Since you have stuck with the program this far, (well done!) participating, it is time to push into some more of the advanced subjects.
We recently discussed your differential prescription, and how it is too strong. I hope you considered that advice, and maybe gotten a lowered differential prescription to push yourself with, a bit further. Again here, if you want to pause for a second, and if you haven’t done so yet, put a time in your calendar for a little time to lower your differential prescription.
Yes? Considered? Ok, so let’s move on to the normalized diopter use:
I always say, we want low diopter complexity. No bi-focals, and lowering astigmatism diopters (which now you also have the tools for, and the forum to ask questions if you need specific advice). I say, that we need a prescription for close-up, and one for distance – and maybe one, for night time / driving / activities requiring optimal vision.
And that’s enough, to keep pushing towards better vision.
Sort of like it’s enough to go to the gym twice a week, to stay in reasonable health. If we look at it the gym way, this topic introduces the bodybuilder style of approach to ongoing vision improvement – the tricks the serious guys use, to really get the most from their body’s potential.
To do so, first of all, we need to lower our normalized correction. Just as I had mentioned previously (in “your differential correction is too high”), you are now capable of a lot more than you were some months ago. With some higher stakes, your eyes will rise to that occasion. Not always, not the way your regular normalized prescription covers most bases, but there are peak times where we currently miss an opportunity for real gains.
This will take a bit more than one installment to cover properly. Let’s start with the most important ingredient:
If you have been doing the occasional centimeter measurement, and sneaking a look at the Snellen once in a while, you have noticed something interesting. Sometimes, your vision is just … better. You get an extra line on the Snellen, or your centimeter is an extra several increments further. It happens. It usually happens when you slept well the night before, you don’t feel stressed, you haven’t done too much close-up, and the lighting is natural and bright. It happens, to everyone.
And we don’t take advantage of these peak conditions. But, we really should.
There is a much greater opportunity in taking your current peak and pushing it further, than increasing your average (which your current diopters are doing, increasing the average). The latter is safe, easy, slow. It’s fine and good, unless you want to push results.
If you take your best day, and not let that one be good enough, your average will increase faster, than if you just take your average day, and try to improve that, with subtle routine and persistence. It’s the sprint, the last mile, the extra push, that really conditions physiology.
As such, we need to look at another corrections, the peak diopters.
It’s a fancy name (I need to name things, as there are no precedents, and I’m not good at naming things), for a simple concept. We take your very best centimeter and Snellen results, the best ones you get, in the best lighting, on your best day, and create a prescription based on it.
This usually means:
a) Reduced Astigmatism
b) Lower Diopter
Simple enough. The centimeter calculator, and your current normalized correction will serve as a guide, here. Feel free to post in the forum, if you have questions.
In most cases, we take your current normalized correction, and go down another 0.25 – depending of course how long you have had it, and how you see with it on the Snellen (20/40 or poorer, is too much). But if you have been at your current normalized correction for 45 to 60 days, or longer, and are sort of stagnating, doing daily routine, but not much is changing, then we want to grab this one.
This one is a marginal correction. It’s basically your next normalized, taken early, for some extra challenge in ideal conditions. Heads up: It won’t work as well, if you have been focused up-close for hours today already. If it’s overcast. Indoors.
It will work if you just started your day, a day off, it’s sunny outside, and you are going for a walk. It will work well here, to push focus, using road signs, billboards, any distant text. You won’t get the best distances, but you will know it. You will have to blink a bit more, and get text into focus. It will be strange at first, but after a week or two, you will get it – you really will see just about as well as with your regular normalized prescription, in these peak conditions.
So, what are we doing, today?
It’s time to start looking at your peak measurement. Grab your normalized glasses, check the Snellen. Better days? How good on the best day? 20/20? Maybe even the next line, just a bit? Days where the centimeter calculator suggests another 0.25D lower? Take a week, or two even, to see what your peak really is.
It is important to determine your real peak.
Obvious, and might go without saying. But you want to know, if you can grab an extra 0.25D (or more even, if you really have been too busy or otherwise preoccupied to keep the best normalized correction).
Once you have the peak, let’s order the peak diopters. I know, it is a lot of glasses laying around. More options, to do some of the advanced work we will discuss in upcoming installments. The peak diopters, paired with your current normalized correction, and the previous one, make for a powerful trio to push your conditioning further.
Ready? Put it in your calendar, a reminder to check Snellen and centimeter.