If you started recently and not seeing all the 20/20 gains (yet), this article is for you.
Are you experiencing slow improvement rate? Let’s figure out the scenarios.
After a decade and thousands of students, we’ve got a pretty good profile for the average myope profile that we encounter here. Give or take a few variables, this is very likely close to your own scenario, too.
The Average Myope Profile
Let’s see how close (or not at all close) you are to the average profile:
1. Been wearing glasses since mid to late teens. Currently age at least late 20’s, like mid 30’s. If you picture a bell curve, mid 30’s is the median, some younger, some older. Student ratio drops off quite rapidly once we get past 40’s, though some are even into their 80’s and older. Mainly though, 20’s, 30’s.
More recently the age individuals are starting with glasses has been dropping significantly, which is quite unnerving. There’d rarely be even parents with kids younger than 12-14, and now it’s as young as 4-5.
2. Well educated. While participants come from (well) over 30 countries and all walks of life, almost all of them have far above average levels of education.
This may well have to do with the fact that I don’t make this resource accessible to those with lacking English skills (or patience to read). Either way, despite a lot of inquiries of questionable genius, most people you may encounter here (in our Facebook group), solid education levels.
3. Work in front of screens. Average close-up hours per day, very high. We’re talking 8, 10, more hours of screen time, especially once you factor in recreational screen use.
And it’s just been getting worse. Thanks, iPhone.
4. Get regular eye checkups. Another common element is that a large number of students had their glasses “updated” within the last 2 years. And while many of them no longer have notably progressing myopia, the trend is still slightly increasing myopia.
5. At least 3 diopters of myopia. Yes we get low myopes too (lucky ones), and high myopes. Here again bell curve, 3-4 diopters is quite common.
Other factors are generally health conscious, above average physically active, not big on social media, and various other interesting (but less relevant) tidbits.
Average Vision Improvement Rate
Because we know all this to be generally true, I have a general prediction of how you’ll progress.
You’ll find me quoting this often, since it’s what happens with surprising regularity. We see the first 90 days, up to a diopter improvement, and then 1/4 diopter every 3-4 months thereafter.
I even made a video with these sage guru predictions:
My most trustworthy face.
The average myope profile is key to these predictions:
If you got new glasses in the past 2 years or less, you probably still have some overcorrection. That’ll be addressed with normalized glasses, which will reduce from 0.5 to as much as a full diopter. And you likely have quite a bit of ciliary muscle spasm, also addressed with the endmyopia method. Once you add up reduced ciliary spasm + removed overcorrection + active focus, you get an average of 0.75 to 1 diopter less distance correction (to 20/20) in around 90 days.
You may start out with 20/30 for normalized, and relatively quickly (in those first 3 months) get to 20/20. You see how that’s not necessarily the same as your starting overcorrection in terms of eye chart acuity – and of course that makes for part of that potential initial big change in numbers.
A lot has been said about this previously, dig around the blog if you want more scenarios. Let’s look at the slow improvement now:
Slow Improvement Scenario
So here we have …
You read all those great progress stories, but it’s not happening for you.
First, look at above average myope profile scenario. Do you not fit those categories? For example, if you’re 40 and you’ve been wearing -1.25 glasses for the last 15 years, and you’re rarely in front of screen more than a few hours a day, then you might not get a lot of gains in the first few months (certainly not a whole diopter).
The overcorrection factor is low, plus your myopia is low (so a relatively percentage of improvement will still manifest in a relatively small diopter change), plus you may have less ciliary spasm with less screen time.
In this scenario you’ll maybe go from -1.25 to -1.00 in as much as six months.
Less impressive that, on the surface.
But put it in perspective. That example equates a 20% improvement, and also put you close to less than one diopter of myopia. In other words, you have to account for all the puzzle pieces to figure out whether you are in fact making the 20/20 gains, or whether you’re doing something wrong and troubleshooting is required.
Other factors too, can come into play. Individual biology. Too much close-up. It’s winter and you don’t get much natural light.
Key To Success: Habits & Logging
Take a look at Melissa’s experience:
You’re looking at a change from 15 cm to 22 cm there. 30% improvement.
More than respectable, even if it did take more time than the average case. Sometimes patience is in order.
Melissa is doing all the right things. Keeping a log. Focusing on habits. Sticking with it, letting the biology adapt, and of course most importantly getting all the eye karma points by posting progress reports. 😉
It is important to question progress, so you know when it’s time to troubleshoot. At the same time you also want to have some awareness of how your scenario relates to the average, and set your expectations accordingly.