#endmyopia Mini Series are designed to give you quick lessons on managing your eye health.
Each series includes several quick guides with the most important tips to get you quick and easy results. To get additional tips, alerts of new series, and subscriber-only content, sign up for the newsletter.
This #endmyopia Mini Series will explore tools and strategies to allow you to measure your own eyesight - as effectively as the professional optometrist shop does it. What is the benefit? You will avoid overprescription, which often happens in optometrist office settings.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you most likely depend entirely on the optometrist shop to provide you with your prescription strength. They have all sorts of expensive testing equipment, often intimidating and confusing to the average person. You are put in a dark room, in front of clicking and whirring machines, a huge aparatus filled with lenses and dials, projections of tests on the wall in front of you. Do you ever wonder though ... what does all that testing really amount to?
Most of those tests just measure one thing: How far you can see before things get blurry.
That is all myopia (in most cases) really is - a matter of how far into the distance you can see clearly. It is a simplified concept, sure. But in 95% of cases, that's all you really need to know.
Testing allows you to get a more personal and meaningful relationship with your eyes. And really, it is quite easy to do once you practice a few times. Further, as high as 70% of my clients first came to me being overprescribed by 20% or more! That is a massive dose of false focal plane, which forces your eyeball to grow longer (giving you difficult-to-reverse and dangerous axial myopia).
There are major benefits in measuring yourself:
- You can check anytime, not just once a year.
- A quick check is never more than a minute away.
- You can avoid the risk of overprescription - which will damage your eyes.
Checking your own eyesight allows makes it easy to test strategies that may yield vision improvements. It makes little sense to participate in any sort of rehabilitation or even eye exercises without measuring the before-and-after results. This is a core principle of improving eyesight, as discussed in the Four Pillars. At the very least, you can make sure your current prescription is accurate!
Today we will look at one of the two main ways I like to check for a clients' degree of myopia:
The Snellen Test
The Snellen test is the same test you see in most optometrist shops. It is just a progressively smaller set of letters, measuring your eyesight. It is a good way to test your current prescription to see whether it is too strong or too weak. Next time we will look at another way to test, best suited for more detailed results, and also well suited for higher myopia cases (-2.00 and up).
- First, print or order a Snellen chart.
- Second, permanently attach the Snellen chart to a wall, somewhere well lit. Mark the proper distance to the chart.
- Follow the chart instructions to measure your eyesight, keep a log of the results.
You can find excellent charts on Amazon.com. They are inexpensive and professionally printed, well worth a few days delivery time to have a proper chart in your home. Also, it will serve as a consistent reminder to work on your eyesight!
With your glasses and the proper distance to the chart, you can check whether you can see the 20/20 line properly. How about 20/15? 20/10? You also want to compare your results between different scenarios:
- Brightly lit room vs. low lighting
- In the morning, when your eyes are relaxed, and after a long day of up-close focus.
- When you are stressed, vs. after a relaxing weekend.
You will be suprised how much your results may vary!
If you can not see the 20/15 line with your glasses on, your prescription may be a bit weak. This is actually a good thing, much like the 'normalized prescription' we use in rehabilitation.
If you can see the 20/10 line even in poor light, when you are stressed, and after a long day of work, you are probably overprescribed! Take additional distance from the chart, see how many centimeters / inches you can move back from the official distance and still see 20/20. This will give you an idea of the degree of possible overprescription you are dealing with. This is just a rough starting point, we will get into more detailed measurements in the next installment of this #endmyopia Mini Series.
This is a simple starting point to build your curiosity. If you follow the whole #endmyopia Mini series, you will learn a lot about your eyesight!
So, what can you do today?
- 1. Go on Amazon.com (the link will take you to Snellen charts) right now, pick out your favorite.
- 2. Subscribe to my newsletter for the next installment, and additional hints and tips.
- for the serious vision health reader: Consider the benefits of a proper rehab program.
Go on! In just a few moments you accomplished everything for this installment - 1) order chart, and 2) subscribe to newsletter. Here is the quick form for #2: