Tommy's Endmyopia Diary

Here’s my diary, journal, whatever for EndMyopia.

I started in March of 2021, with the following prescription:
R: -5.25 Sph x -0.50 Cyl x 170 Axis
L: -5.00 Sph x -0.75 Cyl x 86 Axis

As of today, I’m tracking my centimeter measurements with Varakari’s Vision Log Tool. (It would be nice if it had an export to excel/libreoffice function).

I’ve ordered my differentials, which are +1.25 diopters from my prescription. Common wisdom seems to be that I don’t have to order normalized until I’ve been wearing my differentials for a while. In the meantime, I’m wearing a slightly weaker pair of glasses for close up, although the left/right diopter balance is not quite right for a pair of normalized.

I’ve been walking outside for at least 1 hour a day, with success so far. (Let’s see if I can keep this up once work gets busier).

Have NOT found active focus yet, so that’s going to be my main goal for the moment. I’m looking at far off street signs while walking, and I will start looking at some printed text first thing in the morning.

It seems like the personal nature of discovering active focus, and the lack of a reasonably good one-size-fits-all technique or cue to help achieve it is the highest barrier to entry.

Wish me luck!

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Well, you are new and presumably your current glasses don’t give you much blur challenge so I’d say that’s definitely why you have yet to find active focus.

If you are overcorrected, your differentials might not give you much blur challenge either. I dropped 1.50 SPH for my first diffs but I had no blur challenge so I couldn’t find active focus. It wasn’t until my second (current) diffs that I found active focus. And personally, AF is easier to find in close up.

Good luck!

I do have a pair of older glasses that give me blur challenge at reading distance, so I’ve been those to try and find active focus. No luck yet, but I’ll keep trying!

You said you started this month, so how long have you been wearing that weaker pair? Also would you mind sharing that prescription? Not trying to get into diopter specific advice, I just want to compare to the prescription you did provide.

for differentials or normalised?

anyway, it’s important, in my view, to have the same level of blur for each eye i.e. they should be able to see the same level of acuity at a given distance else one eye will be doing most of the work and you might strain one eye or develop more unevenness

yeah don’t worry about it. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t even bother actively trying to find active focus. Just do your thing, live your life, after wearing differentials for a while your ciliary spasm will be gone and just look with relaxed interest at distant things, just studying but not trying hard and eventually you’ll notice a bit of clarity improvement and that’s it, you’ve found active focus, nothing dramatic (though sometimes you can get a half clear flash or full clear flash and that IS a dramatic increase in clarity).

A tip to know when ciliary spasm is gone: test: can you look, relaxed into the distance with your normalised, or some weaker glasses and just study something in the distance, even though it’s blurry without feeling strain in your eye, without having to blink within a few seconds? If you feel your eye straining to focus and needing to blink you still have ciliary spasm. Tearing up when it starts to be released, but could take some weeks of not wearing full correction at the screen

you would think so at the start, but it’s over-mystified.

some of my threads you might find useful

https://community.endmyopia.org/t/how-to-choose-differentials-lens-power/9604/49

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My thoughts exactly. The SPH “ratio” (i guess “difference” is a more accurate term) between both eyes should stay the same: right eye -0.25 more than the left eye. I really don’t think CYL matters as it can be dropped for close up. But if this other pair has more CYL, that could be problematic.

only if it’s low. You can’t drop e.g. 2 D of CYL without having painful eye strain

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So your full prescription is 0.25D sph stronger in the right eye and 0.25D cyl stronger in the left one…
if your “in the meantime” weaker glasses are different in diopter in the way that they are more equal that may be OK. Assuming you can clear the blur easily. However, if a lot weaker than you might be just training yourself to be fine with blurry vision…
But if you weaker glasses have a bigger gap between left and right or different ratio in cyl, you are most probably setting yourself up for some unnecessary challenge. In that case I’d say wearing differentials close up and your full prescriptions for distance (and experiencing 20/15 or 20/10 vision) is a more sensible decision.

Yep. I forgot to explicitly say in this case CYL can be dropped—if the eyes feel that is right—for close up since it’s low.

The weaker pair is:
R: -4.75 Sph x -0.25 Cyl x 135 Axis
L: -4.75 Sph x -0.25 Cyl x 85 Axis

I’ve been wearing this weaker pair as differentials since I started. It’s not much weaker, but I figured it’s better than wearing my prescribed pair of glasses for close-up work.

I have a few methods of trying to active focus:

  1. No glasses, looking at a printed book in a room with good daylight. Pushing the text just past the edge of blur and trying to
  2. Differentials (the weaker glasses I was talking about), looking at a Snellen chart on the wall. Not focusing on the smaller letters, but the big one that gives my weaker right eye a bit of blur challenge.
  3. Full prescription glasses, staring at street signs when I’m walking outside, from a far distance so I get blur challenge

I haven’t had any success with noticeably clearing up the blur using any of these methods, although I do feel some stinging and tearing (more on that later).

Yeah, this seems ideal, and not the case for the weaker pair of glasses I’m currently using for differentials. I’m waiting for the pair of differentials I ordered to come in, and that pair should have a similar amount of blur in each eye.

Thanks for sharing the tips thread! I’ve heard variations of this claim that you will experience eye-stinging and tearing when relaxing ciliary spasm, or active focusing, etc. How do we know it’s not just the eye asking for more moisture? I’ve timed myself when staring at distant and close objects, and it seems like I get some variation of stinging around 8 seconds of staring in both cases.

Thanks to @BiancaK for chiming in as well.

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So you reduced from complexity. Quite a good choice.
Just one thing to point out: when someone gets only 0.25D cyl (=0.125D sph) from the opto and the same or other opto measures it the next time at a different axis then it is not real astigmatism… but can be made lens induced by wearing it. If both of the glasses are your earlier glasses then that’s why you have higher cyl measured now (EM rule number 1: wearing overcorrection close up means deteriorating myopia - true both for cyl and for sph), and the change of axis suggests it shouldn’t have been added to your prescription originally anyway.

As for finding AF, most probably you found it, but you are not aware as you were expecting something more spectacular, like a real clear flash?

Suggested reading for you incl following the 2 links embedded in the post. Lots of contributions from others.

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Not so much my choice, as it was just what I had laying around lol!

As people have suggested in this thread, the blur challenge for my right eye is too great, so I plan on ordering a proper pair of normalized after I’ve had my differentials for a while.

That’s interesting, I was wondering about why my axis had changed over those few years.

Thanks for the links. I don’t think I’ve found active focus yet, as I’ve been unable to clear from blur level 2 to 3, or even from level 3 to 4, as described in mohan’s post.

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Still haven’t found active focus yet, that I can tell.

Judging from the loss of visual acuity from looking at a snellen chart, it seems like my vision is more sensitive to different types of screen time.

Playing video games leads to more noticeable loss of visual acuity than just using the computer (emails, writing, etc.). Today, I got this lost visual acuity back after I stopped playing video games and went to take a shower and eat dinner.

Interestingly, the loss of visual acuity is more pronounced in my left eye.

EDIT and UPDATE: OK, weirdly enough, I was able to clear up the 40 ft line on the Snellen chart (PECFD) to some degree in my right eye: maybe from worse than Blur 0 to Blur 1, as described in Mohan’s post.

blur-double-vision-advanced

This happens somewhat randomly after I stare at the Snellen and blink multiple times.

I get some double vision, with additional letters appearing below and to the right of the dominant ones (I think? kind of hard to tell).

This is using the weaker pair of glasses:
R: -4.75 Sph x -0.25 Cyl x 135 Axis
L: -4.75 Sph x -0.25 Cyl x 85 Axis

BORING DETAILS FOR MY BENEFIT:
I was sitting in my basement around midnight, when it was dark outside, under yellow-ish artificial lighting, around 22 ft away from the Snellen. I had been using the computer throughout the day, trying to take my 20-20-20 breaks. I had played videogames on my computer in the evening, but did not play any more after I showered. I did use the computer and my smartphone though.

I had plenty of carbs for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but less protein than usual. I didn’t workout, but I took a 1 hour walk in the afternoon.

I wasn’t paying attention to my extraocular muscles, and I’m not able to produce the clarity on demand if I focus on a cue of any sort. I’m able to hold the clarity by keeping my eyes open and not blinking, but I usually lose it after I blink. It returns after a seemingly random number of additional blinks.

I’m unable to make the letters appear significantly blurrier even if I try to (by attempting to focus my eyes differently with the intention of blurring my vision), as long as I hold my eyes open and don’t blink (although maybe I subconsciously hold back from focusing differently b/c I’m subconsciously afraid of losing the clarity?)

I don’t feel any distinct ASMR sensation in my eyes (like NottNott’s experience), nor do I feel like I’m looking out of the back of my eyes (like Gemily Mez’s experience). No stinging sensations or tearing in my eyes at all during the whole process.

I didn’t have dry eyes, or excessive tear film, when experiencing this.

After performing this on the weaker pair of glasses, I don’t get any additional clarity when wearing my prescribed pair of glasses; neither binocular nor monocular (right eye only) vision looks any clearer. Nor do I get any additional clarity without glasses, or just looking normally with my weaker pair of glasses on.

I was able to do this just now. Previously, when I had tried the same thing (covering my left eye while looking at Snellen with right eye, using the same glasses), I hadn’t been able to clear it up to that degree.

Active Focus Questionnaire (from this thread) for my record. I will contribute to the thread if I become certain that this actually active focus, and not a red herring:

  1. Is it something you trigger willingly? As in, is it something you do have control over, or do you just blink and blink until it finally, randomly happens?

I just blink and blink until it finally, randomly happens

  1. If you indeed “do” something willingly, would you say it’s a physical or mental action?

Physical. I’m not able to will it into happening, nor do I feel any mental strain

  1. If it’s a physical thing, how would you describe it?

I blink, and what was blurry suddenly becomes clearer, with no noticeable transition time.

  1. Does the ambient light make it easier, harder or even possible at all? (I find I can clear things more easily in broad daylight or in bright, artificial white lights. Grayish o blueish light conditions are definitely the worst and I basically cannot clear anything in such conditions).

Only experienced it once under artificial lights at night.

  1. Does your personal state (as in, being tired or not, having slept well or not, etc) influence wheter you can pull it off or not?

I feel not too tired right now. I got ~ 7 hours of sleep last night, and I’ve been awake for ~ 15 hours today.

  1. Does AF clear everything to a crystal clear image for you? Or just makes things somewhat clearer? (For me it’s sometimes one, sometimes the other).

Just somewhat clearer. I was wearing glasses while experiencing this, as well, so uncorrected it would be even blurrier.

  1. Do clear flashes happen at random moments or specifically when you are AF’ing? I sometimes, when doing the thing I do, get perfect vision, but I’m not sure that’s a clear flash.

I’ve never had a clear flash (bringing me to perfect vision before).

  1. For how long can you sustain the clear vision? Me, once I blink again, it’s gone.

For as long as I don’t blink, it seems.

  1. Do you do it with both eyes at the same time? Just one and then the other? This might sound weird but whatever I do, I find I can only do it with my right eye. (For context, the last time I measured them, I had OS: -0’25 SPH, -0.75 CYL // OD: -0,75 SPH. So, I had worse vision in my right eye, but apparently no astigmatism there, whereas my left eye has very little myopia but a bit of vertical astigmatism, and I find I cannot clear astigmatism no matter what I do. Therefore, normally I have better vision on my left eye, but when I manage to make a fully clear image with my right eye, funnily enough I get better vision on my right eye for a few seconds).

I’ve only been able to do this with my right eye while covering up my left eye.

FINAL UPDATE FOR THE NIGHT:

I’ve been able to achieve the clarity maybe 4-5 times using the same method as described above.

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Quick update:

After trying the same thing as above for maybe 3 minutes this morning after breakfast, I was unable to get the same effect.

Hit back from the enthusiasm? It is quite common that you cannot repeat it for a few days - at least in the beginning. It is because most of the time people unconsciously turn on some never-used-before muscles around the eyes, too, and those get tired. Just keep the good habits (lower prescription close up, time away from screen, etc) and it should come gradually more and more often and for longer and longer times.
For me it also helped if I wasn’t challenging myself at an impossible distance but at a mid-distance or at arm’s length.

Hey Bianca, thanks for checking back in!

Haven’t had a chance to post recently, as it took some time to organize my notes on myopia from that initial research binge.

Updates:
I was able to replicate the experience from my earlier post with that same weaker pair of glasses 3-4 more times.

I received my first pair of differentials in the mail:
R: -4.00 Sph x -0.50 Cyl x 170 Axis
L: -3.75 Sph x -0.75 Cyl x 86 Axis

They didn’t fit properly, so I’ve been adjusting them by following the Zenni Optical guide - https://www.zennioptical.com/how-to-adjust-your-eyeglasses

They seem just about right to get a bit of blur challenge when I’m sitting at my computer. Following Mohan’s picture, I’m able to clear the blur from level 3 to 4, which should count as active focus, if we’re going by the definitions floated by Jake (anything but squinting counts), and other folks.

Time will tell if this is just a red herring or not.

It’s interesting; my left eye has more clarity than my right eye while wearing my differentials. This is despite the fact that my right eye has better clarity than my left eye when wearing my prescribed glasses, and that I reduced the same amount of diopters from each eye to get the differential prescription.

After wearing my differentials throughout the evening, I experienced very distinct double vision for the first time I can remember.

I took my differentials off, and put my prescribed pair of glasses on. Standing 20 feet away from a Snellen, the 20/60 row (letters PDC) had a fainter row of the same letters appear right above it. They looked exactly the same, just fainter (less black, and a bit transparent), and their outlines were extremely clear. The faint letters sat basically the height of one letter above the darker letters.

Kind of weird experience for me, although I hear double vision is pretty common among people practicing Endmyopia. Just wanted to record it.

Come to think of it, when I’m doing the 20-20-20 rule, and looking out into the distance, should I be using a normalized pair of glasses, or differentials?

So far, I’ve been looking out with both the differentials and normalized for 20 seconds each, but I’m not sure which one is recommended.

EDIT:

I wanted to add that I find it’s actually easier for me to clear up blur when covering one eye or the other, and that the blur clearing is much more pronounced when doing so. I’ve heard many people (including NottNott) say that patching is a waste of time, but it’s striking how patching can trigger this blur clearing for me.

Yes that is active focus. If you aim for more blur, it is difficult to keep it all day and may exhaust your eyes / brain more than beneficial for improvement

Are these glasses the strongest glasses you wear nowadays? Are these the ones around -5D from the opto from last month? Is 20/60 the max you can read?!? If so, they do not seem to be enough to give you real clarity. And in that case hopefully you are not driving in these? The legal driving limit is 20/40 in most countries…
Or are you just simply noting some minor blur already appearing around 20/60 but you can easily read the letters down to 20/25 or 20/30 still? In that case it might by just your cyls being incorrectly measured.

I’d say a point of this exercise is to get clear vision at real distance. Typically it means normalised glasses.

You can have blur within the eye and from the brain coordinating / merging the 2 images from the eyes. Most probably currently you are working on both elements and that’s why when taking out the “brain merging the 2 different images” elements, you just handle the less blur easier…
Patching is not really for this, but for the case when the dominant eye really takes over and leaves the non-dominant eye inactive.

Actually, you can.This guideline is certainly valid in most circumstances, but is not 100% true for everyone

I dropped -2.00 and -2.50 cyl from the outset and it felt like a total jailbreak – a big relief.

It’s still there – I can measure it – but it’s much diminshed and mostly unnoticeable, except at night with traffic lights.

However, as you imply, the general rule is to approach cyl delicately because many are sensitive to even minor changes.

I believe it’s important for astigmatics to play with this to figure out where on the spectrum they lie.

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yeah I recently tried a +0.5 D cyl trade for -0.25 SPH and although I had no strain, it still felt weird after 1 week, so I reversed the change.
I guess I’ll have to go the slow way of 0.25 D increments with the CYL, as with the SPH, even if I’m trading for spherical equivalent :-\

for me, it’s always been like “as long as I have my CYL I can tolerate less SPH”. It’s like the SPH is the heavy lifter (of course) and the CYL adds the gloss and glitter to my vision. If I have enough SPH but not enough CYL I don’t really get strain now it seems but my vision is depressing, like no sharp edges in one direction (of course, that is the definition of what you need CYL for). If I have enough CYL but not enough SPH it’s like a graceful and even degradation which is more tolerable as its not such an uneven clarity reduction

this sounds almost unbelievable for me. not saying you didn’t :smiley: just really surprised that it didn’t bother you. I guess you were way overprescribed. I’m one of those unlucky peeps who had CYL in their very first prescription, it wasn’t built up in 0.25 increments

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That, and they are cross-axes; cancel each other out. [The cyl blur in one eye is compensated for/cancels out the other.]