Johnny’s Update(s): -4.75 TO -3.00 To -2.50 To -1.75

Johnny has been making excellent progress improving his eyesight. Starting off with fairly high myopia at -4.75, he since made his way down a whole three diopters (!) to a current -1.75. How’d he do […]

Jake Steiner

Jul 19,2015 · 4 min read

Johnny has been making excellent progress improving his eyesight.

Starting off with fairly high myopia at -4.75, he since made his way down a whole three diopters (!) to a current -1.75.

How’d he do it?

Let’s start with Johnny’s most recent update, posted today in the forum:

quotes-blueAlright everyone, it’s been a while, time to update.

Where to begin. Well things have been going well. I am down to just about -1.75. I managed to get down to -2.00 pretty quick this year and encountered a fair bit of double vision there, which if you have been reading my posts is a sticking point because it takes a while to resolve. Interestingly though my eyes were feeling strained after a week or so of wearing the -2.00 so I had to reduce to -1.75…almost as if my eyes ‘jumped’ through the -2.00. Anyway I have been wearing the -1.75 for maybe 2 and a bit months now and the double vision is resolving itself. A lot easier than when I got rid of my astigmatism but still slow and frustrating. It seems as though my eyes can adjust pretty quick to a reduction and I can have sharp double vision but my brain takes so much longer to sort it out which slows everything down.

Also I have said before but I will repeat here the double vision leaves me incredibly fatigued and exhausted. I know jake did a lot of studies about the impact of sugar on eyesight and I don’t doubt this effect. From what I understand the impact is insulin related and affects the lens. My experience has been that eating a lot (and I mean a lot) really helps me resolve double vision. I put this down to my brain using a lot of energy to sort out the two images. I mention it here because it hasn’t been mentioned in relation to the sugar stuff and sometimes if I don’t eat my vision is so much worse. 

Anyway I am really happy with my progress. I am just about 20/20 with the 1.75, it will probably need a few more weeks. Also my night vision has improved probably due to the length of time I have been wearing it. Still not great compared to day time but its positive that it has improved more rapidly than previous reductions. Not totally sure why but hey Im not complaining!

To recap it has been 18 months since I started my rehab and I have reduced my prescription from about -5.00 SPH -1.50 CYL to 1.75 SPH in both eyes. That is pretty good I think!

The biggest thing is my uncorrected vision is so so much better. I can read signs, and with a bit of blinking/pulling I can get everything to clear up and repeat this pretty consistently. Its pretty amazing to see things clear (even if momentarily) with no correction!

Where to from here? Keep wearing the -1.75 until my vision is consistently 20/20 then reduce. Realistically I think I will be able to get to -1.25 by year end. Maybe even just about -1.00 but I expect another round of double vision to slow everything down so I think -1.25 is a realistic aim at this stage given progress to date. Which of course means we are starting to get to the sharp end of things. I have contacts down to -0.75 and haven’t tried to get any weaker than this. I don’t know if there is any point…the lenses are already getting flimsy and -0.50 really isn’t much correction. But at the same time -0.75 is still a big jump to try and clear up in one go. It might not be as bad when I am there but I don’t know – keen to hear any advice/suggestions for that so I can plan ahead.

One last point – love the videos jake. I wouldn’t worry about the editing too much the quirky humour is a much more redeeming quality! They also add a more personal touch to the site. 

Johnny

Nice one, Johnny!

Here’s some more of the chronology of Johnny’s very detailed forum updates.  If you’re working on your own eyeballs, this might be good inspiration:

I thought I’d relate my experience of eyesight improvement as some may find it interesting/useful. First some background. I started wearing glasses about the age of 12, when a school nurse tested all the kids in our class and decided I needed glasses. From that day I hated being short sighted with a passion. I refused to wear them until my myopia progressed to the stage where I didnt have much of a choice. I have asked every single optometrist I have ever been to over the years if there was anything I could do to slow the progression of my myopia or reverse it. The answer was always no and faced with such a wall of opinion I largely accepted it. I studied very hard at school. Probably too hard and yes I am prepared to say I wrecked my own eyesight as a consequence. My prescription followed the usual progression pattern getting worse year after year until it peaked in 2006 at OD -5.00 -1.50 x 85 OS -5.50 -1.00 x 120. 90% of the time I wore contacts with the prescription -4.75 -0.75 x 90 in both eyes. Interestingly when I stopped studying (graduated from uni) my eyesight stopped getting worse. After uni, and up until 5 years ago I had a desk job, in an office behind 4 computer screens. I lived in a country with bad weather and rarely went outside. 5 years ago I decided I didnt like my job or my life very much and decided to change it. I moved to the tropics and started working outdoors. Note this is a very big change! In January this year before I found this site I went for an eye test. No change in my prescription but the optometrist found a retinal tear and referred me to an ophthalmologist. I had an operation to fix it but for a guy in his late 20s this was a somewhat sobering experience and it gave me new impetus to try and fix my eyesight to at least try and prevent any more retinal damage. I did a fair bit of googling and found this site. It was an absolute revelation. What Dr Alex was saying made sense and confirmed a lot of my hunches about vision over the years. I immediately started applying the principles. This was in mid February this year. I slightly adjusted some of the advice to fit my circumstances, namely that I have no need for a reduced prescription for close up work because I dont really do any anymore. Crucially I work outdoors year round in high UV levels and bright sunlight, staring into the distance as part of my job. At the time of writing (late july) I have made rapid progress from my -4.75 0.75 x 90 starting prescription in February (contact lens) to my current prescription of -3.00 0.75 x 90. That initial progress was very rapid and I was struggling to keep up with prescription reductions, reducing by 0.25 every time. However the step down from -3.25 to -3.00 has been pretty tough and it would seem that progress from here on will be slower. I have been wearing the -3.00 0.75 x 90 prescription for about 3 weeks now and my eyesight has improved over that time but is still not 20/20. I have a snellen and good reference points in the distance at work. Also I have noticed that while I might be able to get 20/20 in bright sunlight during the day with a particular prescription, my night vision is not good, however it does improve with time albeit slowly. I am lucky with my current circumstances and I think that reflects in my rapid initial progress. For those struggling with improvements maybe some holidays in sunny places would help. I am still ‘learning as I go’ and I will be interested to see if my progress increases again as the UV index here rises as we head toward the wet season. I will update here with my future progress – I plan to stick with my 0.25 diopter reductions and am very much looking forward to ditching the astigmatism correction around -2.50. Finally I want to say a big thank you to Alex for the time he puts into this site and for starting it in the first place! Good luck everyone! Johnny
Hi Everyone I thought I would post a quick update here on my progress. It is about 8 months since I started out. When I last wrote I had made rapid initial progress from a peak prescription of OD -5.00 -1.50 x 85 OS -5.50 -1.00 x 120 in spectacles and -4.75 -0.75 x 90 in contacts to -3.25 – 0.75 x 90 in contacts. This had taken approximately 5 months and was largely the result of my lifestyle – working outdoors in the tropics doing a job that requires focusing into the distance. Ideal conditions for eyesight improvement. I also wrote that my last reduction in prescription (from -3.25 -0.75 x 90 to -3.00 -0.75 x 90 ) I found very tough, certainly a lot tougher than every reduction that had preceded it (reducing by 0.25 SPH each time). Well as I discovered this difficulty was due to the way the SPH and the CYL in my prescription were interacting with each other to change the focal plane in my eye. I discovered this after toughing out the -3.00 -0.75 x 90 and stepping down to -2.75 -0.75 x 90. It was even worse! I was getting severe headaches and bloodshot eyes. Turns out that because I reduced the SPH so much (by -2.00 diopters) the CYL was now relatively way too strong. I just didn’t need all that astigmatism correction. I wish I knew that when I first tried the -3.00 -0.75 x 90! Seriously it was hideous, the headaches and strain on my eyes was unbearable. Luckily I had ordered ahead and had a box of -2.50 contacts hanging around. No CYL power. Now I really should have kept the SPH constant and reduced the CYL power progressively to wean my eyes off the astigmatism correction but I didn’t have these lenses available and I needed to get rid of that CYL. I mean really needed to do it, the tension on my eyes was hideous. So I just used the -2.50. The experience was very much like that described by another participant on here – instant relief…my eyes felt so much better from not having all that astigmatism correction. My night vision was also a lot better, hard to describe but particularly streetlights etc. had less halo/streaking, again caused by prescription over-complication and too much correction. However taking off this much correction at once introduced me to a whole new sensation that has also been documented on this forum….pretty severe double vision. Looking back, I had worn astigmatism correction pretty much since I first got glasses (20 years ago). I guess I should have known removing ALL the astigmatism correction from my prescription in one go (plus 0.25 of SPH) was going to radically alter the information going to my brain and require a period of time to adjust. Without doubt I have found this to be way more challenging than active focus (largely because you cant really do that much to eliminate it – you just have to wait). I have read extensively on this site and elsewhere (god bless the internet) and generally consensus seems to be that it takes your brain about 6-8 weeks to start filtering the information to fuse a single image. I have been doing some high contrast exercises to try and encourage this process along (at sunset) and after having worn the -2.50 for 6 weeks now, my brain finally seems to be doing this. My vision isn’t perfect, but it isn’t a million miles away either, and has noticeably improved over the 6 weeks. I am very excited (and keen – it gets annoying seeing two of everything after a while) for my brain to completely reconcile the -2.50. I will probably keep my prescription at -2.50 way past this point just to give my poor brain and eyes a bit of a break – I’ve put them both through a huge number of adjustments over the past 8 months. From peak prescription in January of this year (last eye test) to October I have reduced my prescription by -3.00 SPH and -1.50 CYL. That is absolutely massive and way in excess of what I ever thought possible in such a short space of time when I started out. I’ll update again probably in feb 2015 when it will be one year since I started. Very keen now to get down to around -1.50 so I have a high degree of functionality without correction. Probably the most exciting thing to watch is my snellen slowly coming out of the blur – I check it each morning and the changes are subtle but definitely noticeable. I hope people on here find my experience interesting/informative and a bit of a ‘guide’ as to what to expect, albeit probably with a different timeframe. I stress again I pretty much live outside in bright sunlight and I don’t think this factor should be disregarded in pursuing your own improvements. cheers Johnny
Hi everyone Time for an update! There’s been a lot going on so this might be a long post… Its been an interesting (and tough!) couple of months. I have again learnt a lot and I hope in sharing my experiences with you here it might inform you in improving your own eyesight. where to start. Firstly it’s probably worth saying that I think I took too much correction off my prescription last time. This wasn’t particularly intentional as I just didn’t have the lenses to hand I needed as I didn’t anticipate the astigmatism overcorrection that I would get and the resultant eye strain from my initial SPH reductions. I think when discussing astigmatism reductions the advice here is very prescient https://endmyopia.org/test-need-astigmatism-correction-normalized-prescriptions. A big focal plane change is a lot for your brain to process. Having said that I did wear the -2.50 for about 3 months and I did make noticeable improvement, albeit slowly. There was a lot going on especially with the double vision and it took my brain a while to sort it all out. I had some days when I could see close to 20/20 with little double vision but others I was left 20/40 or worse and a lot of double vision. It did leave me, at times, VERY fatigued – a bit too much stress on my brain I think. But throughout the 3 months the snellen results did get noticeably better. It is worth mentioning here that double vision has been very challenging. It has taken me a while to learn how to adapt and eliminate the double vision. It is totally different to active focus. Due to personal reasons (travelling etc….) I needed to see 20/20 consistently so I stepped my prescription back up to -3.00 (again no CYL) about a 2 months ago and could see 20/15 with it fairly easily with a much reduced double vision that was noticeably easier to reconcile. Also my night vision was very good which was a pleasant surprise. All that focus pulling with the -2.50 must have made a difference. After 2 weeks I stepped down to -2.75 as I was getting eye strain and not that much double vision anymore. With the -2.75 the double vision was worse but not as bad as with the -2.50. I worked on reconciling the double vision along with a bit of focus pulling (cm results indicated I was about -2.85ish) and I finally started seeing some real improvements with the -2.75. It has taken a lot of work over the past few months, changing prescriptions, experimenting with how to get rid of the 2 images but it seems that my brain is finally starting to consistently do it. Less effort is required now to combine the images and everything is generally clearer. Alex’s advice that the images must combine in your brain, and that you have to stare at the images for this to happen is in practice a bit trickier to consistently do. It can be very frustrating, especially when I first started. I just couldn’t get the images to line up. Over time however after a lot of practice and work this has gotten easier. Stepping my prescription back up undoubtedly helped as well. The process I generally use is this: go outside, find something with high contrast. lampposts are good for this against the sky. Pull focus. blink. wait till the two images are sharp then stare and try not to blink. keep staring. after staring for a while things go a little hazy. blink a few times and the images should be aligned. This might not last for long but consistently doing it over time will result in less and less effort being required and the images combining for longer and longer periods. Also one of the 2 images gradually gets stronger over time and the other more faint. I am not completely there yet, but I am close. It is very exciting to notice your vision improving week by week. I have ordered another 6 weeks of -2.75 lenses and I think I should be ready for a step down at the end (fingers crossed, progress has been good recently). It will be interesting to see if I will have to go through this process again at -2.50 and subsequent reductions. I hope not, but guess I will find out. So to summarise…did I take off a bit too much correction…yes. I didn’t plan it that way though, and if anything I think this shows the benefit of buying a few prescription options ahead. (FYI I have been buying my contact lenses from a place in Portugal. They ship internationally without prescription and will supply bulk purchases (multiple powers). I also remember looking at a few sites in the UK that would ship without prescriptions too.) Like I have said I am learning as I go, and hopefully this will better inform your own choices. While I admit to have been getting a bit frustrated with the double vision I have to keep in mind I have pretty much halved my prescription strength in the space of a year. It has been very exciting for me to start getting clear 20/20 with the -2.75. I am very excited and motivated for 2015…My aim is to get below -2.00. Hopefully that is on the conservative side but it will be a huge milestone. I hope everyone is making progress and sets some good goals for 2015. Lots of ideas to take up new hobbies outdoors, extended holidays in sunny places…. cheers Johnny
Quick update! Just to let you all know (or whoever is following this) that I have stepped down to -2.50 about a month ahead of expectations. This was because one of my work colleagues pointed out to me I had a bloodshot eye. Now this isn’t unusual for me as I spend a lot of time in saltwater (I surf, swim, kayak etc etc…) but this particular day I hadn’t been in the water. My vision had been going good and I had kept my prescription constant for months. Double vision was vastly reduced and almost gone. Thinking about it my eye did feel a bit strained….so I tried wearing a -2.50 lens. Amazingly things weren’t that blurred. This surprised me. Now a few days later I am seeing consistently 20/20 with a little bit of double vision but certainly nothing like my previous attempt at -2.50. Stoked. I’m just about upto a year since I started rehab and couldn’t be happier. My aim of getting below -2.00 this year is well within grasp and I can’t wait to get there. I noticed last week my uncorrected vision was actually not that bad. I could read signs in the distant with a bit of pulling and squinting and everything was clearer. Bright lights are also a lot more vivid especially at night. Very excited. A few other things that might interest you:- – I have been drinking 100% carrot juice 2-3 times a day and have noticed a definite difference. Progress seems to be a bit quicker and my vision is undoubtedly more ‘workable’. – Throughout this entire rehab process I have had crazy vivid dreams. They are quite fun, at times disturbing. Presumably this is because I am stimulating my visual cortex. – My eyes are changing colour! At first I dismissed it but no way they have definitely changed. I used to have deep brown dark eyes now they are blue/green round the outside of the iris with a brown star round the pupil. I am not making this up. People have noticed and commented on my ‘striking’ eye colour. Has anyone else experienced this? While I am motivated for further improvements this year I do realise things will start to slow…I have read about other people’s experiences and Alex’s advice on this forum. Progressive myopia equates an exponential function and rehabilitation travels down this in reverse. Maybe Alex can do a blog post on this as it will help people to ‘visualise’ their myopia better? Anyway I am off for now. Heading to the UK in a week for a bit of winter (yes endless sunshine and heat does get boring…). I’ll update through this year when there is something of interest! Stay strong everyone it isn’t easy but you will get there! Johnny

 

I may have missed a few there.  You can always go back to Johnny’s post, click his name, and see all of his other posts that way. (if you have forum access)

All the joking and optometrist making-fun-of, and silly videos aside, this is what it’s all about.  Applying serious vision science in a meaningful way, consistently, measuring results, reducing prescriptions, making progress.

Bravo to Johnny and all of the other participants who take the time to chronicle their experiences in the forum.  

Cheers,

– Jake

WRITTEN BY

Jake Steiner

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

Topic:  4 Diopters

4 Diopters

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