Author Topic: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review  (Read 9020 times)

Offline jimboston

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BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
« on: June 18, 2014, 12:08:20 AM »
Big thanks to Todd Becker and everyone on the forums for their contributions.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 11:40:10 PM by jimboston »

Offline jansen

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #1 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).

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 10:40:06 AM by Alex_Myopic »

Offline jansen

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #3 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

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #4 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.

Offline chris1213

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #5 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.

Offline chris1213

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #6 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.

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #7 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.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 04:22:46 AM by OtisBrown »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #8 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/


https://frauenfeldclinic.com/myopia-forums/topic/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/
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 09:14:50 AM by Alex_Myopic »

Offline chris1213

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #9 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/. 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. 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/).

Tl;dr?
Whatever we choose to do let's enjoy it at least.

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 12:43:57 PM by Alex_Myopic »

Offline jansen

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #13 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

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #14 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.