Al’s Vision Improved: -4.00 To -1.50, No More Astigmatism

Al: -4 to -1.50 in a year, no more astigmatism, all in this excellent podcast episode.

Aug 25,2020 · 27 min read

‘Ello, kittehz.

Jake here, your caped and crusadingly bearded, eyesight rescue hero.   


The … hero you need.  Or was it, want?  Or in all actuality, just a retired banker f*ck who figured out the plain and obvious about eyes and myopia, started a rant-blog, and now just won’t stop pestering everybody for podcast episodes because he just loves all the (entirely undue) attention.

Thaaaat’s right.  That last one.

Also here is Al, who was entirely kind enough to step outside of his own comfort zone, and do a video chat about his own vision improvement.  This is what actually deserves your adulation and appreciation and general thumbs up.

Al knows a lot about sports and nutrition science, is a paramedic, surfer, and all around excellent guy.  He also managed to reduce from -4 diopters down to -1.50 inside a year, got rid of 2.25 diopters of astigmatism while he was at it, not to mention digging through this resource and getting all the answers to make it happen.

Check out our chat with Al:

I never stop being surprised by the level of genuine and passionate and interesting individuals come visit here at endmyopia.

So you should learn to behave yourself, Jake, you’re thinking.

As if.

If you prefer to listen to our episode with Al, you can do so directly from the following link – or use it to get to The Shortsighted Podcast on your favorite platform, from Spotify to Apple Podcasts, and lots more:

And you can also find all episodes of the podcast in our Youtube Playlist.

Moral of the story?  You do you.  And keep making those 20/20 gains.  And consider being part of the growing group of us, who raise our hands and say no thanks, to the lens-sellers and their glasses subscriptions.




Podcast Transcript

We’ll come back to another episode of the shortsighted podcast, which yes. Still exists today. We’re talking to Al who has reduced his myopia from minus four adopters to minus 1.5 doctors. In a year, most interesting part. He also had 2.2, five doctors of astigmatism, which he doesn’t have anymore, which is an amazing reduction inside a year more.

And why and how in this pocket cast? interesting. Also Ali’s a paramedic in his late forties. He’s was quite into sports science and nutrition. So he has an interesting semi relevant background. I thought it was an interesting conversation. This one is not entirely, particularly long. I hope you find it useful.

Here’s out. Yeah. What, what, adopter glasses are you wearing there? A 1.5 minus 1.5 minus 1.5. Remind me, where did we start out? We started right. I minus four with a cylinder of plus 2.2, five and left was minus 3.25 with a cylinder one. That’s one. Complex story there to start with a lot of adopters.

Yeah. How long ago was this? This was, last August. Yeah. Quick. And are we, are we rid of the cylinder for distance also? Or is this just yep. For the, for distance? Yep. Like magic, like magic. How did you do it? Yeah. How did you do it? Well, I obviously listened to you a lot and, read a lot about, the backgrounds and it was a bit dubious, to begin with stuff came up in my, my watching lists and et cetera.

I found your character interesting. so basically I, I yeah, kind of accepted it. There was a time at, I got new lenses and new frames and the same frames. So I had a period of time. I thought I had a bunch of my old glasses, and a drawer, but we recently moved a home. So I found a pair that must’ve been about 15 years old, potentially about minus two with a lot less cylinder.

and they were fine for the week while I was waiting for my new lenses. and the old glasses. Normally I would just get new glasses, new frames. It’s an opportunity like you say, to get new frames. about like these. So I found that my vision was fine along with listening to your kind of advice and insights, the ugly wisdom and, yeah, I thought this is okay, this is all, this is potentially a thing then, And between smell and measurements, looking at, a little bit of science to me or stuff, which I did at the start, but was awful.

so I really didn’t kind of go by that and just my previous prescriptions, prescriptions, No it’ll work anyway. Subscriptions. Exactly. Yeah. I kinda came up with a figure, which I think, yeah, I was going go to, so I went to a minus three to begin with my right eye, with a plus one seven, five cylinder and the minus 2.5.

Okay. On my left with no cylinder. Cause it was only one, plus one cylinder. Hmm. Yeah. Out of personal curiosity, just if you feel like sharing, like what’s your background or are there other related topics that you’re into? How did you, what got you into this eyeball topic of all things? Yeah. there was a bunch of things, basically.

It was a lot to do with research and the health. Can I say the things, I had. Illness within my family, that I was trying to rectify my mum wasn’t well, it was kind of diabetes related things. so I went down that rabbit hole, low carb ketosis to do with, kind of Apple MCs and various other things that went right into that very heavily.

not from my own perspective of health, but for family members, like I say, and I ended up. A lot of it just from so much reading. Can I filter it into me, so I kind of eat, it started to eat better. And then there’s a guy. I was like, you were on his podcast. I ever come in. So it’d be nice to, I didn’t want to, I was almost like you guys, you guys share a similar accident, but okay.

Right. Yeah. Yeah. and I thought, okay, he’s evidence-based engineer, et cetera, et cetera. and if he’s got you on and he’s red and. Slice and a bunch of stuff then maybe, maybe I should go for it. Plus I had a change of work. I am a medic paramedic and a slight change of position into an area, that we tend to deal with more can, we have more gear, helmets and masks and various suits that we have to do, where to do with different incidences, whether it’s environmental or hazardous areas that we work in.

So that was going to involve. Change, you know, having to wear things, maybe getting steamed up in my glasses and it was something I’d always looked at. I’d always look something potentially LASIK back in the day. I tried the, what’s it called again? The hard lenses change the shape of your eyes.

you wear them overnight. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I tried them eyes were a little bit dry, really worked well. so I’ve always kind of dabbled in trying to get rid of these pesky pesky things on my face. It’s, you know, I think I also liked the, the paramedic common background. I think I’m being silly a lot on the internet because it’s, if you know, the story started as it’s a little procrastination project, I’m doing it for fun.

I’m not trying to, you know, gain the trust of strangers, but at the same time, I think. If your background is somewhere related to biology or evidence or science, it’s a lot easier to speak past the dig past the sarcasm and the jokes into there’s a fairly notable reality. There there is absolutely. Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. And a Sonder that’s really interesting cause that’s a lot of sound. Was it difficult to sort of, it was bizarre. Yeah, I can. I took it in increments, a big step to begin with. and through my reductions was kind of happened quite quick and I think because it happened quite quickly, I think there was a lot of.

Access, because I’d always been asking for kind of real clear vision kind of night shifts, driving at speed, et cetera, et cetera. one of my cards is to be on point kind of thing. so I think there was maybe quite a bit of overcorrection. the cylinder, a bizarrely, I found quite a lot of clarity, cause I’m pretty much on the 90 access.

A phone, quite a lot of clarity within that, within the kind of directional blur it was on my right eye. There was, you could see that there was a real clarity. Bizarre. I dunno, just real. I don’t know how else to describe it. clarity would be the way, within the, the fuzz in the blur, I find that quite encouraging.

So that’s still a little bit of a thing I can see outside to the trees here. and the leaves is great. Yeah. Some that seems to disappear quite easily. but trying to get my centimeters, it’s a little bit difficult because you try to see what’s a directional bar and what’s actually. just you’re so, yeah, sorry.

That’s fine. And also, I think interesting too, is professions where your vision applies in a no nonsense sort of must have in a way. I’m also seeing a lot of real straightforward, good improvements because you’re, you actually need your vision and you’re using your vision. Quote unquote, professionally, right?

It’s not just a recreational sort of, yeah. I should work on my side. You’re using the things and you need them to work as well as possible. Yep. Yep. Completely off topic. And this is my new thing now, because I don’t know how to just having these conversations, but I’m personally curious because I remember I had a ER nurse as a girlfriend way back in the day.

Yep. That is traumatizing work. The stuff you guys do. Yeah, it can be. Yeah. bizarrely, I mean, it’s something you. Manage within the teams that you have, if you’re working with a colleague or there’s been a bunch of, quite a disturbing job, you, you talk about that and the place, but it kinda initially it’s a, it’s a bit of a shock.

When you go into the field, you kind of like, well, the depravity and the, the trauma of the EDC, but then again, you’re going in with the technical perspective. I have to do this. I need to stabilize this person. What’s the best way to do it. And you’ve got these technical skills, so you’re not potentially getting the backstory, which I think can be more traumatic.

You know, it’s not like a tale of the person’s life or going, and yes, it’s a mess and it doesn’t look pleasant and there’s all the things have happened where you’re going in to deal with it from a technical perspective. Yeah. Not, not side of things. It’s easier to manage. I’m like, okay. I can’t imagine I had a super traumatic car accident.

At one point I was just a passenger, but a car cut into, I was in the hospital for weeks at my short term memory. Still from that around the time it’s just gone and ever since then I get blood tests every quarter. So every year, because I’m just a little bit, yeah. Curious about other health things. And I went through this long period where I just couldn’t see even that little bit of my blood without just getting faint and not a good time.

Yeah. Other people’s blood’s fine when it’s mine. Yeah. Great. And now from this whole experience, is there any. Have you talked to other people about this, do people think it’s weird, especially since you’re in that sort of environment? Is that something you bring up or is that your own personal little secret that you’re asking kind of a personal little secret of brought up with a few folk and from that is kind of being enough to go.

Okay. People really aren’t. Ken is, partners, my partners kind of interested. but she’s yet to kind of take the dive a few friends of canal, right? Yeah. Yeah. We’ll see how you go. why do you think that is? I think it’s probably stuff that you’ve discussed in the past. you’ve just got to be ready.

It’s cultural. This is your eyes. This is how you deal with it. Hmm. I don’t believe that. And I think it’s the same with the kind of low carb stuff and high fat things and all these kind of. Things that were cutting through with the internet information, be more valid, readily available. I think the standard health model people like you’ve signed with your own dad just accept as dogma.

And that’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s always been. This sounds like some kind of hooky nonsense. It’d be weird. we’ll see. Or you go and you survive and their health intact, you know what? My. We might believe you there. No, that makes sense. What about active focus? Did you have a hard time finding that?

Was that easy for you? What was that experience like? I’m asking this because people keep reminding me that I never asked this question. I kind of read about it a lot. but found it to be a relatively straightforward, simple, I didn’t have, like, I can’t recall remembering like a week or days, or I’m kind of stared at things willing to come into focus.

it was never really an issue for me. Yeah. I just find it kind of, I don’t know if I’ve changed between cause he used to wear contact lenses, playing football or surfing or doing whatever and how he shouldn’t wear them in the water, but I’ll always have, yeah, never been an issue. It was a few blinks and you’re like, Oh, okay.

That street much clearer you sir. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You sure. If up there it’s called possibly the water. Temperatures can get down two degrees Celsius minus, about seven in the winter up North. we’re a small Island, so there’s lots of swell directions and you can travel a few hours and usually catch something somewhere.

That’s amazing regularly. A little, not so recently with things as they are, we’re kinda limited on travel, but that’s eased up again. So yeah, desperate to get back in, but it was weekly for, for years. Cause I grew up overseas. I never believed you could do it here and then find the joy of white suits. Yeah.

Yeah. I used to surf on the North coast of Spain and it got super cool. Califia And about Saint Saint it’s on the right on near the border Saint Augustine. I want to say like 15 years ago. So yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was too cold for me. Oh. Oh. I was going to ask you about that. Do you use contact lenses when you surf?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. How has that experience work? Well, It works well, you can kinda like if you blink too hard, sometimes I’ve lost lenses or duck diving like swale or whatever I can, or if you’ve played unexpectedly and you’ve not gathered yourself, you can lose the lens, but usually it’s just the one you can get by for the rest of your session before you get back in.

You wouldn’t by accident have seen the last one episode. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Alice jealous. I’ll swap with the Manny that I just assume soon as he came on, I was already like, this is going to be yeah. Amazing with the mustache and then the story. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Good guy. Yeah, living like that, it must be amazing.

And his enthusiasm, that’s just like with you, you have a more professional sort of, right? Like you need your eyesight for your work and just his enthusiasm for getting back to you’re going to surf and see clearly with no men’s stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I did actually go in for a swim. I ordered a minus 1.25, both eyes, just for a swim in the sea.

There was no swell and a, that bizarrely was. Really good. Almost better than the minus 1.75. So it was wearing at the time and it was a slight difference. But when you come down to, to these diopters, there was a meant to be that great difference and acuity. So, yeah, no, and that’s an interesting, I, I often say this.

Or I don’t know how to say, but yeah, I often mean to talk about this, that, especially when you’re in that kind of the environment where you’re comfortable right there, you’re not in a familiar place, you know what you’re doing and you’re doing that like that minus 1.75 to minus 1.25. Good lighting. Right?

You’re you’re enough comfortable, good scenario sometimes surprisingly, well, how that works. And sometimes it’s really a great step for this last, the range to get, to start it off there. And then you start needing them less than once. Yeah. I’m, I’m of cutting a bit at the house with my, with this kind of scenario and, you know, most days in the house I’m, I’m fighting like that, you know?

So it’s good. We’re kind of getting there. I’m excited to say excited, but almost kind of slightly reticent just to go, okay. This, this would do as well, you know? Yeah. So I’m, I’m in no hurry. And I, I remember that feeling. When did you start wearing glasses? Probably when I was about 15, 16, when I just come back from South Africa, which was obviously a good light.

and then when I moved over here, I used to play a lot of. Soccer football. And I started to realize that, you know, I’m having to see this blurry thing come out of the distance, the football, and then suddenly it’s on me, nice to recognize players or teammates, not just by the strip, but how they, they ran and, you know, general body shapes.

We start to adapt these things like, okay. Maybe my, my version is not great. Yeah. So when I came back to Scotland, 16 years old, I mentioned to my dad who wears glasses okay. Contained to the oppositions. And that was the start of it. It’s going to be weird. I’m telling you, it’s going to be weird because if you’ve been wearing glasses for that long, I still like I’m in my mid forties.

Now there’s moments where I still go crap. I forgot my glasses. Like still, it’s like a Phantom, the opposite of a Phantom limb thing. I guess you just go, wait, I don’t need them. Right. Like if I spent too many hours staring at charts and screens and stuff and it’s raining outside and I go outside, my vision is blurry and I, that that’s my first instinct.

yeah. Yeah. These are it’s bizarre and equally liberating to just standing in the rain, you know, little things like that. And just, there was nothing to that’s. The big thing I kind of get sick of. I was, I was a bike courier for years and wearing glasses and Glasgow and New York and stuff. and when it’s raining and you’re, you’re, you’re like see, seeing through a frost frosted window and it’s just, you know, you would deal with it.

But it’s just annoying that I know. And it’s, and it’s interesting too, because I think there’s a, there’s a strange, it doesn’t fit together with your personality type or with a lot of people’s personality types while you’re not a quote unquote, the kind of person who would be because you’re interacting with your environment differently.

Right? Like once you’re in that, because now you’ve got to clean these things off and I can’t see, and you’re squinting and blinking at things, and that’s not you as a self expression. No. Yeah, I get that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Excuse me. That’s great. Need to get rid of I’m really, I’m excited for you because I think this is a fantastic point that you’re at, and I’m always excited.

Like if you watch the Joey thing, you know, people that are into sports because there’s such an incredibly satisfying thing about not wearing this. Prosthetic sort of thing that you need to, to enjoy yourself. Yeah. Yep, absolutely. What about Jake? You have to let me know. Please do. Yeah, I will do. What about differential and normalized?

Did you stagger that approach? How did you go about the general? I did. I didn’t. Can I go to differential first? But my first differentials were minus two on the right eye, plus one seven, five, same cylinder on my right. And then I might just, so it was a diopter drop from my normalized dial to dine. And initially that was quite a struggle.

I was like, Ooh, this is quite difficult on the computer. and eventually, yeah. Yeah. I’ve got you a decent distance. So normally I wouldn’t wear my glasses when I’m on the computer, right? Yeah. Yeah. What is that experience like? And that’s just me asking him because I feel I’m in this odd place where I’m communicating with via text on the internet.

Right. I’m just, I’m genuinely curious. What is that like? Did you question. The whole approach or were you more just. Expecting to have to go through this adjustment period. Yeah. I expect it to go through it because it was so well, documented by yourself, that you kind of had everything covered in maybe the too good, good a job.

you know, I didn’t have the joy of the self discovery, although the self discovery within that, Yeah, it was kinda, you covered it really well. So there’s no surprises. You had to give it time. This, obviously within that, you’re going to know this is, this is nonsense, this isn’t happening. am I doing the right thing initially?

It was trying to get the glasses realizing that I could get them online. no gray expense. So it was worth the worth, the gamble. So that’s what kind of sold it to take the step. but then the process of first couple of weeks. Okay. This isn’t great. This isn’t happening to, okay. This is suddenly improved.

And the steps initially were quite quick. Again, I think a lot of that was potentially overcorrection and then you get the excitement of seeing improvements and that self motivates, you know, like, okay, this could be real. Okay. So this salary spasms away now, potentially that’s what it is. My eyes are getting back to where they, where they should be.

if I overcorrection speaking of self discovery, I don’t know. Because I would have much preferred to have the assurance of some somebody going, okay, this is the correct way. Because when I started out, I had all the joys of self discovery and I didn’t truly enjoy them because there was nobody to go.

I’m not crazy. Right. There was a long period of time. I’m like, maybe I’m just too hard headed about this. Right? Like, cause I went from minus five to minus three. I didn’t have this concept of normalize and differential. It was just. I’m going to wear lower glasses. And I was spending a lot of time walking around, not seeing anything, self doubt.

Am I a lunatic a lot? And especially I would talk to Thomas for awhile. I was like, okay, this is what I’m doing. Yeah. Yeah. From the kind of science that you read. Sure. The science, there was plenty of science suggesting. This is what’s happening, right? Like this is why very clear. And then the optometrists were telling me that there’s nothing that can be done.

Right. Also deny the existence of this. So there was a strong suggestion that there was something going on here, but on the flip side of, can I reverse this as much murkier? Cause there’s a books out there and people who have various ideas, but there was nothing really that that initially worked for me.

So it was definitely dark. I have a comment. How did you find him a fucking, that was low carb type things, whether it was Rhonda, Patrick, or Joe Rogan’s or various other folk that you were reading about or listening to their, interviewees. Yeah. How did they get to know Dave Feldman as well? All the kind of LDLs and all that kind of thing.

They’re not just fat. We’re in a fascinating time with all this. It’s great. Yeah. Hey, I like citizen science and yeah, that’s all very good. It’s kind of blowing a lot of the dogma at the water. I language is great as well. And what if I’m, what was the Josh, the guy on a wire. Joey, Joey. Yeah. You mentioned Andrew Huberman.

Yeah. Kind, a lot of interesting things there to do with you and your, your advice and I’m potentially crossover with, the other. Site of vision improvement that you might be doing, like to discuss you like to run it against the, the plumbing guys and, and all the rest, but yeah. To do with sunlight and let you see, and going out for walks, that kind of metronomic aspect as well.

So a lot of interesting things within that. Yeah, and for sure. And I’m only renting because no, I encounter so much. It’s just, there’s really cool pieces and everything. It’s just, what’s being quote, unquote, promoted and sold online as an alternative just doesn’t work. And then people try that and it doesn’t work.

And then they, they go back to glasses. That’s the only reason I have nothing. Yeah, no, no, absolutely. Yeah. I appreciate it. And enjoy your rents. I just tone it back because. Sometimes it goes a little far. Yeah. You don’t want to get sued? No, I don’t want to get sued debates people. Won’t hopefully. So what is your forecast?

What do you think is left? So now, from now to maybe no glasses. Yeah. It’s a B minus one. By next year and I’ll be on the cusp of 50. so that would be nice to have that last diopter to play with in my 50th year, I can sit on a poorly beaten, well, sorry, four years wearing glasses. So that’d be really good.

And just the freedom to go in the water or go run in the rain and, and, my, I have to put these things on. Yeah. So yeah, for minus 1.5, Ashley just dropped yesterday. so that’s nice. four or five months it’s taken longer and I obviously centimeters is as much greater between each quarter to drop.

so yeah. Yeah. Minus 1.25, maybe early spring. for us January, February, March, maybe minus one late summer would be nice. I’m not gonna yeah. Presbyopia, no presbyopia symptoms. Right. it starts a boat when it was on my mind is fours reading with my glasses on was ridiculous. And that was another thing.

Or my specs were constantly in my head, whether it was looking for drug dates or, and all the rest. So I was constantly doing that. so now obviously I’m reading without glasses. so it’s never an issue and he kind of even even notice this last day off to drop, Looking at my watch or whatever.

It’s much easier with just that quarter diopter less. but any close up stuff, it’s specs on the head. Yeah. Which is good. Anyway, I just bring it up because interestingly, I haven’t run into anyone yet. Who’s made it. This close anyway, and never ended up with any, any presbyopia symptom that required lenses.

That’s another step. I mean, there last year, the opticians are trying to sell your bifocals or multifocals or whatever in the Senora here. You’re an ad. Was my ads a plus two. No, that cylinder. Yeah. Plus two and a plus one ad. Which thankfully I did, I didn’t bother with imagine wearing that with a gigantic amount of cylinder.

Right. So you’ve got the spherical ratio of the cylinder ratio. And on top of that, you have some multi-focal mess. Yeah. It would have just got messed up. and I was doing fine just going over. Thankfully, the glasses stay on my head. So why don’t I just put them, you know, I don’t want to have to be.

Looking at different angles to read and, you know, you kind of see folks doing it and talk in their head in a funny way. And you’re like, what are you doing? You know, it’s officially an old guy. Once you get to that point, I think as well and not necessary. And it does all kinds of weird things to your posture and how you just interact with your environment when you can only see things when you’re yeah.

Doing weird things there. They’re trying to resist trying to resist. Yeah. And we’re kind of in the same age group, we’re just, I think a couple of years apart maybe and yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think that’s also maybe a time, I don’t know, because you have a different professional background where we get more curious about health.

When you start getting up and feeling funny. Right. Yeah. Maybe I haven’t, maybe I won’t eat this sugary thing today, to be honest, that would be in my initial, it was my background. It was my first degree. It was kind of spore science, nutrition type related stuff. was a big passion early on. And then I kind of went haywire in between various jobs and loving up and.

Moving around and being a power, a beast, as much as I could be. and then they go from this semiprofessional state and ah, and sort of, it was kind of like re rejoining with something that you’re passionate about and interested. Back in the day. Yeah. That’s just been good. Yes. Lucky for you because I discovered all of this, again, completely off topic, but in my twenties, I had massive inflammation issues.

My neck would hurt for days on it debilitatingly. I would lay on the floor and just, just terrible stuff. And it turns out I cut out certain foods and all that’s gone. Yeah. Oh, I like that. I could have had decades of much more relaxing experiences. Had I known. Yeah. Yeah. That was a big thing for me. It was like, Oh, major change here.

I have new reconstruction. My ACL, my hands were getting a bit, yeah, broken, basic fists and various other things and all those aches and pains that we’re starting to get. Like you say, you’re getting up in the morning and you’re creaking those stairs and it takes you 15 minutes to warm up. that’s all kind of gone and almost forgetting about it now, which is great.

All right. So that was Al I hope you enjoyed this episode. I did. I’m never very good at these things. But I think it’s important to highlight individuals, experiences, meet different personalities, have firsthand sort of listening in on what people experienced to get yourself motivated and realize that this is not just possible, but entirely doable and will improve your life in so many ways.

A lot of people are not super motivated by this. A lot of people are like, yeah, well, I sight glasses are fine, but the shortsightedness being literal is also metaphorical. Right? The limits your life, your choices, your decisions, the way you see things in so many ways. Of course, I’m biased. I recommend you improve your eyesight.

I recommend that you subscribe to this podcast. I have more episodes already done that. Just need a little bit of editing that are equally super fascinating. Hopefully I’ll have your listening on the next one.


Formerly genetically defective. 🤓 Weaned off retail optometry lens subscriptions, now 20/20 eyesight. Also into BJJ, kitesurfing, paragliding, being stupid.

Topic:  3 Diopters

3 Diopters

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