Very different readings from 3 optometrists! Confused

I have seen some improvement in my eyesight over the last 5 months since I started the EM approach, and thought I’d get an optometrist to test my sight. Short version: didn’t like the first or second optometrist (who seemed very impatient about answering my questions), so went to a third. All within the same week. I am just really interested in establishing a new baseline.


Sunday - 5.75 and -6.75 diopters, with 0.50 and 0.75 CYL/astigmatism.

Monday -5.50 and -6.25 diopters, with 0.75 and 0.75 CYL/astigmatism.

Thursday -6.75 and -7.50 diopters, with 0.50 and 0.25 CYL/astigmatism.

There is 1 DIOPTER OR MORE difference between the lowest and highest results?!!

What the hell. I have completely lost whatever shred of faith I had left in optometrists to do anything for me.

Before this week, in April 2021, my eye test result by a different optometrist was -6.25 and -6.50 with 0.50 CYL (which was an improvement from January so I was ecstatic).

I think I’ll just start again, refresh myself on the EM resources and just keep going…

And by the way, all 3 optometrists were firmly of the opinion that under-correcting a prescription at all made eyesight worse when I asked them - they will always prescribe full strength. One optometrist even said over-correcting may be better than under-correcting. That’s terrifying…



It’s kind of scary indeed to see how much variation there is from one “prescriber” to another, or (if we assume they were all accurate in their measurements) just how much difference it makes If you go in on a Monday or a Thursday.

Are you using differentials (a much lower correction) for close-up? That’s probably one of the most important things you can do to keep your eyes from going into cilliary spasm. I’m curious if you think there was something “real” going on that made Thursday’s reading so much worse (maybe relaxing with outdoor time over the weekend vs working in front of a screen all week?)

If not, it’s just more evidence showing “if you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself” at least when it comes to vision improvement.

I guess you’re between a -5 and a -7.5 SPH with 0 to 0.75 CYL. :crazy_face: Kind of like being “between 5 feet tall and 7 and a half feet tall”–that’s a big range.

Given that there’s such a huge range it might be worth it to you to buy a lens kit and kit and trial frame and see what level of correction is actually useful for you. I’m guessing since the SPH number is so much bigger than CYL that you could possibly take CYL out altogether. -0.25 of CYL is basically drowned in 6 or 7 diopters of SPH.

Glad you’re here, and keep improving! With any luck next year they’ll be saying you’re between -4 and -6, depending on which day of the week you walk in to get tested!


Thanks nycmao, the support helps (that’s why I signed up to the forum). It sucks when the so-called professionals seem to be making literally everything worse instead of helping.

Based on the second optometrist results, my right eye seems to have gotten better to the point where my differential glasses no longer work as differentials for it. But for all results, my differential glasses are way too reduced for my left eye, and my right eye and left eye are getting different reduced strengths. That’s why this week’s results are all too confusing. And I can’t think how such a huge range in results within 1 week is possible.

I am going to test my cms tomorrow, and get a test lens kit.


I’m afraid this is a totally normal experience. At least could be. The only reason why there are no more reports like this is because not a lot of people go to 3 different optos within the same week, or even to a second one for a second opinion.
But anyone who ever did what you did reported back that they had (completely) different measurements by different optos. Partly becuase the optos decide on acuity and sph vs. cyl differently, partly because your eyesight is changing through the day and through the week.

There’s only one solution: trust the 4th, most reliable expert => yourself

And this is just SO SAD :cry:

Use opto measurements as reference measurements and continue to rely on your measurements and experiences / the feedback from your eyes!

And very well done on the improvement so far :blush:


Do you have a Snellen chart on the wall at home or office? It’s a great thing to have if you don’t so that you can check your vision with your current glasses multiple times per day/week. If you can consistently read the 20/20 line it may be time for a reduction. If you can’t consistently read the 20/40 line it’s probably not. That’s a rough guideline and alternative metric to go by when the optometrists are giving you such wildly different results.


if you want to be really sure, invest the $150 or whatever into a test lens kit and measure yourself on multiple occasions until you get the hang of it


until you are practiced enough to come up with 3 different measurements within one week, too, like the optos. That will be a sure sign you have mastered the skill :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


“Come back in six months, or see me next year” really hides how wildly variable their measurements can be. Most people would never even suspect that there’s a reason to go twice in the same week or a possibility that the measurement would be different.


If money isn’t a problem it’s sure nice to have.

Can’t go wrong with having an eye chart someplace you can see it anytime you want.



Unfortunately many of the test kits being sold to the public, especially anything in the $150 range are low quality and with a kit it’s not easy to get an accurate reading,


I think you can get it a lot closer than 1 diopter though! I ordered individual loose trial lenses and frame from some optometrist in the Air Force on Ebay and some additional lenses from Howdy Optics on AliExpress, got very lucky with both, quality-wise.

Another route you could go is just order glasses from the online vendors without coatings. Goggles4u has $2 frames (their cheapest) including prescription lenses. You could load them with all the sizes you want and use that as your test lens kit. Shipping is about $6 to the USA. The quality is excellent (the lenses, not the frame) especially for the price. You could order 10 lenses by purchasing 5 pairs of cheap glasses. 4 and 4.25, 4.5 and 4.75, 5 and 5.25… etc.

You couldn’t go too terribly wrong with a cheap trial lens kit in my opinion. If you find one or two of the lenses you want in it are messed up you can buy individual replacement lenses for about $1 each plus a dollar or two for shipping from ebay or aliexpress.

I can’t say all 100 lenses in the trial kit would be perfect for sure, but I bet 97 of them are pretty darn close.

For answering questions like “would I see better with -5 of SPH and -0.5 CYL, or just use -5.25 SPH” the trial lens kit is probably very helpful. If it turns out the glasses aren’t exactly what you need, worse case scenario you order another pair of glasses for $20 and have to wait a few weeks.

I realize somebody may have had bad luck with a trial lens kit, my own experience so far has been good. Much better than “no trial lens kit”.


Thank you so much to everyone above who has commented and I really appreciate the suggestions! I felt quite worried yesterday about all this, but am all right again today. I will order a test lens kit and and hopefully never have to set foot in an optometrist shop again anytime soon (though when I reach mild myopia at less than -2.00, it would be amazing to see a script saying that)!

I do have a Snellen chart, so after breakfast I experimented with which lines I could see using my old specs (pre-EM) and 2 diopters-reduced specs - aiming for being able to read the 40 foot and 32 foot lines… I won’t go into every detail but in short, results: -5.50 was close for my right eye and -6.50 was close for my left eye (in order to see better than the 40 foot line).

I conclude the first optometrist was close to the mark or maybe even got it right (-5.75 and -6.75). The second one seemed to have under-corrected a bit and the third one seemed to have way over-corrected. At least one positive that came out of the appointments was that they all gave me CYL in the range of -0.25 to -0.75, so I’m happy with being under -1.00 CYL.


As you go through the whole process you’ll get more comfortable with making your own adjustments. Sometimes things will be a little too strong or too weak and you’ll have to change something. Even the trained professionals have given you widely varying “prescriptions”. It’s not a disaster if you order the wrong pair of glasses once in a while.


I know it’s popular to bash on Optometrists here :slight_smile: but I learned a long time ago that getting an accurate prescription with an Opto takes skill from yourself too. Back when I first started studying my eyes, I figured out how to relax my eyes to not auto-accommodate. When I went to see an Opto, I’d keep that relaxed state, and thus judge the sharpness of the letters accurately. If the prescription overshot the relaxed point optimal focus, I could tell, as it would look “too sharp”/out of focus (unless I accommodated).

If you don’t do this, the auto-focus of your eye can really wreak havoc with the “tell me which is better, this or this” that most Optos use to judge your prescription. This is because your eye will accommodate. Worse, when you accommodate a diopter or so, the letters actually do look sharper, due to the relaxed eye lens’ reduction in “spherical aberration”. This is a direct cause of overprescription, because our sharpest vision (for an object placed at the correct distance) is when we accommodate about a diopter or so.

I only learned about it because I discovered in the early 2000’s the idea that lenses (and accommodation in particular) was the cause of myopia progression. Thus I became obsessed with never accommodating, and quickly learned the sensations to know that I was accommodating. This is a skill I still have today, and I find it useful as heck to judge where the true edge of blur is for active focus.

However, without that, your eyes might automatically accommodate, and you might not know until it is a diopter or more of accommodation, and the accommodated view will actually look sharper than with a relaxed eye.

After I learned this and started using this technique at the opto, I got accurate and consistent prescriptions, as well as stable as a rock prescription for 15 more years (since I wasn’t doing what progressed my myopia anymore, and hadn’t started EM).


Thanks for weighing in Hoofjr. It takes me conscious effort to avoid squinting and blinking a lot to sharpen my vision during eye tests, I have to tell myself to relax otherwise I’m not getting a true outcome. It is tempting to try and read as many of the letters to get a ‘better’ eye test result.


In the spirit of fairness vision varies quite a bit anyways not just from one day to the next but even through to course of a single day. Add to that each opto measures their own way since there is a fair amount of wiggle room in the standards. One of many reasons it is important to do ones own measurements regularly, when you compile data over time you get the best overall idea of your true vision. Some tips for measuring: More on measuring - YouTube, and Guide:How to measure your eyesight - EndMyopia Wiki also strongly advise a trip to this article: Guide:Measuring with differentials - EndMyopia Wiki

The community is quite aware of this common practice. We are all upset by it, however as Jake has often pointed out by and large they are just giving people what they want. Most people want effortless eagle eye clarity in all light settings. We here know how bad of an idea that is, but most people neither know nor care.


Thanks for your comments Lloydmom! Appreciate the links about measuring, I will have a look at those.

While the difference in results I got is shocking, it’s good to see comments that do raise some natural variation can occur (even if it shouldn’t be quite that large)… I didn’t think very much about this before now. I’ve worn glasses and contacts since I was a kid, so for 15 years now, I had grown up with these underlying assumptions that the numbers on the opto script you got were IT, and that any opto should surely provide the same result (e.g. does it really matter exactly who is asking whether I prefer lens 1 or 2, and whether it’s Monday or Friday). And I also assumed since being a kid that those script numbers mean that is exactly how your eyesight is unless you were unwell or until the next ‘phase’ of your eyesight i.e. when it gets worse and you get a new script of bigger diopters… I guess I have to un-learn some beliefs and really educate my own self.

Good to keep learning, thanks to the community on here.


This is really helpful information. Thanks for posting.