Getting Stronger: Discussion Forum

Discussion Topics => Rehabilitation => Topic started by: jimboston on June 18, 2014, 12:08:20 AM

Title: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: jimboston on June 18, 2014, 12:08:20 AM
Big thanks to Todd Becker and everyone on the forums for their contributions.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: jansen on June 18, 2014, 10:06:50 AM
I've worked with both PVS for quite some time now. I can safely say that your concerns about PVS are correct (False clear flashes), they do happen when you begin to tear from doing the contraction. According to David, there shouldn't be any tears when CRB is done correctly, (He even insists that you don't need the contraction phase once you learn to relax).

From what I understand, without the contraction phase of CRB, the two methods align somewhat, being that PVS emphasizes the training of the ocular muscles. I do find the fusion exercise useful in PVS (rotating head, fixing at a point).
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 18, 2014, 10:26:27 AM
I'm doing PVS for more than 6 months (the heavy program). I broke my -1D plateau and achieved 20/20 with -0.75D on only when I gave up Bates exercises (not the theory) and 1-2 months of having started PVS.

In the rotation while fixing at a steady point of PVS, I got used not to get dizzy and do the exercise more easily but I have made not a centimeter improvement in fusing the two pictures and I don't believe others can do it. It is just natural I believe for the brain not to fuse the two picture at the extreme edges of movement of the eyeballs. Wearing glasses truly limits the range of movement of the eyeballs as the book described and this helps.

With CBR maybe only the cornea reshapes temporarily so it is not too important. Also after six months of  doing the heavy program CBR did not convert to BR as described in the book.

It is important to notice that with the extra focus on the extraocular muscles many people in PVS forum report high rate of improvement but only if they are in high or medium myopia.

With scientific intuition if stess at near can cause myopia then stress at far might cause hyperopia and I believe active focus can be described as stress at far. Active focus also doesn't dissapear (lose the clear flash) when blinking which could lead to resetting the cornea if it was like CBR, so it has to do with the ciliary muscles,  zonular fibers and lens system and indirectly maybe the eyeball.

In two weeks if I confirm 20/20 from 20/25 with -0,5D on, after one month of doing active focus then definitely active focus and plus lenses are the two most important rehab methods for me.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: jansen on June 19, 2014, 09:29:49 AM
Currently, I combine the "wait-and-see" method with the relaxation and blinking way. I too have experienced fatigue with the contraction phase of CRB. Its even worse when you start applying the contraction everywhere you go to clear the blur around you during the day, it causes your eyes to feel even more tired.

I've noticed that putting my computer monitor at a distance and playing around with the text size is a good way to proceed with the exercise. I have not been able to see positive results while using plus lens, due to the potential accommodation required by the eyes
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 19, 2014, 09:43:29 AM
Wonder what has given you the most focus control (i.e. active focus) in your experiments.

In the beginning I thought active focus was the fact that after about 10sec of looking far at the Snellen chart it would become more clear but if I was already looking far then this would not happen because of having quite good far adaptation already.

But active focus has more drastic acuity change and I managed to do it after Sam (CapitalPrince) described it. The first time I didn't manage to do it and achieved it another day. Even later when one day I didn't use plus lenses for some hours of close looking at a movie the I didn't succeed doing active focus. To achieve it is like mild strain for 10-15 minutes trying to clear and focus the line you are just unable to see. I stare but move a little my eyes also to read many times the letters one by one and trying to clear the more easy first, like letter O. Sometimes I look at a bigger line too to see it clearly. So plus lenses and other exercises might help achieve active focus. The other days I had more visual acuity and somehow I was able to focus easily far to the point I wasn't able before but not as much clearly as doing active focus, but somehow this showed the way for the eyes. Sam's father achieved 20/20 mainly by active focus and sports involving looking far.

If we look with both eyes we have better visual acuity than from our best eye only and I believe with PVS (especially the rotation fixing at a steady point) hase improved my vision when looking with both eyes.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: chris1213 on June 19, 2014, 02:29:03 PM
When I first read Todd's article I asked if there was a book that could supply more details on the "plus lens method" and Todd told me about David de Angelis' book "The Secret of Perfect Vision."

When I first started the ocular rotation 'exercise' that de Angelis mentions where u fix at one point (usually in ur face) in front of the mirror and then rotate your face at the furthest sides (up, down, lateral and corner sides) keeping the image fused I had a lot of sides in which the image was hard to fuse and it appeared double. After days and weeks of doing the exercise I, or more specifically, my brain managed to fuse the images. However, I'm not sure if it was because of the rotation exercises or just my eyesight improving from the plus lenses that helped me fuse the images.

Besides that, in my opinion the problem with the CBR movements (which I do sometimes) is that I feel like my eyes get fatigued and dried faster which prevents me from keep working with plus lenses. What I noticed with CRB too is that I confused it with active focus. Since when I opened my eyes widely I felt like I had some control over them, I thought I was controlling my ciliary muscle but in fact when I saw my eyes in front of a mirror while opening my eyes widely it was my eyelid that kind of shook which gave me the feeling that I was using my ciliary. Also, trying to do CBR movements with far objects first made me look kind of dumb ha and it didn't clear anything really (maybe I got clear flashes which I was not really able to keep for long).

Now, I think 'active focus' is better. First, I've read most success stories from people achieving it. Todd waited for the image to clear (thus, I guess he somehow used active focus without knowing it was called like that), Sam's dad used it with the Snellen, people from the Frauenfeld website and those who I've read about online all report to have waited for the image to clear and then with time kept pushing the image away which lead to their eyesight improvement.

Another thing that has helped me a lot for the past months is wearing a reduced prescription. At the beginning of the "journey" I just took off my contact lenses and never wore them again, all I used were glasses to drive. Living in the blur really doesn't bring any benefits, slows down the improvements, leads to depression because the brain doesn't receive a clear image  (which happened to me) and is not worth it for everyday life. So now I started using a lower prescription, as recommended by Alex, which let's me do active focus with far objects so I can keep working on my eyesight even when I'm not in front of the computer and I got rid of the depression I felt from the blurred day to day life I was living in.

My 2 cents here, I like this discussion.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: chris1213 on June 20, 2014, 01:19:34 AM
Hi again,

Quote
Chris, do you think blinking/opening the eyelids contribute in any way to controlling focus or is "eyelid work" just an unnecessary crutch?

I think opening the eyelids and blinking contributes to active focus or controlling the ciliary but is not active focus and should not be confused with it because you're not really using the ciliary muscle, but the eyelids. In my opinion, an easier way for a myope to discover active focus is if you just look at a far object with one eye and put one finger close to that eye. After seeing at far look back to your finger and it may not be in focus so you kind of have to use the ciliary muscle to bring it into focus. This way is kind of easy to discover because myopes can see fine at short distances. If you don't understand what I mean dismiss what I said, but if you understand it then you should test it and see for yourself (no pun intended).

Quote
ould you guys please describe for the forum exactly how you attain increased focusing range step by step (e.g. 1,2,3..) and what your strategy is for carrying the effect over to daily life?

There's more to this than I can share in a post but here's a brief explanation of key steps that have helped me:

1. I made sure I perceived the difference between blur and double image (something I learned from the Frauenfeld method)
2. If what I see is blur then I just back up from the image in the screen, while wearing a plus, and when I detect a reasonable amount of blur I stare at the screen and wait till it clears.
3. For step number two, I do it for at least an hour before taking a break because I thinks that a good amount of time for results.
4. After using the plus (as of right now a +2) with active focus for 3 hours a day (divided into three 1 hour sessions or two 1 and half hour sessions) I either wear a +1 without active focus and taking breaks every 20 minutes or don't wear the plus and just stay as far as I can from my screen.

5. Now, I learned from Dr. Alex that if what I see doesn't seem like blur but more like a slight double image then the image's clearness has nothing to do with active focus but more with the brain (or the 'psychological' part of vision)
6. Double images have to be 'resolved' in the brain so I just have to look for a large text (about 18 points) and stare at it without blinking (but without straining) as long as I can until it resolves.
7. Slowly the double image starts to resolve and I try to keep it like that.
8. It's kind of similar to what Sam's dad did when starring at the Snellen, waiting for it to clear and then "holding" the clear image as long as he could.

Blur and double image comparison has even been mentioned by Todd, in his article, when he mentions looking at sharp edges or lines and focus on the clearer image from the double images once vision has improved.

I learned a lot of things from Todd, in the book of David de Angeles, and in Alex Frauenfeld's website but I had so much theory and not much practice so here's my key to success (that I've just barely started applying):

Whatever you do, if you do it persistently and consistently will bring change so focus more on doing little things that you can apply each day instead doing a lot of things just occasionally

I was doing so many things at the same time and tried to gather as much information as I could about vision improvement that it was hard for me to stick to a method and thus I gave up faster. Now, I do a few things but I do them consistently so I've seen much improvement. It's more about habits than about exercises, because it's about keeping our good vision not only about improving it everyday.

Tl;dr?
HABITS ARE KEY - EXERCISES ARE JUST A TOOL.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: OtisBrown on June 20, 2014, 04:07:25 AM
Hi Chris and Jim,

Subject:  Finding your own "stile", and then stick with it.

Chris> Whatever you do, if you do it persistently and consistently will bring change so focus more on doing little things that you can apply each day instead doing a lot of things just occasionally.  I was doing so many things at the same time and tried to gather as much information as I could about vision improvement that it was hard for me to stick to a method and thus I gave up faster. Now, I do a few things but I do them consistently so I've seen much improvement. It's more about habits than about exercises, because it's about keeping our good vision not only about improving it everyday.

++++++

Chris is right.  There are only two methods of "prevention".  The so-called, "exercise" of Dr. Bates, and the "preventive" method of wearing a plus for near (assuming self-checked Snellen of 20/40 to 20/60).

Both methods have their proponents.  But both methods are "not medical", since they argue that you must develop the knowledge, wisdom and persistence, to make them effective for yourself.

It is hard, when you are buried under an avalanche of information, to sort though these methods.  You have to select one or two.

Probably it takes a man of strong resolve, like Todd, to do it.  Everyone else gets "distracted".

But I appreciate that all of us, working together, can achieve results.  But the result, must be (in my opinion) personally verifying the 20/40 line on your own Snellen.  You do not have to look as your Snellen all the time - far from it.  But you must have a reasonable goal that you can achieve - yourself.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 20, 2014, 04:19:15 AM
@ jimboston

D2 is mainly used in this forum for short distance viewing. I didn't distinguish active focus at far and short because I was influenced and believed the analysis of De Angelis "why bother so much focusing at the blur zone at far when you need whole steps to manage the blur zone when you can use plus lenses with only small movements of the neck" and I've replied that to Sam. But in practice I don't believe that any more and Sam is right. Dr Alex says if you search my older posts that
Quote
you can do endless hours of pushing focus (up-close focus work), and not see anywhere near the results that someone just having no close-up strain and doing a bit of focus pulling (working on focus at a distance) will get.  Close-up strategies are all about strain prevention, and distance is all about positive stimulus.  While you can improve with just close-up, it is a lot more work to get the same results.

Active focus is not just adapting at far at the blur zone in few seconds but in at least 5-10 minutes trying to clear the same line at the blur zone. Sam's father performed it with more more strain and holding the clear image even when tears came. I quit in a few minutes of clear vision and not have tears. The effect is so strong I can clear 1-2 lines in the Snellen chart and almost all the double image. Dr Alex gives a good picture with the digital clock that shows how strong it is.

Tom described it as hyperopization, so what better treatment for myopia than avoiding myopia causes (near stress) with plus and provoking the causes of hyperopia (stress at far). I believe this works because I did it in practice. I feel I'm 20/20 now with -0.5D on and maybe I should check on Snellen some days earlier to confirm. With active focus I believe we can consciously train the lens to flatten at its extreme edge so this must give good permanent results as constant contraction and the lens being convex gives pseudomyopia and myopia. It gives results in practice while CBR not much. You can also search in Dr Alex's site about "double vision" and he suggests active focus or just focusing consiously at far and seeing this double image and with days the brain will do it's trick...

http://frauenfeldclinic.com/double-vision-awareness-practice/ (http://frauenfeldclinic.com/double-vision-awareness-practice/)

https://frauenfeldclinic.com/myopia-forums/topic/double-vision/ (https://frauenfeldclinic.com/myopia-forums/topic/double-vision/)

https://frauenfeldclinic.com/reminder-tip-recognize-double-vision/ (https://frauenfeldclinic.com/reminder-tip-recognize-double-vision/)

"To jansen, Alex, chris and everyone who has tried focusing at the blur point, would you guys please describe for the forum exactly how you attain increased focusing range step by step (e.g. 1,2,3..) and what your strategy is for carrying the effect over to daily life?"

https://frauenfeldclinic.com/how-to-improve-night-vision-advanced-topic/ (https://frauenfeldclinic.com/how-to-improve-night-vision-advanced-topic/)
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: chris1213 on June 20, 2014, 08:42:28 AM
Jimboston,

- You are correct about the way you summarized clearing the blur.

Quote
Now, that feels so Zen, and is so confusing to me. Isn't resolving blur the whole purpose of actively focusing? If active focus is not resolving blur, then how do you define it?

So I had subscribed to Alex Frauenfeld's web program in which he has about 65 installments about improving vision and each installment unlocks every day for 5 days each week. He explains many things in them, from the effects of alcohol on vision to tricks of how to gain more improvements and then to more advanced topics in the last installments for people who stick to the program until there.

On installment 61 he explains double vision which happens when you have gained improvements with your eyes but your brain has not completely learned to process the 'new' information. There's a difference between blur and double images and Alex explains a part about the installment here https://frauenfeldclinic.com/reminder-tip-recognize-double-vision/ (https://frauenfeldclinic.com/reminder-tip-recognize-double-vision/). So, again, double images have nothing to do with your eyes or ciliary, they have to do with how your brain processes the image.

However, to avoid confusing you let me tell you: by starring at the screen and letting your eyes (or in this case, your brain) clear the image, you can resolve both blur and double images so don't worry, it just takes time.

---
Besides that, I think it's good to check Frauenfeld's website: www.frauenfeldclinic.com (http://www.frauenfeldclinic.com). Is not really necessesary to subscribe to the program. By reading his blog articles one can learn a lot about vision.

--
On a side note:

For anybody barely starting to improve their vision who is above -1.5 I would recommend Frauenfeld's program. I was at about -2 to -2.5 when I started using the plus and completely disregarded my contacts. After a year and a half I feel I should've gained more improvements but I was stubborn to want everything fast. I went through a lot of stress and blurry days and honestly there are many things I learned but didn't want to follow because I thought that just by wearing plus lenses it was more than enough. Wrong, there's more to vision than just shortening the eye. There's periphery vision which is good and important, plateaus that we should know how to reduce, astigmatism one should deal with (reducing it a little bit) and even what I mention about knowing the difference between blur and double image is a useful tool.

I know it sounds like propaganda but no joke blurry days are not worth vision improvement unless you are at less than -1 where things are almost clear and it's fine. I started getting depressed after a year of just having thrown my contacts away, i missed looking at a clear world and to some extent I even felt I forgot how it looked but when I read Frauenfeld's post about myopia and depression it made sense to me and that's why I've shared it a couple times before (http://frauenfeldclinic.com/myopia-and-depression/ (http://frauenfeldclinic.com/myopia-and-depression/)).

Tl;dr?
Whatever we choose to do let's enjoy it at least.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 20, 2014, 12:41:54 PM
@jimboston
I used to believe that a relaxed ciliary muscle in emmetropia is found when we look >=20feet but with practice I changed my mind. In the book Rebuild Your Vision by Sorensen I also found that in emmetropia when the ciliary muscle relaxes the eye focuses at 7 feet. So at distances further than 7f some other (than when near focusing) ciliary muscle's fibers might contract and push or pull through the ciliary zonule to flatten the inner lens in order to focus >=7f.

(0) I'm about -0,5D and I don't use glasses on active focus. Because of the above analysis and due to my room is not big (1)I put the Snellen chart at 2,4m. I try to clear line 15f which I see about 4 letters out of 8 and with double vision. (2) The first minutes I look at line 20f to get a positive clear stimulus and then at line 15f. When I achieve active focus I can even see half an more of 10f line. (3) Trying to achieve this I stare the letters one by one (in letter O for example I try to see slowly O and not OO) and when the line is clear I read the line more quickly. (4) Yes, in the beginning because I see the 0 double I try to clear it. The number 3 in the chart is very blur and not double for me in the same line but sometimes I also achieve to clear this first and not letter O.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: jansen on June 20, 2014, 04:23:30 PM
Yes, I actually strained my eyes a lot doing the plus lens pushing, mainly because I held the text to close to me. TomLu, a member of this forum states that it is best to read at least one meter away to avoid strain. My usual method of focusing involves placing the text at level 1 blurriness (at a distance), and then slowly pushing to level 2 and letting the text clear from there. I tried to focus at level 3, it is just too tiring, and I end up pushing back in to level 1 again.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 21, 2014, 12:29:31 PM
@jimboston
You described it very well about the blurriness. Truly line 10f is not even double it's blurry unrecognizable for me but with active focus it will clear almost all of the its letters.

Secondly I think reading at the blur zone D2 is wise for plus and the best we can do to avoid near stress and cause some myopic defocus but if you try to unify the much more blurriness of active focus in near work with plus I don't think there will be more benefits at near work.

Finally I hope you have already managed successfully active focus. It's not complicated, by practice it will come even if not with the first time.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Todd Becker on June 21, 2014, 12:48:58 PM
Jim,

Thanks for starting this excellent thread on the forum.  You did a nice job of encapsulating the various strategies advocated for myopia reduction.  I'd like to contribute a few comments and clarifications:

1. A factual correction:  I did not start at -3D.  Somehow Otis got that idea, but I pointed out the error as he later acknowledged.  My last prescription (before discovering Severson's method) was -1 OD / -1.75 OS, plus astigmatism correction.

2. "Wait & see" is a clever name, though potentially misleading.  While it is true that the method involves gradualism and relies on an "automatic" response of the eye to intentional defocus, the technique requires a degree of intention and attention that is anything but passive.   But I understand your point, so I have no problem with the nomenclature.

3. While print pushing works incrementally at the edge of blur (D2) at near distances, I increasingly think it is possible and desirable to also make progress by looking (staring?) well beyond D2.  The specific situation I have in mind occurs once myopia is reduced to the degree that one is able to resolve "far" double images that arise from monocular diplopia (sometimes called ghosting).  As I've posted and has been discussed throughout this forum, monocular double (or multiple) images typically manifest themselves where there are high contrast lines or edges -- such as tree branches, power lines, edges of buildings etc.  Typically one of the edges is relatively crisp and the other(s) are blurry.  I focus with intention on the crisper lines and edges and with time they become stronger.  In a way, this is precisely the same process as near focusing to resolve objects at the edge of blur (D2) into sharp focus.  The eye and mind are grasping on to focus and stimulating the eye, lens or retina to change.  (The exact physiology of this change is of course a matter of considerable debate).   I've also discussed this in a recent comment on the Rehabilitation page:
http://gettingstronger.org/rehabilitation/comment-page-1/#comment-229823

4. I think you've done a nice job of highlighting the pros and cons of the PVS technique.  The issue of fatigue is a reason for caution.

5.  While my personal progress was made mostly using both near focusing (both with and without plus lenses) and far viewing (with and without double image focusing), I've been impressed at the range of different techniques and strategies discussed and documented on this forum.  So it's clear that there are many routes to regaining clear vision and reducing or eliminating dependence on glasses.  And there are many competing plausible theories of how this works physiologically. I remain very open minded on all these matters.  I'm always learning from others.

The common denominator is a willingness to move away from the minus lens as a crutch and to use active intention to stimulate the eye to restore and rebuild the ability to focus across the full range of near to far.

What we need is to break through the dogmatic idea that myopia is genetic destiny, and that once you exhibit signs of myopia you can only restore normal vision by fitting your eyes with glasses or contact lenses, or resorting to laser surgery.  The testimonials on this website and others disprove that dogma.

The recency, causation and reversibility of myopia will be the theme of a major address I am scheduled to give in Berkeley, California this August:
http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,996.0.html

Todd
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: OtisBrown on June 22, 2014, 08:45:16 AM
Hi Alex,

I enjoy these conversations - where each person is working towards his own "private truth".

Alex> In two weeks if I confirm 20/20 from 20/25 with -0,5D on, after one month of doing active focus then definitely active focus and plus lenses are the two most important rehab methods for me.

Otis> I think you started from -2 diopters, and since you can clear the 20/20 line with a -1/2 diopter, you are almost sure to read the 20/40 line to pass the required DMV test.  That is indeed profound progress - and you are a leader for doing that.  People using BOTH plus and "exercise", tend to give credit to "only exercise", and ignore the slow-but-certain effect of the plus. 

Otis> As Todd stated, there is not "just one" approach that will get you to 20/20 (refractive state of zero), but MANY approaches.  Just sticking to these two approaches - will very slowly allow you to achieve that 20/20 line - but it does take time and persistence.



I'm doing PVS for more than 6 months (the heavy program). I broke my -1D plateau and achieved 20/20 with -0.75D on only when I gave up Bates exercises (not the theory) and 1-2 months of having started PVS.

In the rotation while fixing at a steady point of PVS, I got used not to get dizzy and do the exercise more easily but I have made not a centimeter improvement in fusing the two pictures and I don't believe others can do it. It is just natural I believe for the brain not to fuse the two picture at the extreme edges of movement of the eyeballs. Wearing glasses truly limits the range of movement of the eyeballs as the book described and this helps.

With CBR maybe only the cornea reshapes temporarily so it is not too important. Also after six months of  doing the heavy program CBR did not convert to BR as described in the book.

It is important to notice that with the extra focus on the extraocular muscles many people in PVS forum report high rate of improvement but only if they are in high or medium myopia.

With scientific intuition if stess at near can cause myopia then stress at far might cause hyperopia and I believe active focus can be described as stress at far. Active focus also doesn't dissapear (lose the clear flash) when blinking which could lead to resetting the cornea if it was like CBR, so it has to do with the ciliary muscles,  zonular fibers and lens system and indirectly maybe the eyeball.

In two weeks if I confirm 20/20 from 20/25 with -0,5D on, after one month of doing active focus then definitely active focus and plus lenses are the two most important rehab methods for me.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 22, 2014, 02:07:50 PM
Otis> I think you started from -2 diopters, and since you can clear the 20/20 line with a -1/2 diopter, you are almost sure to read the 20/40 line to pass the required DMV test.

Yes Mr Brown. I started with R -2.25D and L -2D and I don't know if I became overprescribed or plus lenses and Bates helped but I could see 20/15. Two hard plateaus at -0.75 (undercorrected) and -0.5D and I have already measured 20/40 bare eyes.

Because I like exercises after about 6 months of PVS I'm switching to "Rebuilt your vision" with plus lenses also of course.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: OtisBrown on June 22, 2014, 03:16:18 PM
Hi Alex,

You are setting a good example for Chris, Jim and others - for the type of determination and effort it takes to get "back from", -2.0 diopters (normally about 20/120 on a Snellen).  The profession of optometry declares that it is totally IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THAT.  I agree, that it is an extremely slow process, that is totally dependent on the wisdom and self-motivation of the person himself to prove that he can objectively read the 20/40 line (pass the DMV), and with that success, continue to wear the plus (and other exercise) for the next six months and slowly see "flashes" of 20/20, and eventually the 20/20 becomes more solid as the refractive state of the natural eye changes by that remaining 0.5 diopters.  You are achieving what optometry say, "can not be done".  Or they insist, we will prohibit you from doing it.

Great work, and great success to you.

Otis> I think you started from -2 diopters, and since you can clear the 20/20 line with a -1/2 diopter, you are almost sure to read the 20/40 line to pass the required DMV test.

Yes Mr Brown. I started with R -2.25D and L -2D and I don't know if I became overprescribed or plus lenses and Bates helped but I could see 20/15. Two hard plateaus at -0.75 (undercorrected) and -0.5D and I have already measured 20/40 bare eyes.

Because I like exercises after about 6 months of PVS I'm switching to "Rebuilt your vision" with plus lenses also of course.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Todd Becker on June 22, 2014, 08:29:53 PM
Jim,

Great questions.  I'll try to answer them.  Tom may have different thoughts to add.

THE BIG QUESTIONS

What does really work?

1. How do you define active/voluntary focus?
  - Is it a latent ability, an "extra" resolving capacity?
  - Is it in the ciliary? Is it in the brain? Is it in both?
  - How is it different from automatic proximity-based focusing (i.e. day-to-day looking)?
  - What is NOT active/voluntary focus?
Active focus is nothing more than selective attention -- paying attention to one specific element of the visual field and making an intentional effort to bring it into focus. It necessarily implies ignoring other elements of the visual field -- you can't pay equal attention to everything.  It is different than blankly staring with total relaxation and "taking it all in".   If you see two elements at different distances, or a double or multiple image, active focusing directs your attention to the element you choose to prioritize.

Quote
2. How do you gauge the just right amount of stimulus? How deep into the blur is enough?

This is the classic "Goldilocks principle", central to Hormetism. It applies not just to eyesight improvement, but to virtually any type of fitness improvement or learning process.  How much weight should you lift?  How far and fast should you run on a given day? How long should you practice the piano?  The answer is always the same:  apply sufficient stress to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, but not to the point of extreme fatigue, pain, or injury.  Athletes and other learners learn to understand there is an optimum amount of stimulus, beyond which lies the realm of overtraining.  Overtraining is not always easy to detect when it happens, but the consequences usually show up soon enough.  Performance suffers. 

If you find your eyes getting tired, with redness or pain, you are pushing too hard.  I think it is best to start out slowly with print pushing.  At first, just go for the slightest blur.  Take frequent breaks, and limit practice to a few hours a day.  If you find you can handle it without adverse consequences, push harder.  Another useful rule is:  push into the blur a little and then keep that distance until the print clears and stabilizes.  If the blur diminishes, push a little further.   But periodically, relax the tension and relieve the blur.  I find that taking breaks and getting good sleep is important.  Reading with good lighting is also helpful.

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3. What triggers/engages voluntary focus?
  - what are the critical steps required to access voluntary focus (e.g. staring, relaxation, double vision recognition/concentration)?
  - do you use a crutch (e.g. eye rotations, hard/soft blinking, eyelid adjustments)?
  - what are the concrete positive signals of success (e.g. Tom's Ways to Gauge Improvements) ?
  - what are the definite signs of failure (e.g. quick fatigue, dryness)?

I think my answer to Question 1 addresses these points.  Contrary to Bates, my view is that the critical element is selective attention.  I'm not convinced that "relaxation" by itself is that useful; the method of print pushing inherently involves the stimulus or stress of mild defocus.  Relaxation comes into play only as periodic rest intervals between periods of active focusing.

I have found that occasional blinking can be helpful, especially when pushing the distance a notch farther.  But I don't routinely blink, or do the rotations you mention.

I do think it is important to vary the focal distance.  Don't spend hours just print pushing at the computer or a book.  Break it up.  Move back and forth.  Every 5 or 10 minutes look at other things in the room.  Every 20 or 30 minutes get up and stretch, walk around, look at other things.  Avoid the typical myope behavior of "locking in".

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4. What should an absolute beginner expect during
  - initial sessions vs later sessions
  - a single session vs multiple sessions?

Keep your expectations modest.  Initial progress is typically more rapid, then it slows to a snail's pace.  Plateaus are very common, interspersed with occasional rapid progress or even sudden and discontinuous improvement -- but also expect backsliding and regression.  It's 2 steps forward, 1 step back.   Read my post on "How to break through a plateau (http://gettingstronger.org/2010/09/how-to-break-through-a-plateau/)".

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What do you think comes first? Is active focus the product of resolving double/multiple vision or does the brain "catch up" to optical improvement later on?

Active focus is the process you use to resolve either mild blur or double/multiple images.  The brain (more accurately the mind) leads;  remodeling of the eye, lens and neural circuitry follow.

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How do you define "resolving" within the context of a single training session? Some of your previous articles point out that resolving may not be possible within a single session/day, and that it takes concentration over the course of multiple days for the double/multiple vision to resolve.

Resolving a blur, also know as clearing, is an automatic physiological response to the effort to focus.  The degree to which you succeed in clearing print is at least initially beyond your control, but with continued effort you get better at it.  But is really the way all learning happens -- whether it is learning to throw a baseball, learning a new language, lifting weights etc.   All you can control is the discipline of regular effort and practice.  In all learning you have to trust that your brain, musculature and organs have the capacity to adapt in response to applied stimulus.   

Why do people assume the eye is somehow either static or programmed to deteriorate slowly; that it is resistant to positive change -- when most other parts of their body can improve in strength or function through deliberate, guided practice? 

Todd
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 23, 2014, 11:49:23 AM
Even now I don't achieve perfect results when in active focus but always some degree of increased visual acuity. So even then I believe it's not a waste of time or failure.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Todd Becker on June 23, 2014, 08:55:30 PM
- active focus is a product of deliberate, contemplative practice
- it starts with the intention of the mind to resolve perceived defocus; the optical system follows
- it requires concentrating and carefully inspecting only a small part of the perceived visual image, NOT the entire image
- one has to mentally analyze the blurry input and recognize it is really double/multiple vision
- consciously selecting (concentrating) the sharpest part of double/multiple vision  is what eventually leads to vision improvement (do you also attempt to fuse the double/multiple vision or is only selecting the sharper image enough?)

- shifting the focal distance is important

You've got it partly right.  To repeat myself,  active focus involves selective attention -- paying attention a part of the image that is almost in focus, with the consequence of bringing it into focus.  But no cognitive "contemplation" or "analysis" is involved..  While paying attention involves a voluntary act,  focusing is a natural, automatic consequence of looking closely and trying to see what is there.  The closest analogy is to the autofocus mechanism of a camera which automatically resolves the element of the scene that is pointed at.  Autofocus cannot work on a scene that is blurred beyond a certain point.  The amount of defocus has to be slight enough that the autofocus mechanism can move towards resolution.  In humans, this works at a subconscious level, probably involving a coordination between eye and brain. 

While initially some effort is required, after a while, selective attention is something you incorporate into routine activities like reading.  You just get used to reading at the edge of focus, sitting in lectures or movies at the appropriate distance, etc.  It no longer is a separate "print pushing workout" or chore, it's just the way you habitually use your eyes.

Regarding double images: in my own case I make no attempt to "fuse" images.  I merely focus my attention on the darkest of the multiple images (usually one of them is substantially darker than its ghostlike companion) and with continued attention it automatically grows in strength, while the ghost fades.  Perhaps others do this differently and attempt fusion of images.  I can't say.

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- the technique is predominantly mental, but slight modifications of the eyes may be necessary
- staring (looking deliberately without frequently blinking) probably best describes the way the myope should use the eyes
- the eyes should be active & moderately stressed, NOT in a state of total relaxation

- pain & dryness are signals the stimulus is too strong

I don't see any difference between the above "mechanical" steps and the others you designate as "psychological".  For me, it is simply a matter of what is voluntary (selective attention) and what is involuntary (automatic focusing and clearing).  It's stimulus - response.  No different than lifting weights --> getting stronger, practicing piano --> becoming proficient, running hard --> increasing VO2 max.

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- blinking occasionally could be of help
...
- eye stretching is NOT needed

None of the above 3 are part of the core technique.  I put them in the category of "tips" or refinements that may or may not be helpful, depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

I believe that David DeAngelis' PVS systems shares my emphasis on active focusing, but he adds a range of exercises that he believes increase visual flexibility.  I think of it as a kind of yoga for the eyes.  If it helps, great.  But I didn't get much out of those exercises, and others on this site found that they could lead to fatigues.

While active focusing is a core technique, it is not the only element of my technique.  I place equal emphasis on two other elements:

Variety of focus:  Focus at different distances, on a variety of objects (not just print) to vary the source of stimulus.  Vision strengthening should not be "going to the gym", but integrating constant stimulus into your life in every different kind of situation: reading, watching TV, driving, walking, talking to friends, working in the garden.  Everything!

Rest and recovery:  Strengthening the eyes, like exercise or learning requires alternation between effort and rest.  Rest, including frequent breaks and good sleep -- is a necessary part of the process of strengthening, repair, and remodeling of any organ or physiological system.

Todd
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 24, 2014, 11:27:55 AM
@jimboston

Before many months I posted and eye excessive about vision rock and uploaded even a metronome and chart. Tom got interested and has it. I put a Snellen chart the same distance as when active focusing and with that exercise. The important part of this exercise is that after some minutes there is some good clearance of the Snellen chart even if you don't have to pay stong attention to the Snelllen chart.
Title: Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 30, 2014, 01:10:50 PM
Should one expect an observable increase in visual acuity within a single or a number of focusing sessions? When (days, weeks) and why (due to what) can one be certain he is failing to apply the method correctly?

Two or three times (of 10-15 minutes) per week and in a month and I believe someone will have to put his Snellen chart further or pick a smaller line because of the improvement.

After doing "the 3 cups exercise for near" I managed active focus more easily, maybe it helped. You can't control the ciliary muscles directly but it's like putting pepper to the nose to trigger a sneeze...
Title: Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: Alex_Myopic on June 30, 2014, 01:26:58 PM
Alex,

I'd be happy if you could post a link to your exercise or describe it here in more detail.

http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,538.msg5779.html#msg5779 (http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,538.msg5779.html#msg5779)
Title: Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: Alex_Myopic on July 02, 2014, 03:58:59 AM
@jimboston

I hope you like this exercise. If you find 3 minutes sessions a lot of time you can do one minute. When I reached the metronome 60 or 75 beats per sec I had that effect of focusing much better at the Snellen chart. during the exercise and some permanent good effect
Title: Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: Steven on July 07, 2014, 02:40:54 PM
Let's not make scientific papers of no value.

What we want to learn is what is the fastest method to achieve rehabilitation.

1. If you want to make a person with perfect sight myopic you give him a strong minus lens. Whenever he/she has the eyes open while using the glasses = all things are close.

The effect : the eyes get elongated and if the elongation is too big then astigmatism appears (and retinal detachment). The handicapped person now without the glasses is staring and not blinking, and sees everything in blur.

2. If you want to make a person with perfect sight hyperopic you give him a strong plus lens. Whenever he/she has the eyes open while using the glasses = all things are far away.

The effect : the eyes get short and if the eye is too short they even need a soft plus for distance. The handicapped person now without the glasses is staring and not blinking, and sees everything in blur.

Solution :
a) Reverse the effects by not staring.  The opposite of staring is not focusing. A perfect sight person does not focus, he just moves the eyes in the direction of interest and his eyes do the focusing for him in 99% of cases via saccadic movements (just like breathing, or heartbeat that requires absolutely no conscious manual effort). It is impossible to move consciously the eyes so fast.

b) Reverse the causes (the lens) in order to force the eye to change shape. (main cause)

A +4 or more gives you lots of blur. If your habit is to stare, small progress is made. If you don't stare the eye is forced to adapt to the new lens no matter how powerful it is. So move your eyes in the direction of interest then change the direction of interest...look for no particular thing.

Test it now and give feedback after doing this for 1 day.
Title: Re: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: Alex_Myopic on August 18, 2014, 10:16:57 AM
I've tried active focus on day and failed because on day my vision is about 20/25. So maybe at night with artificial light my vision has better challenge. The distance was also about 3,5m and not 6m.
Title: Re: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
Post by: Arachne on August 21, 2014, 02:06:21 AM
During print-pushing work, perhaps the amount of blur necessary to provide a sufficient amount of stimulus to the eye to actively clear the blur depends on how much blur one's eyes are habitually used to seeing on a day-to-day basis. And that of course depends on whether or not we choose to live with "corrected" vision by means of minus lenses. "Edge-of-blur" may work for those who do not normally live with blur. But for me, "edge-of-blur" doesn't work because I live permanently in an edge-of-blur state and that is my normal way of seeing. I need "full-on blur" during print pushing or focusing exercises for any progress to take place! Although I live my daily life with a small, and permanent, amount of blur, I don't notice that blur most of the time because I am so used to it. Outdoors, I have no blur, but only ghosting or double vision. Indoors, I will occasionally notice the blur if I am tired and/or in poor lighting. I have no idea what my current refractive state is, but it varies a lot, even though I can usually see 20/20 on the Snellen chart when I go to test myself. However, if I want to improve my vision by print pushing exercises and the use of plus lenses, it is not enough for me to read merely at the edge of blur, which merely keeps me on a plateau for months on end. I need extreme blur, to the point where the text is virtually illegible, for any active focussing or blur-clearing to take place. Only then can I make any progress. Recently I switched from +2 lenses to +2.5 (on naked eye) when working at the computer, and this has made a big difference to my normal day-to-day vision.

Our eyes are all different, and what works for some may not work for others, but I find convergence/divergence exercises very beneficial. Also, for extended periods at the computer I sit in a rocking chair. The back and forth motion helps to prevent the focussing mechanism from getting locked in one particular place. Of one thing I am absolutely certain about: if I gave up books and computer work tomorrow, I would have much better and more stable vision. My myopia started because of books. Since then, screens, tablets and phones have merely added to the problem. For me, the only way to stop the rot is to slap strong plus lenses over my eyes whenever I do any kind of close work. Every time!