Main Page / Login Option Forums General Myopia & Astigmatism Discussion Finding My Differential & Normalized

Answered
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #79220
    Andrea Bell
    Participant
    Post count: 21

    Hello,
    I’m a 53 (almost 54) year old female with a history of myopia/glasses since first grade.

    I’ve had a long history of trying many eye improvement plans, including Bates, Eyebody (which actually worked at the retreat; but I didn’t find it sustainable in “real life”) and this program. I tried this program 5-6 years ago, but I wasn’t ready for it and didn’t have the internal organization yet to really follow all of the instructions like I needed to, so I just pooped out.

    My FULL prescription from eye doctor one year ago was:
    -7.5L, -7.25R, and -0.75 of cylinder.
    I also noted that she diagnosed me with presbyopia. I don’t really notice it until I try to do the REALLY close up focusing that I used to be able to do.

    I have my annual appointment with her in two weeks.

    Since I have known better than to use full strength eyeglasses for everything, I’ve been wearing a normalized of -6.75 each eye, with the cylinder correction. This puts me at a slightly blurred 20/20 on the 3m Snellen. (Outdoor, shaded south-facing porch, located in the N hemisphere.)
    I’ve tried at -6.5 (each eye) without the cylinder correction, and that’s a bit too blurry for most applications.

    My left eye actually used to be the strongest; but several years ago, during a particularly bad bout of stress, I had this terrible habit for when I couldn’t sleep: I would stare at my phone with one eye in the dark….and now that left eye is the weaker eye. ARGH. I’m so bummed with myself that I did that. (Obviously, no more!)

    Given that I hadn’t been wearing my full prescription except for driving, I had been feeling scared and bewildered that the myopia had still been slowly increasing. After a few weeks of learning and deeply thinking about my habits here in this program….I think that the driver of that had been eye strain (including from under-correction), and from not being mindful and consistent of my focal planes during closeup work. I think I found these culprits, and am working really hard on stopping them.

    I just emailed my doctor and got the numbers on the differential prescription she wrote me (she’s supportive of eye improvement work). I’ve felt my near glasses have been too blurry… and lo and behold, it’s -4.75 both eyes, and it includes the -0.75 cylinder correction. This works for me at a distance of maximum 50 cm (about the full length of my outstretched arm, until the finger pads on my palms).

    I guess I’ll just say that trauma therapy really works: this time around I’ve been both willing and able to follow the program really well. I have a daily log, I have the eye chart mounted on my porch. My social media use and screen time is WAY down. I’ve been intaking the lessons faithfully. I’m still occasionally fighting with getting stressed out by work paperwork and just diving in without taking breaks; but even that is WAY down and I’m working on eliminating that. (Yes, the measurements are helping.)

    Finding a precise “clear point” blur horizon measurement hasn’t been as easy as it was the last time I had been attempting the program—-I’m guessing that may be due to the slight presbyopia? However I think I’m pretty good at finding the clearest spot.
    My eyes are averaging between 16-17cm in the morning.
    They had been around 18 cm, but that’s when I was measuring with that meow app, and I have come to perceive that for my eyes, that’s less accurate.
    After a paperwork binge one of ‘em went down to 13.5. Yikes.

    With all that—-
    What should I be doing for normalized and differential?

    Thank you so much for your support. I am so very grateful to have rediscovered this program. It makes so much sense, particularly now that I’ve reorganized my brain a bit in the interim and I’m actually able to follow it.

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    Replies
    • Jake S.
      Keymaster
      Post count: 8756

      Nice! Perfect to put these ideas on a shelf till you’re ready for them. Plus you have plenty of experiment experience already, from Bates all the way to how your eye changes from any given activity.

      I’d say, do the course, slowly and just following it exactly. Avoid diopter changes till the sessions discuss them. The timing and ‘spacing’ matters quite a bit, so doing it all in order is the best (and easiest) way to go about it.

      Few notes:

      1) Check that first presbyopia video. Let’s make sure that we have a baseline for how close you can see before blur and not have that number go up.

      2) Make a casual habit for checking strain, using eye chart. No big deal, just something to be aware of.

      3) The challenge with existing “under” corrections can be missing attached habits for active focus. We want to make sure you’re all primed for not accepting blur, rather using it near subconsciously to clear up images. Not an immediate issue, just keep in mind when we talk about blur horizon distance.

      On to adventures and experiments ahead. Happy eyes!

    • Andrea Bell
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      Hey Jake, thank you so much. Really appreciate your support and guidance.

      Okay, I’ll revisit the presbyopia video in the morning. It’s minimal; but it may be a factor. I’m encouraged that you said in the video that it clears up as we go, assuming we are going correctly.

      I also have this cute little pocket 36cm eye chart (from Amazon) for when I’m on the go. Could that be useful? (Not “instead of” but “in addition to” the 3m Snellen.)

      Yes, I’ll continue to check for strain throughout the day.

      A few more questions:

      1. I’m not certain what you mean in your response by (3)—could you please explain further?

      Like I mentioned above, I’m not getting as much sharpness when I check my blur horizon, as compared to what I used to. My left eye has been examined after I did the stupid-phone-at-night experiment. Apparently I didn’t damage it, but it now has two cylinders of diopter in that spot, whereas before it used to have none.

      So, 2. I’m wondering whether it’s this or the presbyopia, or both, that are causing the slight blurring of my previously perfect near focus?

      3. Should I wait until my updated eye exam to “dial in” my normalized and differential—-and in the meantime, just work on clearing strain?

      4. I’m concerned about going back to work on Monday. Work is my primary source of eye strain. (I’m in school, but I’ve gotten myself an app that reads PDFs aloud and that’s really helpful.) I know I need better lighting; but my back office is pretty darn dark. So I see all my video clients in my waiting room (which has natural light), but my in person clients love my back office. Do you have any suggestions for how I could look for better lighting options (without causing more eye strain from long internet searches)?

      5. Thanks to my long history of Bates work, my eyes actually feel more relaxed without lenses, as long as I’m sitting, relaxing and looking into the distance without straining or expectation of focus. If I do this long enough, my eyes actually do this thing on their own, where they pull in these clear flashes. If there’s high contrast letters around, all the better: it’s like my eyes use them to pull focus, and suddenly I can see them clearly. I’m guessing that’s not a bad thing to do once in a while, given that I enjoy it and it’s relaxing?

    • Andrea Bell
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      6. I wore my (-6.75 +0.75 cylinder) normalized around all day. Mostly outside on my patio with friends, not short distance work, no screens; but not maximal focal distance either.
      This evening’s measurements are .5cm shorter than in the morning. (Although to be fair, the indoor lighting is not quite as good as outdoors in the morning.)

      I’m concerned that my normalized might be too strong for most of what I’m doing with them (mid range work). I REALLY don’t want my axial length to increase any more than it already has. Is that a concern for me with these current normalized?

    • Jake S.
      Keymaster
      Post count: 8756

      1. I’m not certain what you mean in your response by (3)—could you please explain further?

      –> Not sure specifically what is unclear. Make sure the habits with the correction include regular active focus.

      If we’re talking about two *diopters* of cylinder, that is a very large correction, and correction increase. Going from zero to two diopters in cylinder is alarming. Should be reviewed what’s really required there.

      Like I mentioned above, I’m not getting as much sharpness when I check my blur horizon, as compared to what I used to. My left eye has been examined after I did the stupid-phone-at-night experiment. Apparently I didn’t damage it, but it now has two cylinders of diopter in that spot, whereas before it used to have none.

      So, 2. I’m wondering whether it’s this or the presbyopia, or both, that are causing the slight blurring of my previously perfect near focus?

      –> I couldn’t say. This would require a test lens kit to examine. Certainly a big difference in the type of blur with astigmatism vs. presbyopia. The first is double vision / directional blur / ghosting, the latter is simply a straight blur as you get closer.

      3. Should I wait until my updated eye exam to “dial in” my normalized and differential—-and in the meantime, just work on clearing strain?

      –> I don’t recommend relying on external exams solely or primarily, for diopter choices. Best starting point is what you’re using now, and what you may want to change. Starting only with differentials.

      4. I’m concerned about going back to work on Monday. Work is my primary source of eye strain. (I’m in school, but I’ve gotten myself an app that reads PDFs aloud and that’s really helpful.) I know I need better lighting; but my back office is pretty darn dark. So I see all my video clients in my waiting room (which has natural light), but my in person clients love my back office. Do you have any suggestions for how I could look for better lighting options (without causing more eye strain from long internet searches)?

      –> Eyesight changes slowly. Making dramatic changes as part of starting this course, not recommended. Especially with diopters – things like addressing lighting is totally ok.

      Super easy to self assess. Just hang up an eye chart, and have some way to check centimeters in various of your usual environments. See what it takes to make the eye chart comfortable, and maximize centimeters, as you may play around with lighting. It’s very tangible in terms of feedback and with these tools you can easily tell what’s useful and what may not be necessary.

      I recommend being in no rush. If you for example buy bulbs that can be adjusted via an app, you might change the light output one day, see how that works. Change again next day. Not too much at once. Or moving a standing lamp, adding one for more spotlight for you while keeping the overall room at similar low levels, etc.

      5. Thanks to my long history of Bates work, my eyes actually feel more relaxed without lenses, as long as I’m sitting, relaxing and looking into the distance without straining or expectation of focus. If I do this long enough, my eyes actually do this thing on their own, where they pull in these clear flashes. If there’s high contrast letters around, all the better: it’s like my eyes use them to pull focus, and suddenly I can see them clearly. I’m guessing that’s not a bad thing to do once in a while, given that I enjoy it and it’s relaxing?

      –> Totally fine. Relaxing. Not that productive in terms of improvement, though. Ideally you find a similar experience by gradually adjusting diopters, which eventually should feel relaxing as well.

    • Jake S.
      Keymaster
      Post count: 8756

      6. I wore my (-6.75 +0.75 cylinder) normalized around all day. Mostly outside on my patio with friends, not short distance work, no screens; but not maximal focal distance either.
      This evening’s measurements are .5cm shorter than in the morning. (Although to be fair, the indoor lighting is not quite as good as outdoors in the morning.)

      I’m concerned that my normalized might be too strong for most of what I’m doing with them (mid range work). I REALLY don’t want my axial length to increase any more than it already has. Is that a concern for me with these current normalized?

      –> Do NOT change distance glasses now – if you’re following the course. This entire course relies on follow the sessions as outlined. It is a notable mistake to go changing all focal planes your visual cortex expects.

      Side note, when we get to normalized (it’s 30 sessions in, just for perspective, it’s not a starting point for change), consider changing to minus cylinder from plus. Same vision, easier to manage relative spherical change log.

    • Andrea Bell
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      Okay, thank you. This is all really helpful.

      You’re giving me a structure and a way to think about these things—-AND, you’re catching me when I try to accelerate in my panic. Which is really helpful.

      I tend to panic about my eyes because:
      1. High myopia that’s only increased thus far; and I REALLY don’t want to develop any gnarly eye disorders; and
      2. My father has pathological myopia (he started at -14 and -11) and he’s had all sorts of nasty eye disorders, including retinal detachment; and he’s been on this long, slow downhill slope towards going blind. His vision is currently pretty low. (Note: He hasn’t ever changed his habits, though. I tried to tell him, suggest to him……but…. You know how that goes.)

      It’s true; multiple or rapid focal plane changes haven’t been so great (I’ve tried that as well). So yes, go slowly with that, gotcha.

      So what I’ll focus on for now is:
      1. Continue strain reduction and habit change for the better including breaks and outdoor work;
      1a. Improve lighting in my office; and work in the (natural light) waiting room whenever possible;
      2. Relax eyes and resume teaching myself active focus;
      3. Find a new outdoor place with letters to check my vision. I’m really upset—-my VERY favorite coffee house was recently pushed out of business by a terrible landlord. It had been across the street from several street signs and advertisements I could focus my eyes onto. I’m having a little difficulty finding a suitable substitute that’s not substantially far out of my way.
      4. Experiment with finding my blur horizon for the presbyopia; and start writing those down. I watched those videos again like you suggested; and I feel like I “got” what you’re saying. It’s slightly more fancy but the same principles: active focus for near vision and for far vision. More outdoor time. Gotcha.
      5. See my optometrist in two weeks. Make sure I don’t have any physical eye disorders creeping up.

      I suppose that’s plenty to work on for now.
      THANK YOU!

    • Jake S.
      Keymaster
      Post count: 8756

      There you go.

      Most important, gradual changes. Relaxed. Dramatic shifts make it more difficult to troubleshoot or properly attribute improvements.

      Eyes change slowly. Consistency in habits and environments, making small changes and taking some weeks to see how the biology responds, is ideal. 😉

    • Andrea Bell
      Participant
      Post count: 21

      Thanks, Jake.
      I had intended to let this thread lie, right there.
      But I’m experiencing something I figure I’d better run by you before I take any actions on it.

      So currently my full prescription, let’s call it -7.25 diopters each eye. (I’ll have my annual eye doctor visit in about a week and a half.)

      Currently, the differential prescribed by my doctor about a year ago (because I asked her for one) is -4.75 each eye.

      If I am understanding correctly, in the lesson about differential, you were saying take your full prescription and subtract about 1.5 diopters.

      -7.25 plus 1.5 is about 5.75. Not 4.75.

      I’m mentioning this now because, with about three weeks of consistent work on this program—-and really thinking about what my eyes are doing, throughout the day—-

      I’ve started to notice that my eyes really don’t seem to like my current (too low) differential.

      I’m struggling to see things that are less than 50cm away from me. In fact my blur horizon is considerably less than 50cm away now, as I type this with my ipad on my lap, my elbows bent around 90 degrees. My impulse is actually to tilt my glasses upwards (to increase the diopters) but I’m really trying not to go around changing focal planes like that. (I admit, I used to be addicted to that really bad habit.)

      As I type this I’m realizing that it might be because, I’m not just ignoring my focal problems anymore; I’m really attending to them. So now I think I can actually feel all this unhappy feedback from my eyes.

      I know you said go slowly, and don’t change things quickly; however, I think my eyes are telling me that I need a stronger differential for the time being.

      This is a problem because my profession depends on some (not a lot, but some) paperwork; and on meeting with people on Zoom. My eyes were so upset by around 40 minutes (with breaks) of close up paperwork yesterday late afternoon, I subsequently had to take my glasses off entirely to see my last client. (On video, and rather blurry) That was the only thing that stopped their balking.

      The “old me” that enrolled in your program for the first time, would have said, “Screw it; I need this, just do it now/today”. (I have tons of glasses in varying diopters in my drawer, from my Bates days.) It would have been a combination of panic and headstrong ness (“These are my eyes and I know better than he does—-he’s not even here!”). Ha. See where that has gotten me.

      So before I do anything I figured I better run it by you.

      Thank you for your thoughts and guidance!

    • Jake S.
      Keymaster
      Post count: 8756

      Yes, do pick the correct differential for the blur horizon distance you’d like. 🙂

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.