For no reason, my forum account was banned right after it was created. If it had not, I would have posted the following introduction:
- 1 0.35 D/week = 0.05 D/day! Fixed blur adaptation in a few days (-2.5/-2 to -1.75 in 15 days)
0.35 D/week = 0.05 D/day! Fixed blur adaptation in a few days (-2.5/-2 to -1.75 in 15 days)
The title is not clickbait! I actually improved at that rate when I pushed myself to my limit, doing AF as much as possible. I really did improve fast, excluding the period with 6 years of blur adaptation, which had no or minimal improvement. In my time-series plot, I see my diopters go up and diopter gap shrink, and then it plateaus for 6 years, and then this week, the left eye goes up to equalize.
After 6 years of slow progress because I partially read the site and didn't understand the small details well enough, I finally reviewed the concepts in depth and fixed my mistakes. As Jake says, if you reduce too quickly or improperly, "you accumulate debt with your visual cortex, that you’ll have to pay eventually", which I seem to have repaid in the last few days. The blur I cleared during that time seems to have become axial myopia reduction, allowing me to "accumulate credit" and speed up later reductions though, as I have no blur to clear, just polyopia. I would recommend not reducing too quickly, because the extra strain of accommodation kind of hurt, but it was just for a few days.
In June 2015, I started with cm measurements suggesting -2.5/-2 (40, 50 cm). I learned active focus very quickly and I used my old -1.75/-1.5 glasses as normalized (0 differential because I never used glasses for close-up) and quickly reduced to my old -1.25/-1, as I saw the cm measurements go to -2/-1.75 in 10 days, but it plateaued, probably because of what I did next. I also noticed it was hard to sleep on days with significant change in cm, almost as if the changes acted like stimulants like caffeine.
Because the diopter gap seemed to get smaller, I thought that I could tolerate large unbalanced focal plane changes quickly, so I went to -1 to equalize, and then I went to -0.75 and later 0 for extra stimulus, since that supposedly helps to break a plateau. I also messed up focus pushing by being too far away. I didn't know how to measure, so I ended up measuring two different values with and without AF, which were steadily suggesting -2/-1.8 with AF to -1.7/-1.5 (about 0.3 D AF capacity). It would explain the -1.5 reading from the optometrist with a 6m chart resulting in refraction of -1.5/-1.33, which round to -1.5.
Over 6 years, there was no blur anymore and I got better at clearing the polyopia ("double vision" is actually "multiple vision"), but I could never clear it completely. Even in late 2015, without glasses, I even once had a clear flash that let me see small text on a sunny outdoor sign 80m away that I estimate corresponds to 20/8 acuity, but it was very short and hard to reproduce. I then got lazy and recorded cm measurements more rarely, but they show a measly +0.05 D change over the last 6 years (possibly just measurement error).
Over those years, I had the misconception that active focus was about making things clearer, which happened, but that's wrong. It's about making things clear. If you can't make it perfectly clear, then you're probably too undercorrected, leading to blur adaptation.
This week, I decided to fix the issues. Based on the measurements, it makes sense to use -1.25 (AF blur horizon from 133 cm to 222cm) or -1.5 (AF blur horizon from 2m to 10m) normalized to equalize properly. -1 puts the -1.6 D target too close to be usable, as AF requires full clarity, or else it's undercorrected. Since I'm either indoors or would get extra depth of field from sunlight, -1.25 seemed to make more sense.
Current normalized: -1.25
Current differential: 0
After 4 or 5 days with -1.25 and working near the edge of blur of my left eye (where both eyes see a clear image, checking periodically to make sure my left eye sees a clear image) and a 10 min of patching per day, and insomnia, today, the polyopia fused completely, and with the -1.25, it felt like I could clear up almost anything with AF, almost like magic. If what EndMyopia says is true (my eyes already returned to the correct axial length, and it's just recalibration), it would explain the eye strain of convergence and accommodation when I was close to the screen. On a bright Snellen chart, I could barely read the 20/15 line with the -1.25, but the 20/12 line was unreadable. My centimeter measurements to fully fuse suggest -1.75/-1.65 (57, 60 cm, where the unfusable polyopia starts), which is interesting if that implies I can read 20/15 at -0.4 D defocus, while I know that full or overcorrection generally lets me read 20/13, 20/10, and maybe 20/8 (probably not) but not 20/6.
I was younger in 2015 and therefore could have cleared this much faster back then, if only I had been more careful.
Is it now time to reduced normalized to -1 (Peak Prescription, which I assume means 0.25 lower normalized) for more stimulus, even though I only used -1.25 for a few days, or should I stay with it for a while to prevent issues related to reducing too quickly? Later in the day, I lost that ability to clear up everything, and I saw some imperfections on distant objects, so I guess I need to stay at -1.25 normalized until those resolve, despite having 20/15 acuity.
History with Glasses
In 2010, I had pseudomyopia and probably could read 20/50 uncorrected. My parents took me to an interesting optometrist, who said it was near strain and that I should get reading glasses for near work. Perhaps she was a vision therapy specialist doing the same stuff as EndMyopia. My parents wore minus lenses and thought they were the way (they are definitely not da wae), so the optometrist gave me glasses adjust by +0.25 D (from -1.5/-1.25 to -1.25/-1, which were probably still overprescribed after the reduction) and told me not to use it except for distance. When I first wore the glasses, I felt uncomfortable, but the optician said that "I'll get used to it".
In 2011, my uncorrected acuity dropped to about 20/100 (because I used the overcorrecting glasses and lacked critical information known as active focus). The optometrist measured the same -1.5/-1.25, but I felt my uncorrected vision was subjectively much worse. When I got my driver's license, I failed the visual acuity test without glasses and have to wear lenses.
In 2013, my parents switched optometrists because the location was more convenient. The optometrist measured a -0.5 D change (-2/-1.75) and was reluctant to adjust by +0.25 D (-1.75/-1.5) but still did it, and recommended me to use glasses all of the time. My uncorrected acuity was probably 20/200, with a barely readable E at the top of the chart.
In 2015, my parents went back to the same location, with a different optometrist, and she increased the diopter gap between eyes and added cylinder (-2.75x 0.25x180/-2.00 -0.50x60). When I wore the glasses, which are polycarbonate instead of Trivex, I saw lots of distortion and chromatic aberration.
Fortuitously (unfortunately, the cylinder had effect and caused many issues for me later), while I was researching chromatic aberration in lens materials and whether it has something to do with polycarbonate or the cylinder, I found an endmyopia article about that topic and decided to give it a shot by using my old glasses as normalized. For this reason, I wrote about technical details of diopters and combining cylinders with different axes, in case it'll help someone find this place. I now know that CR39 plastic and Trivex are acceptable, but polycarbonate is garbage.
My parents switched optometrists yet again. In 2018, the autorefractor measured -1.5 spherical equivalent with some cylinder. The optometrist measured -1.5 spherical for both eyes and recommended using it for distance only, confirming that either the previous prescription was ridiculous (which is true) or that reduction is possible (which is also true).
🏎️ Speedrun Progress 🏎️
jk it's not a race. But every diopter you clear later will be slower than if you cleared it earlier,
and in my particular case of fixing blur adaptation, the slower I go, the more lens-induced axial elongation I'll get from using my normalized.
Perhaps it's unfair to exclude everything between day 9 and 10, since those years reduced my axial length.
Also, my friends know why the numbering starts at 0 and not 1.
- Day 0-9: unsanctioned reduction -2.5/-2 to -2/-1.75 via -1.75/-1.5 that worked✔️, followed by 6 years of mistakes ❌, ruining my quality of life for those years 😠
- Day 10-14: equalize reduction -2/-1.75 to -1.75 via -1.25 normalized ✔️
- Day 15: binocular reduction -1.75 to -1.5 via -1 normalized ❌, unlocked transient astigmatism for both eyes ✔️ (probably better if I only unlocked the left first and not the right)
- Day 16-?: use -1.75 full and -1.5 normalized, 0 (57 cm), -0.25 (67 cm) or -0.5 (80 cm) differentials, clear left eye transient astigmatism ⌛, clear right eye transient astigmatism ⌛
I decided to switch to -1 normalized anyway. Some people use a Peak Prescription without issue, and it should be close enough to -1.25 to avoid issues. My normalized went from 0 to -1.25 to -1, with 2 changes in 6 days. But if -1 isn't enough after the sun sets, I'll just consider I use -1 peak and -1.25 normalized, which doesn't break the rule about keeping normalized for 8-16 weeks before reducing. But that rule just seems to be training wheels.
When I "woke up" (I wasn't even asleep), without glasses, I saw some blur in the distance. I guess the cost of going back to stronger normalized is axial elongation, which I will have to undo later.
I'll probably relax today and focus push/pull much less aggressively than I did over the last 5 days. While 0.06-0.07 D/day was possible for me, the cost of the side effect (too much stimulation and insomnia) is too high. My left eye did go from -2 to -1.75 in just 5 days, but at the cost of not being able to sleep this week. I'll rest a bit before I AF a lot again. With the bright sunlight, I can completely clear my screen at 67 cm, and I can feel the accommodation strain at 1.5 D is much less than 1.75 D.
My vision is actually much better than average: high acuity (20/15 seems to be average, but I expect 20/10 or 20/8), fast visual cortex recalibration (0.3-0.4D/week) and tolerance (I was able to tolerate more focal plane changes than EM advises: I could tolerate and adapt to a 0.75 D change in left eye and 0.5 D change in right eye, with some cylinder reduction too (-0.5/-0.25 cyl, luckily used only for less than a week), but failed to accept a 1.5 D left eye and 1 D right eye change), and high accommodation ability (seeing my ability drop from about +25 D = 4 cm to +20 D = 5 cm to +17 D = 6 cm does make me worry about future presbyopia, although 25 D for a 18-year-old, 20 D for a 19-year-old, and 17 D for a 25-year-old are above the average "10 D for a young child"). My vision isn't all that great though: they say I'm not colorblind, but I find some blue/black colors are hard to distinguish.
My driver's license renewal is required within a year, and when I get to -1 or -0.75, I'll be sure to re-take the visual acuity test and have the lenses condition removed.
As I'm a perfectionist, I will know that I'm successful when my refraction reaches 0. I expect, with uncorrected vision, 20/8 (or at least 20/10) in a bright Snellen and 20/15 on a dim Snellen. To reach that, I will possibly use a +0.25 to focus on a Snellen chart from 6m, inducing up to 0.083 D of hyperopia, or possibly outside to induce up to 0.25 D of hyperopia, which the emmetropization process will get rid of after I stop using them (just to make sure I actually clear 0 D). I wonder if the +0.25 is even necessary, if I can AF to 0 D with emmetropization. As a young child, I remember being to recognize people's faces from about 70 to 150m away, which will eventually be possible for me again.
Axial length is adjusted by accommodation and defocus. It seems reducing too quickly keeps you in blur/polyopia that you cannot overcome, which gives you shorter axial length, so you'll pay the price of extra accommodation strain while you revisit those old diopters. The solution is to "revisit old diopters" to have polyopia that you can overcome, and then reduce after you overcome them, which was very fast for me, at 0.25 D in 5 days.
I find that AF is the one-and-only true eye exercise. Combining the habit-fixing and gradual lens reduction of EndMyopia, the knowledge of high-school physics, the control system model from Otis Brown (his posts are in a really weird style though, and I think "extra" accommodation is subtracted, possibly making strong plus lens bad, even for near work, as they might induce hyperopia), and the concept of eye exercises (but using one that actually works, instead of other ones that don't) seems to result in really fast gains compared to knowing only one alone (EM doesn't advocate for exercise until you are a pro, knowing only how to calculate diopters by itself is not enough, control system model doesn't account for polyopia resolution, and eye exercises that are not AF don't affect refraction). Perhaps the axial length would take time to resolve if I didn't solve it while I was "blur-adapted".
I now actually think there are three different centimeter measurements you can make:
- edge of blur, based on axial length and accommodation, which AF (for far edge/myopia) and myopic defocus slowly increases over time, and AF (for near edge/presbyopia) and hyperopic defocus decreases over time
- edge of immediate clarity, based on resting accommodation and ability to completely clear double vision immediately, near or equal to previous
- edge of clarity, based on ability to completely fuse double vision, near or equal to previous
The idea to fix blur adaptation is to have lens that let you AF from edge of immediate clarity to edge of clarity, repeating this to extend the edge of immediate clarity to the edge of clarity.
Another interesting thing is how the polyopia relates to my prescription history, despite having used those lenses for less than 10 hours. At 57 cm, my left eye sees blur corresponding to that cylinder (images go up and down), and at 67 cm, my right eye indeed sees the oblique cylinder. Unlike before this week, I can actually clear it away now. This is probably the mechanism behind transient astigmatism.
That part will be hard, but the next part will be simple. Jake suggests "-1.5 or nothing", but at this point, I'll just use "-1 or nothing". After -1.25, there will be no more stimulus from close-up, meaning I
actually might have to go outside more have to use my Snellen chart for stimulus, and the last -0.75 might be hard, since it's decades old, but the lens-induced elongation is recent, so I doubt that it'll take a year for 0.5D. Until I get there though, it probably makes sense to do more close-up, hoping the accommodation will be subtracted for emmetropization.
No More Speedrun
As the sun was setting, it got dark, and my blur horizon shrunk rapidly, making me feel discomfort. My -1 peak wasn't enough, and even my -1.25 was too weak. I had to stack a -0.5 on my -1 to make a -1.4 and look into the distance just to feel better. Maybe I'll actually have to slow down (speed of reductions rule probably isn't a "training wheel"), and +0.5 normalized offset is too much.
I have a headache with an "unbalanced" feeling. Yesterday, I pushed for binocular reduction after the equalization was done to get started on the binocular reduction. Maybe it takes time to get used to the change from equalizing, and even pushing towards -1.5 has a bit of strain. (6 years ago, if I could take a +0.75/+0.5 change "no problem", why am I struggling with +0.5/0.25 now?)
For close-up, I have to move closer towards the -1.7 zone, and I feel really tired now. I'll go to sleep early. I hope I can.
Ingrid took 52 weeks for +7 D, which is +0.13 D/week, so maybe I should expect to go at half my pace. I also had a random bad “pulling” sensation that made my eyes spasm and water until I put on my normalized. It was first in my right eye, corresponding to the oblique cylinder, and then in my left eye, corresponding to the vertical cylinder. One of my left eye spasms actually occurred near my neck.
Day 16: Burnout & Unluckiness
Well, it turned out I made yet another mistake of reducing too aggressively just because I saw good improvements and wanted to lock them in immediately. I thought the spasms were from unlocking the transient astigmatism step and then tried to clear them. I cleared the transient astigmatism step for my right eye but couldn't clear it for my left, and the video actually says it takes 3-4 months to clear, and I did it in 2 hours. I picked up my phone, which actually stopped the spasms in my left eye, and I found that Despina made the same mistake and solved it by relaxing. I tried to relax, and it helped the spasms go away, but I still haven't slept for 7 days.
It actually looks like I have transient astigmatism, which is annoying. I'll have to use -1.75 full or -1.5 (makeshift for now) normalized and 0 differential (maybe -0.25 in the future?). I can work on clearing the transient astigmatism for my left eye, go to -1.5, and then clear on right eye.
Now, I'm concerned. I feel disoriented, sleepy, and unable to sleep. Did I fry my brain by shifting so quickly? Was it another stupid thing I did? Or is it just general disorientation from equalizing quickly or the transient astigmatism?
Day 17: Regret
Everything I was doing was correct, but I just reduced too quickly. I thought the worst that could happen was that changes would be slowed, but instead, it is much worse.
This is what should have happened:
- use -1.25 normalized as a half-way point to avoid drastic changes while slow reducing blur adaptation
- use -1.75 normalized to equalize (go from -2/-1.75 to -1.75)
- reduce to -1.7 and resolve transient astigmatism using -1.75 normalized
- reduce to -1.4 and resolve transient astigmatism using -1.5 normalized
- reduce to 0
I did do those steps, but I did them too quickly. I never adapted properly to the changes, and my brain is somewhat keeping up, except it hasn't re-learned how to sleep. By doing things, such as typing, I can feel it adapting, performing poorly and re-learning back to the previous level. Another issue is going into transient astigmatism, which would be easier to tackle one at a time, rather than both at once.
If I can't re-learn to sleep, this is a serious issue.
Insights about Transient Astigmatism and Cylinders
Well, it looks like cylinders ruin everything. My theory is that there are 2 mechanisms: the eye itself shrinks and grows based on defocus for emmetropization, which can adapt based on the incoming light, and then visual perception changes, but it can only adapt to gradual changes. That's why blur adaptation is bad, as the visual system stops adjusting, while the eye continues to adjust, so the axial length and visual perception go out of sync, later leading to lots of accommodation to compensate for distortions such that the light input matches the visual perception's requirements.
If you stop using glasses, your eye's axial length adjusts, but the visual system doesn't care. It'll still think your vision is distorted in the same way as before and has a dependency on the lenses you used, while accommodating as needed to make it focused.
Whenever a cylinder is changed, the eye compensates for it, affecting all later focal planes. Equalizing seems to just "repair" one eye while leaving the other one alone. Simple binocular spherical changes (and object distance) just "navigate" the focal planes. When undoing the changes, you can slowly undo the cylinder change point, which creates unresolved cylinder distortion in the nearer focal planes.
It's interesting how our visual system can compensate for cylinder and spherical distortion.
I guess I still didn't understand the material that well. I was way overcorrected in the last few days, just because I thought not having total clarity (which corresponds to better than 20/20) would be blur adaption. While it fixed my blur adaptation, it messed up other things. Since I'm now equalized and have no more blur adaptation, I guess the fix is to use appropriate correction levels:
normalized: -1 or 0 (20/20 left eye, 20/15 right eye on bright Snellen)
tv glasses: -0.5 (for viewing at 2m)
I already feel a bit better going back to these correction levels, but still a bit strange. Maybe I actually have to go outside more in the future, since I won't be able to keep getting 99% of my improvements from close-up.
I still have the transient astigmatism at 57 and 67 cm, but it's not that noticeable, so I guess the solution is to work around 58 cm to avoid blur adaptation. This means I can continue to keep getting 99% of my improvements from close-up for now.