Author Topic: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review  (Read 9135 times)

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #15 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.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 02:10:17 PM by Alex_Myopic »

Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #16 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.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #17 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.

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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".

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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
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 08:35:16 PM by Todd Becker »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #18 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.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #19 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
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 09:05:42 PM by Todd Becker »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #20 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.

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Do you "WORK" or WAIT for focus?
« Reply #21 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...

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
« Reply #22 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

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
« Reply #23 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

Offline Steven

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Re: VOLUNTARY FOCUS: A Comprehensive Review
« Reply #24 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.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 02:46:36 PM by Steven »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
« Reply #25 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.

Offline Arachne

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Re: BLUR CLEARING: A Comprehensive Review
« Reply #26 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!