Guide:How to find Active Focus
An essential part of EndMyopia is Active Focus. It's also a big reason for new EndMyopians to give up prematurely - finding how to do Active Focus can be very difficult.
This guide covers the basics on Active Focus and how to discover it for yourself.
- 1 How does it work?
- 2 How do you get it to work?
- 3 How long will it take for me to learn Active Focus?
- 4 How long do I need to hold onto the clarity?
- 5 How often should I practice Active Focus?
- 6 What are common things that affect Active Focus?
- 7 What are side effects of practicing Active Focus?
- 8 Common challenges
- 9 Resources
- 10 See also
- 11 References
How does it work?
If you follow EndMyopia correctly, a pair of normalized will leave you a little under-corrected for distance vision, and very undercorrected when using differentials for close-up. This ensures that your eyes see a small amount of blur (more specifically, myopic defocus). It's then necessary to clear up the remaining blur, to achieve clarity. Active Focus is the mechanism that enables your eyes and visual cortex to bridge that small gap between blur and clarity.
How do you get it to work?
This is a complex thing to work out and it's different for everyone. It's easiest to start with some simple text in a clear-cut and nicely contrasted font – in a book, for instance. You need to hold it at a distance that gives you a little bit of blur. You then pick a simple word and stare at it, in a relaxed and concentrated fashion. Looking at that word, you tell yourself that you want to see it clearly. You look, appreciate the word, and employ your will to get that word to come into focus. You can blink gently, of course, but make sure that you don't try to blink or squint that word into focus. It's best if it clears up by just looking at it – the word coming into focus more or less on its own.
How long will it take for me to learn Active Focus?
This is very personal and there's a wide range in terms of time required to acquire this skill. Some people get the hang of it within the first 5 minutes of trying. For others, it can take several months to master. It does not matter how long it takes for you to learn this skill. The important thing is that you don't give up and keep trying.
How long do I need to hold onto the clarity?
You try to hold on to the clear word as long as reasonably and comfortably achievable. This can be as little as a second at first. Over time, this will increase, as you become more acquainted with this skill. It's important that you don't squint or over-strain yourself in any way practicing Active Focus. Utilizing it should be something that's achieved in a relaxed manner, without requiring much effort. If you have issues where Active Focus is not becoming persistent, have a look here:
How often should I practice Active Focus?
It's important to realize that Active Focus should become a habit and something that happens subconsciously. You can practice it as much as you like, as long as you don't strain yourself in doing so. Over time, Active Focus will become second nature. At that point you will no longer have to actively exercise it. Jake lays it out quite nicely in this video:
What are common things that affect Active Focus?
- First and foremost it's important to realize that your overall well-being is of great influence on Active Focus being able to function properly. If you are feeling stressed, under the weather, lacking sleep, or even sick, you will notice that it's much harder, if not impossible, for Active Focus to work its magic. Don't push yourself too hard and try again when you are well-rested and feeling better.
- The other main thing is the amount of good (and preferably natural) lighting that is available. If this is insufficient it can affect Active Focus profoundly.
What are side effects of practicing Active Focus?
- You may feel a little headache and pain or pressure in your eyes. This is completely normal and it happens because your eyes and your brain start working actively on seeing clearly again. They didn't have to do that before, because your corrective lenses took care of it. It's similar to starting a new exercise with sports, where you get some sore muscles the first couple of times, waiting for your body to adapt to this new stimulus. If this is the case for you, it should be gone in no more than a week. Keep in mind that it shouldn't amount to more than a little discomfort. If it does cause more discomfort there could be something else that needs addressing. A confounder such as ciliary muscle spasm, being under- or overcorrected by too much, or even something in the eye itself could play a role. Consider looking into these matters if this occurs.
- You may start to see double/misaligned vision and halos surrounding the text or object that you are looking at and trying to clear up. This is totally normal. It's a sign that your eyes and visual cortex are adapting to bring that bundle of light into focus. If you are stuck with nothing but double/misaligned vision and Active Focus isn't working on it (which is very common), have a look here: Resolving Double/misaligned vision 132.
- You may experience watery eyes while practicing Active Focus, especially outside. This is nothing to worry about, it happens to some and is usually gone within a minute. This could also be a sign of having dry eyes.
My vision doesn't clear up when I look at blurry objects!
The blur challenge is too strong. Move closer to the subject.
The subject clears up and stays clear. This is great!
While it's great that you are clearing blur, consider attempting a greater blur challenge by moving further away from the subject or choose a further subject.
My vision is only clear if I keep blinking!
Continuous blinking is not active focus. If you find that blinking helps, you may have dry eyes. Blinking creates tear film on the surface of the eye, increasing the power of the cornea. It is recommended to resolve your dry eyes as it can interfere with active focus.
My vision is not improving!
It took many years for you to develop myopia, it will take your eyes some time to reverse the process. Active focus often, avoid bad eye habits and have some patience.
Articles from the blog
Active Focus link list: https://endmyopia.org/active-focus-links/
Community written articles
- Despina. "Could dry eyes be affecting your active focus?". Endmyopia. Retrieved 11 June 2020.