. I choose glasses that aren’t quite strong enough to read without active focus, leading to hours of active focus. It’s so much a habit that “normal” pc glasses (for my current prescription) hurt a bit and look “too sharp” :slight_smile:

Another habit is slightly underprescribed glasses for driving. Now be sure to understand me when I talk about this, the prescription is close to my no-AF relaxed infinite distance sharp prescription (e.g. what you get from the opto). Do NOT use a prescription that is too weak to be sharp with AF, especially at dusk! I just relax it a bit to require AF for sharp, sharp views. But I find that driving keeps me focused on good AF due to the consequences of something bad happening if I miss seeing something!

I do similar glasses choices for TV viewing, and with my current prescription, I go naked eye with books and my phone, just held a bit too far away (so I can active focus while typing this, for example).

Thus I end up active focusing for many hours a day, and am now 1.5 diopters closer to my goal after 18 months or so :slight_smile:

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  1. Give away / sell smartphone. Buy a Nokia with buttons.

  2. Give away TV.

  3. Cancel Netflix subscription.

  4. Close all social media accounts.

  5. Pick up a sport hobby.

  6. Pick up some kind of learning / studying / building things hobby.

  7. Have a 3x a day active focus regimen.

  8. Measurements. Lots of measurements.

  9. Hire some sort of regular on-site eyeball coach. Make sure all of your habits are audited and you’re not having some kind of situation that’ll be slowing you down.

  10. Maybe most importantly, have a serious motivation / real reason to “improve faster”.

There we go, good start. Of course also plenty of detail, like day time job, and ambient lighting and sleep times and diet and stress levels and climate, overall health, lens use (glasses vs. contact lenses), getting lipid layer checked … we could probably go on for a while.

Also and otherwise, most every time somebody says “how can I improve faster”, I’ll bet on them actually improving slower than the average, once spread out over a year or two. Biology has a funny way about being pressed and shortcuts introduced. We’re not living in a world anymore where “putting in the work” and an effort to reward ratio is appreciated as reality. There is always somebody offering something quicker, faster, instant-er (no payments for 90 days!). :grimacing:

Rants aside, initially up to 1 diopter in 90 days, depending on overcorrection and prior bad habits.

After that 0.25 every 3-4 months. That’s where it’s at, by all we know so far.

The question is totally valid of course btw. Above just worth as a bit of introspection about all these quick, quicker, more quicker things about life.

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Something to keep in mind when thinking about how slow 0.25 diopters per 3-4 months is. When we all were going the other way, it would take years to gain a diopter or two of myopia. Despite overprescribed glasses used for massive phone use, kids and adults still don’t progress in myopia all that fast. It’s likely that maximum myopia progression speed is actually considerably slower than undoing myopia, such as a half diopter per year or slower. In my case I used computers at 50cm or less from age 11 to 25 and only gained 5 diopters of myopia, about 0.33 diopters per year.

What makes myopia progression so “easy” is our accommodative range. We can compensate for many diopters of nearness. Especially when young, looking at a phone at 30cm with a diopter of overprescribed distance vision is quite possible to sustain for hours, with only headaches and eyestrain as a side effect. This makes for an easy “habit” to follow. Active focus is, at best, half a diopter or so. Thus it’s much more challenging to maintain, and requires more discipline to establish good habits.

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