Defined: Flashes of Clear Vision

If you have been working on improving your vision for some time, you likely have experienced clear flashes: Moments where your vision suddenly clears up, and everything appears unusually sharp and crisp. You will find […]

Jake Steiner

Jan 03,2014 · 2 min read

If you have been working on improving your vision for some time, you likely have experienced clear flashes:

Moments where your vision suddenly clears up, and everything appears unusually sharp and crisp.

You will find references to this phenomenon frequently in forum posts, and some of the progress reports also mention their experience of clear flashes.

These moments of clarity begin to happen once strain is reduced, prescriptions are adjusted, and you have been working on active focus for a while.  They tend to happen when you are pushing or pulling focus, and persist until you blink your eyes, and eventually longer periods.

The question that comes up often, is:  

Just What Causes These Clear Flashes?

First, here is what they are not – you are not suddenly or miraculously recovering from myopia.

If you happen to be new to the site, it is unlikely that you have experienced much of anything other than blur, when you take off your glasses.  Since this is a rehabilitation site, rather than a myopia miracle cure, these recovery symptoms come with time and effort on your part.

Let’s look a the symptom and cause:

Clear flashes tend to happen when you have almost reached the next level of improved vision.

blurdoublevisionclear

Blur to Clear Flashes – The Progression

You are using your lowered prescription, you are pushing / pulling focus at your blur horizon, and suddenly, everything around you is clear, for a few moments.  You notice this very intermittently at first, but as you get better distance with your reduced prescription, the flashes happen more frequently, and tend to persist longer.

And the reason for this is not some spontaneous change in your eyes.  Axial and ciliary myopia take time to resolve, and most of your improvement experiences tend to be very, very gradual.

Gradual, except for the clear flashes.

While these will seem very encouraging, miraculous even, the explanation is fairly simple:

Clear flashes are not a product of sudden resolution of ciliary or axial myopia.  Instead, clear flashes happen when a double vision image is resolved (by your brain, in the visual cortex), into a single, clear image.

In other words:

When your surroundings are actually blurred, you will not experience clear flashes.

Rather, when what appears to be blur, is actually multiple clear images, not aligned as a single image, become aligned – which is accomplished in your brain, rather than in your eyes.  You did all the ground work to reduce strain, cause positive stimulus, reduce focusing muscle spasm, maybe even reversed some axial elongation.  Now you are almost there, except that the improvements in your two eyes rarely ever happen precisely synchronized.

So, when you reduce that ciliary (focusing muscle) spasm, it will not happen identically, at the same time, in both eyes.  

When axial elongation reverses, it rarely happens at the exact same rate, in both eyes.

Your eyes are two separate biological constructs, and as such they are never perfectly even.  You know this, by the fact that likely your prescription is not the same, for both eyes.  You know what happens though, to compensate for this biological imperfection?

Your brain (visual cortex) compensates for imbalances between your two eyes.

This is something you can check for yourself, no leap of faith for Alex required.  Here is how:

Measure your eyes, using the myopia calculator.

Of course you will find some small difference between the distance you get with your left, and your right eye.  So if your brain would not compensate, what would happen?  

You would get two images, one weaker, one stronger.  Since that is what your eyes are sending as signal.

When you look with just the left, or just the right eye, you get different distance results.  But when you use both eyes?  Suddenly the result is whatever your better eye produced alone, or even better than that (especially on the Snellen chart).  And it isn’t just your brain taking out the weaker eye results – otherwise you would have no depth perception.  Instead, your visual cortex combines the data sent by your eyes, and interprets it, into the best possible vision for you.

This happens in fractions of a second, without you even noticing.

And this is, because your brain already has an expectation, knowing full well the differences between your eyes.  Basically, the brain is already set up to compensate for the small biological differences between your left and right eye.

But then, what happens when you improve your eyesight?

Now suddenly, these differences are no longer the same as they used to be.  And your brain, does not know how to compensate for this change.  

Incidentally, this is why you frequently see me talk about the hazards of prescription complexity, and why we want the simplest glasses prescription possible – complexity causes your brain to adjust for artificial focal plane induced (ie. your glasses) change.  The more artificial change, the poorer your vision is without glasses, and the more your dependency on glasses increases.

And the result?

Double vision.  Read up on double vision vs. blur, if this is not yet a familiar topic.

This is a bit of an advanced subject in the Vision Improvement Course (60s installments), which cover double vision, and these clear flashes, in some details.

double-vision

Double vision image.

So once you recognize double vision, you start having clear flashes, when your brain is adjusting to the changes in your eyes created by your improved strain reduction habits, less complex prescriptions, and lowered prescription strength.  

Here of course it is important to practice the contents of the 60s installments of the Vision Improvement Course.  

And of course, until enough positive changes has happened on the eye level, none of this is relevant.  Since first, you start out with simply a blurred image:

Simple blur.

Simple blur.

Once you have blur resolved, by your rehabilitative efforts, into a double vision image, your brain can now work to align these images for a clear image.

A clear flash.

A clear flash.

Your brain needs time to change what it expects as incoming signal from your eyes – and the more you expose and encourage double vision to clear, the more persistently you experience the clear flashes.  And on the reverse side, if you do not do this, your brain will continue to look for the previous signal, which can very easily lead to loosing your progress, if you are not insistent about cultivating your double vision, and clear flashes experiences.

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I do hope that this explanation is helpful for you.  I intend the blog to be a mix of content for casual readers, as well as additional content for program participants (thank you for your support!).

With this resources, you should have ongoing encouragement, insights, tips, and entertainment along the way, while you work to improve your eyesight.

Enjoy!

alex cures myopia

WRITTEN BY

Jake Steiner

Investor, adventure hunter. BJJ, kite surf, wing foil, paraglide. Off-grid living survivor. Also former myope.

Topic:  Myopia